Photo by Morgan Grana.
Photo by Morgan Grana.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years of being vegetarian, it’s that you can never feel completely satisfied without a good daily dose of protein.  Finding that protein, or even taking the time to make sure a meal has protein in it, can sometimes seem a drag, but there is one food that I make my default whenever I am starving at the end of a long day, and that’s tofu.

I know, I know.  Not everyone is a vegetarian, and the idea of tofu when you could just as easily (or probably easier) eat meat at any restaurant in town, is probably not so appealing.  But I can tell you from personal experience, it can be just as appetizing.  And really, who needs all the extra fat from meat?

On top of containing less fat, tofu is also very easy to cook.  Real meat takes time to cook through to the middle, while tofu is done in a flash.  To cook meat means more time standing patiently in front of your stove wishing that it would just finish up already.  Tofu can be into your stomach digesting in the amount of time it takes you to simply cook your meat-heavy meal.  You can basically just chop it into pieces, fry it up and call it a day.

And because it’s so easy to cook, any food experimentation you decide to risk will probably end up tasting delicious.  Put your favorite sauce in the skillet and dump some tofu in there, and you’ve made yourself a meal.  Cleanup after dinner has never been easier.

Usually, vegetarian products cost more than your everyday meat concoctions, and that’s because there aren’t enough broadly efficient factories to pump out mushroom steaks and cheese enchiladas like the meat industry can pump out tri tip and pork rinds.

But tofu is different.  Because it is one of the most sought after protein boosts for vegetarians out there, it comes packaged fairly cheap.  You can get it at your neighborhood grocery store for a couple bucks, and it lasts a while, which means you don’t have to worry about it going bad in your refrigerator.  Once you open the package, though, don’t keep it for more than a few days in a sealed container.  Once exposed it can go bad fast.

Tofu is also extremely healthy for you, as long as you make sure you don’t overdo it.  Too much soy has been proven to be bad for your health and may actually reduce the amount of iron your body can absorb.  On the other hand, tofu eaten in moderation can reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. It can even improve your memory.  With midterms fast approaching, improvement of memory could be just the cure you need to compensate for your procrastination.  So go make some stir-fry!

And don’t tell me you’ve already done all the readings.  We all know it’s just not true.

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