As someone newly entering the world of plant-based diets, taking a cooking class at Credible Edibles was a great way to help me move in this direction. When I was presented with the opportunity to attend the SOYummy class, I jumped at it.
This class focused on learning more about soy products and how they can be incorporated into your diet. It began with the instructor, Judi, introducing information on the variety of soy products that exist and how they can be used in recipes.
The different forms of healthy, less processed soy were put on display: from the raw edamame bean to silken, medium and firm tofu, dried tofu and fermented varieties including miso paste and tempeh, along with soy based beverages. Students in the class were encouraged to taste some of the different varieties to see what they were like before being added to dishes.
The raw edamame beans were made into a snack by simply cooking them and adding seasonings. Ideas on how to serve soy products was discussed and where to find them locally (stores etc.), then the cooking began!
In addition to our edamame snack, we made three dishes during the class, including Japanese miso soup, tempeh coconut curry and chocolate mousse for dessert. All three recipes were easy to make and featured a different variety of soy products in each. The miso soup featured miso paste and pieces of tofu, the curry dish incorporated tempeh that has a nuttier taste and different texture than tofu, and finally silken tofu was added in the mousse for a light creamy texture.
All three dishes tasted great and were really satisfying. The chocolate mousse in particular was so similar to any other dairy-based mousse you that you can’t really tell that tofu is one of the ingredients! Judi noted that usually soy is found in Asian cooking, but it is not limited to this genre; as these recipes demonstrate, there are many different cooking styles where soy can be used. The Canada Food Guide suggests eating soy often, as it is good a source of protein, calcium, iron and zinc.
Judi suggests including silken tofu in dips like guacamole and in smoothies in place of sour cream or yogurt. As well, tofu pieces can be added to stir fries or dishes for which pieces of meat would usually be used. Remove the water in a block of firm tofu by squeezing it in between two plates over your sink. Tofu literally acts as sponge; once the water is removed, it will absorb any flavouring you would like to add or marinate it in, including soy sauce or coconut milk. Freezing packaged tofu is another idea, if you cannot use it right away.
If you are interested in cooking classes that help you learn how certain ingredients can be incorporated in your diet like in this case soy, the classes at Credible Edibles will be really helpful. There are a variety of classes that you can take, including how to cook with beans or seaweed and classes that feature ideas for holiday cooking.
I strongly suggest attending a class, bringing a friend or your partner too and learning more from Judi on adding more variety to your meals and helpful tips for healthy eating!
Classes coming up in the New Year include Lean and Green, Oh No Gluten, Heart Smart, Smoothies 101, Forks Over Knives, and Kids in the Kitchen. Perhaps a cooking class would be a good Christmas gift for someone on your list?
Learn more about Credible Edibles, and their upcoming classes, here. NCVA members get a 20 per cent discount off the price of most classes.
Kari is moving towards a plant-based diet.