Saturday, January 17, 2009


You know that feeling you get once in a while where you just want to curl up under a blanket with a good book and not do anything else? Well, I get that feeling almost everyday. Hence, a late entry today for my Tuesday's show. But I've brought all the information with relevant pictures now. Yay me! :-D (That is a telltale sign that I watch Disney channel) But back to topic - Soya, in all its glory.

The humble and previously ignored soyabean is emerging into the limelight, now that we are becoming more health conscious. For vegetarians and vegans all over the world, the biggest problem is to obtain all the essential nutrients and especially protein, from their diet. In that respect, soyabean and soy products are the solution. They are very rich in protein and contain all the essential amino acids. Soy is also a good source of vitamin E and lecithin.
In moderation, soy products are very good for vegetarians and vegans alike. I shall refrain from writing why it is very good or why it might be not so good if you overdo it. Why? Because every coin has two sides and for me every food too, has two sides. Therefore soy must have a flip side which will be brought to light maybe in the future. What I read on couple of websites confirms my belief that everything must be done in moderation. Google "Soy products benefits" and you can form your own opinion.
As of now, we are going forward with soy recipes that you can include in your menu once or twice a week.

It's not a recipe at all! :-D In the Japanese cuisine, immature soybeans are boiled/blanched whole in their pod and served with a little salt. That is a pow-wow power snack all by itself. For beginners, I would think that if you get rid of the pod, it might taste better. You get beans like in the picture above. Then proceed with the boiling.
For the really cuisine challenged (my way of saying people with a limited taste palette), I have written a basic dressing recipe below which will be good with the boiled soybeans.

1 part lemon juice
1 1/2 parts olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Stream the oil into the lemon juice while whisking briskly. That will give you the thick dressing. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy your soybeans.

At this point what you have eaten is the direct bean also called the Edamame. It has been proclaimed as the ideal snack alternative by health and fitness magazines. Edamame is sold in the frozen vegetable section at some grocery stores and in Asian delis.

Again, this is more of a tip than a recipe. And very common amongst Indian families who make their own bread (rotis, chapathis, phulkas & paranthas). You can crumble some soft or firm tofu into the wheat flour before kneading it. The tofu blends well with the flour and results in soft and fluffy bread. And since the tofu is bland, this might be a good way of sneaking in some healthy food into your picky eater's diet.

Fruity Shake
3 bananas
1 cup chilled soy milk
1 cup chilled low fat milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
sugar or honey to taste
1)Peel and blend the bananas with the sugar or honey.
2)Now add the milks and cinnamon and blend again.
3)Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Soya provides anti-oxidants, milk gives calcium and fruit keeps you full. A tasty snack to make in a jiffy. You can substitute any fruits of your liking.

Note - Soy milk doesn't seem to heat well. When used in coffee and heated, it tends to give off an oily smell. So keep to the cooler drinks when using soy milk.

You may substitute or use tofu with regular curds in preparation of 'kadhi'. One of my listeners told me that she has been doing it for quite sometime now. The tofu blends well with yogurt, stands heat ok and doesn't contribute any overwhelming/weird taste.

For north-indian style kadhi - Blend equal parts of yogurt with soft tofu and proceed with the recipe as usual.

For south -indian style kadhi - Put equal parts of coconut with tofu, green chillies, soaked chana dal and dhania (coriander ) seeds in a mixer and grind to a coarse paste. Now proceed with the recipe as usual.

The above are some of the good tips I came across while doing my Soya show. I will be writing the remaining tips in my next blog. So keep checking the page in the next couple of days.
And I shall sign off now hoping that I have shared something useful with you. Something that brings you good health or much resolved weight-loss or more variety in your cuisine. Something that brings you smiles and happiness.
pictures courtesy medifast website and from google images. No copyright infringement intended.

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