TIP Buy tofu packed in water for these recipes; drain the water before using.

At this partying time of year, an occasional healthful and meatless meal is especially important.



1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup water

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1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (or to taste)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 minced garlic cloves (1 teaspoon)

14 ounces (1 package) extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

4 cups broccoli florets

1 cup very thinly sliced carrots

2 red peppers, cut into 3/4-inch dice

1. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in small bowl, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved. Add remaining cup water, soy sauce and chili sauce; set aside.

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2. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook until lightly browned, turning once, for a total of about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add broccoli, carrots and red pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add sauce and cook until the vegetables begin to soften and the sauce starts to thicken. Add the tofu back to the pan and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce is glossy, about 2 minutes longer. Serve over rice. Makes 3 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 257 calories, 19 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 13 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 762 mg sodium



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3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cloves garlic, cut lengthwise into thin slices

1 inch ginger, cut across into very thin slices

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

8 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth

1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 red pepper, cut into 2-by-1/4-inch strips

1 cup shredded carrots

8 cups fresh baby spinach

3 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths

1. Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce; stir in vinegar, fish sauce and honey.

2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high. Add the garlic, ginger and shiitakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute, or until the mushrooms begin to soften. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

3. Stir in the tofu, red pepper and carrots and simmer 4 minutes, or until the soup is slightly thickened.

4. Stir in the spinach and scallions, remove from heat and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 329 calories, 19g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1,512 mg sodium



1 (14-ounce) block firm tofu, cut across into 6 slices

8 ounces linguine

8 ounces sugar snaps

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 cup shredded carrot

3 tablespoons rice vinegar, divided

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup natural-style peanut butter (no added sugar)

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2/3 cup lower-sodium vegetable broth

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1. Cut each tofu slice across on the diagonal, place on a plate in a single layer, top with paper towel and a second plate to press the tofu for 15 minutes.

2. Cook linguine in plenty of lightly salted boiling water, according to package directions. In last 2 minutes of cooking, add sugar snaps. One minute later, add the red peppers and carrots; drain.

3. Make the tofu glaze: Combine 2 tablespoons of the rice vinegar, orange juice, sugar and soy sauce in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick, 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Heat broiler; coat broiler pan with cooking spray. Place tofu in single layer under broiler until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the tofu over, drizzle with the sauce and place back under the broiler until the glaze is thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven.

5. Make sauce for noodles: Combine peanut butter, hoisin, remaining 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and broth in small saucepan over high heat. Stir and bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until color deepens and sauce is thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with noodles. To serve, divide noodles onto 4 plates; top each plate with 3 pieces of tofu and garnish with scallions. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 559 calories, 30 g protein, 73 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 18 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 695mg sodium