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sticky ginger tamari tofu & eggplant

Sticky Ginger Tofu Recipe

It’s been a really long time since I have created a recipe for you using tofu. I shared my tempeh wraps quite a few weeks ago, but tofu-wise I don’t think I’ve given you anything since my scrambled tofu recipe. To be honest, I think this has mainly been influenced by some personal food intolerance testing I did a year or two ago showing soy reactivity, though now I find I can thankfully (thanks to a nice strong  and robust gut) enjoy soy again. Therefore, I’m really pumped to share this Sticky Ginger Tamari Tofu & Eggplant Recipe.

Tofu is one of those ingredients that so many people avoid due to fear surrounding soy. I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into great detail here, however if you’d like to get more of a breakdown on this you can check out the blog post here. I find that when I ask clients in clinic about eating tofu as a protein source they often reply “no I don’t eat tofu, it’s bad for you… isn’t it?” The funny thing is so many people are avoiding tofu yet they are not even sure why.

Sticky Ginger Tamari Tofu & Eggplant Recipe

What I will quickly reiterate here is that dietary soy is a modulator of the oestrogen within our bodies, and a weak one at that. If we were to be concerned about something affecting our oestrogen levels exogenously it should be our use of plastics, especially heating food in plastics. These types of xenoestrogens can have quite a profound negative effect on our hormones.

Soy conversely encourages oestrogen to be metabolised down more beneficial metabolic pathways and in fact discourages oestrogen from being converted to metabolites associated with oestrogen driven health conditions. It’s ironic to me that people are avoiding food like tofu and tempeh because of fears related to oestrogen excess when in fact these wholefood soy based foods can help by down regulating dysfunctional oestrogen.

Sticky Ginger Tamari Tofu & Eggplant Recipe

On the other side of the coin I do see soy being problematic occasionally from a food intolerance point of view and also in relation to poor gut function (both of these issues have nothing to do with soy affecting oestrogen levels).  Soy provides an abundance of fermentable carbohydrates that can be problematic in a poorly functioning gut, especially in the presence of SIBO and dysbiosis (inbalanced gut flora in the lower bowel). Of course when we correct our gut imbalances, remove inflammation and build a strong, robust gut lining we can often tolerate, if not thrive with these types of foods in our diet.

Well there you go, I still managed to have a little bit of a rant about soy even though I’d said I wouldn’t.  I think I’m just particularly passionate about this currently as it seems to be a topic that comes up a lot. My hope is this Sticky Ginger Tamari Tofu & Eggplant recipe and accompanying blog post makes you think more fondly of ingredients like tofu and tempeh and find room for them within your diet, as they truly are delicious and nourishing ingredients.

Sticky Ginger Tamari Tofu & Eggplant Recipe

sticky ginger tamari tofu & eggplant

Print Recipe

serves
serves 3 with a side of grain of liking
preparation time
20 minutes
cooking time
30 – 35 minutes

ingredients

  • 1 medium sized eggplant (350g)
  • 375g organic non gmo hard tofu
  • 4 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons pure honey (maple for vegans)
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup sliced spring onions, green ends

method

Pre-heat oven to 200c fan forced.

Chop eggplant and tofu into cubes around 2 to 3 cm in size. Place in a baking dish and toss with tamari, honey, ginger and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with pepper and place in the oven to bake for 30 -35 minutes removing at the 15 minute mark to toss.

Add sesame seeds and the cashews at the 25 minute mark and toss through coating them in the marinade. Increase the temperature to 220° and place back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Once everything is lovely and sticky and golden remove from the oven. To serve, top with sliced shallots with a side of brown rice and some easy greens.

nutritional information

  • Biochemically, isofavones can bind to two different forms of oestrogen receptors in the body. The have more affinity however to bind to one receptor over the other. These two different terminals if you will have different roles in regulating gene expression and physiological functions. The receptor associated with human breast cell cancer proliferation is the receptor of less affinity, where as the receptor with high affinity is actually associated with reducing proliferation. A 2010 study from the Journal of Nutrition on Is Soy Consumption Good or Bad for the Breast? concluded “In summary, human studies that have investigated changes in circulating hormone levels or mammographic density in pre- or postmenopausal women by diets high in isoflavones from dietary supplements or soy foods have found no significant effects, suggesting that they do not alter breast cancer risk. However, these studies have used moderate doses of isoflavones, reflective of Asian soy food consumption, and it is possible that higher doses could yield different results”. (J Nutr. 2010, L. HilakiviClarke et al)
  • This sticky ginger tamari tofu & eggplant is a sound protein source for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Combined with the recommended brown rice and greens this meal is a delicious vego way to get your macronutrient balance. Tofu also provides great levels of calcium and manganese.

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Mike Van Emmerik
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Mike Van Emmerik

The first time I attempted this, it burned during the second 20 minute spell in the oven. I think that there must be a typo somewhere.

I just made it again now at 180°C and turning every 5 minutes; it seemed more or less ready after 4 (so 20 min total baking time). I put the sesame seeds and cashews in after 15 min.

It seems to have a lot of potential, so please tell me if there is a problem. I’m no great cook, so it’s possible I stuffed up twice.

Jessica Cox
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Jessica Cox

Hi Mike, thanks for letting me know you are having troubles with this recipe. I’d say it’s a problem of oven variations and also baking dish size. When I made this all the ingredients were crowded in tight in the pictured baking dish, so lessons the ability for them to cook so quickly. I’d say keep your oven at 180c (as maybe your oven is hotter than mine) and also check every 10 minutes instead of 20 minutes. If you are happy with how it looks at say 40 minutes then pull it out and add the sesame seeds and… Read more »

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