Blog: Tofu approved for school lunches – What’s next, beets?

Chronicle Books’ new “True Blood: East, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps,” proves that even Cajun vampires need help with their entrees. (AP Photo)

• You can already hear the applause in Boulder and the howls of protest coming from Colorado’s cattlemen (and women) as the news leaks out that tofu has been approved as part of the federal school lunch program.

“School lunches can now offer tofu as a “meat alternate,” writes Philip Bump at, “thanks to a little-noticed announcement from the Department of Agriculture in January: While tofu does not currently have a Federal standard of identity, the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourage plant-based sources of protein such as tofu. According to the DGA, consumption of a balanced variety of protein foods can contribute to improved nutrient intake and health benefits.”

• Under the “duh” category of things we didn’t need a survey to tell us, reports that the National Confectioner’s Association reports that American teenage girls are two times more likely to consume gum than the average consumer.

• The Associated Press reports that Amy Colvin of Pueblo took first place in the King Arthur Flour Great Cake Contest at the 2012 Colorado State Fair. Here’s her recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cake:
Cake batter:
2 cups King Arthur Flour
1 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (1 1/2 ounce) boxes sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Cinnamon filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Mix flour, 1 cup white sugar, baking powder, salt and pudding. All at once add butter, oil, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Mix well (dough will be thicker than typical cake batter).
In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and nuts (if desired). Fold into cake batter with large spatula. Avoid overmixing.
In a greased Bundt pan, spread one-half of cake batter on bottom. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over cake batter. Spread remaining cake batter over sugar-cinnamon mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.
While cake is in the oven, mix whipping cream, sugar, cream cheese and nuts (if desired) with an electric mixer on high until stiff. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Let cake cool for 15 minutes and remove from pan.
After cake is completely cool, frost with a spatula.

Notes: The outside of cake should be somewhat crunchy (not burnt) to resemble the true texture of a cinnamon roll. This cake can be served warm, with chilled frosting served on the side for dipping.
• John Lehndorff is the editor of Colorado Table in the Aurora Sentinel, Buckley Guardian and Life Science newspapers and web sites. He writes the Nibbles column. For more information about food events, festivals, tastings, tours, markets and more, visit Colorado Table: Send information about food events, classes, festivals, wine dinners and tours in the metro area and all over Colorado to:  John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles airs 8:25 a.m. Thursdays on KGNU (88.5 FM, 1390 AM, and Details: Weekly chat about all things culinary in Colorado.

  • fishunter

    Have you ever tasted tofu? In my opinion, cardboard is better. Why look for a substitute to real protein sources? Could it be there is another tasteless minority issue here?