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Meatless Monday!

A new column in which readers and local restaurants can share a meat-free dish.

The Carroll Gardens Patch has launched a new weekly column in the spirit of the Meatless Monday initiative, which promotes going without meat one day a week. Here we'll share favorite recipes submitted by neighbors and local restaurants in which vegetables are the main attraction.

Today's recipe is my own personal go-to for Super Simple Baked Tofu

Ingredients

1 cake firm tofu
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Slice tofu into rectangles or triangles, depending upon your preference.
3. Lightly oil baking dish. Place tofu in a single layer across the bottom.
4. Whisk remaining four ingredients in a bowl, then pour over tofu. Turn to coat.
5. Bake, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until tofu is firm and chewy, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot over noodles or alongside broccolli.

Do you have a favorite meat-free recipe? Share it with us, including a photograph of the finished dish, and we may feature it here. Send all submissions to priscowrites@gmail.com with "Meatless Monday" in the subject line.

Jill March 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM
The goal of Meatless Monday is to reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. But cutting out meat and replacing it with tons of fat and sodium is not the way to go. For example, soy sauce contains almost 1,000 mg. of sodium in one tablespoon. The upper recommended limit of sodium for people under 50 is 2300 mg. per DAY; those over 50 should consume no more than 1500 mg. Amounts above these limits can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and congestive heart failure. If you are going meatless on Mondays as part of an overall effort to improve your and your family's health, then I suggest paying attention to the rest of your meal as well. Too much fat and sodium can cancel the benefits of cutting out meat.
Joanna Prisco March 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Thank you, Jill! You sound very well-versed. Are you a registered dietician?
Jill March 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
No, Joanne, but three years ago I became very committed to changing my diet and improving my health. I read a lot about nutrition, changed to a mostly plant-based and low-alcohol diet, lowered my cholesterol 40 points, and was able to get off hypertension meds completely. The issue I have with some diet suggestions is that they focus on just one aspect of diet. Reducing meat is a great start, but watching fat and sodium intake is equally important. Perhaps you can write a bit about the goal of Meatless Monday? I think it's important to point out that Meatless Mondays are not going to be helpful if on Tuesday through Sunday the diet consists of Big Macs and KFC.
Joanna Prisco March 05, 2012 at 06:08 PM
That is a fantastic suggestion. We don't want readers undoing all the positive work they've done by making poor choices the rest of the week. And good for you for committing to a healthy diet!

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