Tofu Burgers

Protein plays an important role in an athlete’s diet. It helps repair damaged body tissue and assists in building and strengthening muscles.¹ How much protein does the average athlete need? Training may slightly increase protein requirements; however, most recreational athletes easily meet protein targets when they consume a varied diet that focuses on nourishing foods.¹ See the table below to estimate how much protein you need based on your current weight in kilograms.

Guidelines for maximum protein needs for different groups of athletes:

Sedentary 0.8g/kg body mass
General training program 1.0g/kg body mass
Heavy training program 1.2-1.7g/kg body mass

In addition to amount of protein, it is also important for athletes to consider the timing of protein intakes. Eating foods rich in protein with your main meals can help to maintain lean body mass, while consuming protein soon after exercise may increase muscle protein synthesis rates.² Synthesis rates are highest when meals/snacks containing 20 grams of protein (closer to 30 grams in older populations) are consumed. Newer research is also suggesting that eating a protein rich snack before going to bed may help to promote post-exercise muscle growth during overnight sleep.² Recommendations for protein timing are to consume about 20-25g of protein with each main meal, 20-25g of protein after exercise and 20-40g of protein prior to sleep.² If you are a smaller individual or are monitoring total calories eaten, plan to make one of your main meals also your post-exercise snack.

Foods that provide approximately 10g of protein:

2 small eggs, 30g cheese, 70g cottage cheese, 1 cup low fat milk, 35g cooked meat, 40g cooked poultry, 2 slices French toast, ½ cup edamame, ¾ cup plain yogurt, 50g cheddar cheese, 50g canned salmon/tuna, ½ cup cooked lentils, ¼ cup peanuts, 75g firm tofu

Tofu Burger

Tofu Burgers

Makes about 12 burgers

Ingredients:

2 14oz blocks of organic, firm tofu, pressed.

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

2 large carrots, grated

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup pecans (or walnuts), toasted

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 tsp black pepper

2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Burger toppings as per your choice (cheese slices, tomato, avocado, onions, lettuce, etc)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a skillet over low-medium heat, heat the oil. Add in the onions and dried oregano and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and bell peppers and cook for another 7-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor.
  5. Add tofu and remaining ingredients to the food processor (depending on the size of the appliance you may have to blend the items in two batches). Pulse until combined.
  6. Transfer blended mix to a large bowl. Adjust seasonings as per preference (add extra Dijon mustard or soy sauce or add some hot sauce). Mix in bread crumbs.
  7. Using a 1/2 cup scoop, scoop out burger mixture and place onto baking sheet. Gently flatten burgers.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes (flipping halfway through).
  9. Eat with or without a bun, topped with your favourite ingredients.

Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites (2013).

References:

  1. Australian Institute of Sports. Current Concepts in Sports Nutrition.
http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/143386/CurrentConcepts.pdf. 
Accessed January 25, 2016.
  1. van Loon LJC. Protein Ingestion Prior to Sleep: Potential for Optimizing Post-
Exercise Recovery. Gatorade Sports Science Institute. http://www.gssiweb.org/Article
/sse-117-protein-ingestion-prior-to-sleep-potential-for-optimizing-post-exercise-
recovery. Published 2014. Accessed January 25, 2016.

 

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Thai Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli

DSC_0407I love Anne Lindsay cookbooks! Her meals are quick, simple, health conscious, and delicious. Although her cookbooks are not completely vegetarian, I still highly recommend them for non-meat eaters as a few substitutions can turn pretty much any recipe vegetarian. This blog post is based on a chicken recipe from Anne Lindsay’s cookbook Lighthearted at Home.

This recipe only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, but if you want to speed up the process you can make the sauce up to 4 hours in advance. You can also prep all of your vegetables beforehand.

To make a Thai flavoured rice bowl: 1) cook rice 2) lightly steam your veggies 3) prepare tofu and sauce as below. 4) Layer rice, vegetables, tofu on a bowl. Drizzle with sauce and serve topped with chopped cilantro.

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Thai Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

250 grams thin noodles (Oriental egg noodles or rice noodles work well)

4 cups broccoli, chopped

2 carrots, cut into julienne strips

2 tsp canola or peanut oil

1 1/2 tbsp ginger root, grated

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 package firm tofu

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Sauce

1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp natural peanut butter (Crunchy peanut butter adds nice texture)

2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

Directions:

  1. Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Add vegetables to cook for 2-3 minutes. (You may need to add the vegetables first depending on the instructions for the noodles. Drain vegetables and noodles when cooked.
  3. In a nonstick skillet or frying pan, heat oil over med-high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add tofu and cook until it is browned.
  4. Stir sauce into tofu mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix with noodles and vegetables.
  5. Serve topped with cilantro.

Recipe adapted from Lighthearted at Home by Anne Lindsay

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