It all starts with soybeans. A lot of soybeans. Soaking, drying, boiling, and straining turns those beans into milk, which—with the addition of a coagulant—becomes tofu, the pillar of vegetarian cuisine. With enough ingenuity, chefs can use this ingredient for almost anything. Put it with some fruit, and it's a dessert. Swap it for eggs, and it becomes a breakfast scramble. It's an especially appropriate substitute in a wide range of Asian dishes. Whatever the recipe, tofu always adds a few constants: a low calorie count, little fat, and a generous amount of protein.
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