This is the first in our 2014 National Nutrition Month #SoyInspired series. Jen Haugen, RD, shares one of her favorite soy recipe redo dishes in honor of our #SoyRecipeRedo Contest going on right now on Facebook! You have one week left to enter your own recipe – you could win $200 so enter today!
Soy Recipe Redo
by Jen Haugen, RD
Last July, I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of a tour given by The Soyfoods Council and it was literally like taking a step back to where I grew up. Back to my roots.
Standing in the soybean field in Iowa reminded me of all the time I spent as a kid “walking beans” in our soybean fields, kinda like weeding a garden but on a massive scale. Imagine walking up and down long rows of soybeans scouting out weeds to be pulled so they wouldn’t seed out and spread across the field and steal vital nutrients from the soil.
One thing I remember growing up is that even though we farmed and grew soybeans, we didn’t really eat edamame, use textured vegetable protein or eat tofu. I’m not sure why, but as a registered dietitian, I now look forward to ways I can incorporate soy into meals for my family because I know the benefits like how great soy is for our hearts. Soy provides eight essential amino acids and 25 grams of soy protein per day can actually improve heart health. Want to know more? Check out this incredible Google Hangout recently recorded that will inspire you to start cooking with soy.
If we go out to breakfast after church, and this only happens on occasion, I order only one menu item: Biscuits and Gravy. Why? Well, I love a good Midwestern meal! But I keep it to on occasion because on average an order of restaurant biscuits and gravy can be up to 1500 calories and 100 grams of fat. Whoa. It totally needs a re-do.
Flash back to the soyfoods tour, where I ate at this fabulous restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, called Gateway Market and Café. The chef made a mouth-watering recipe for us: Biscuits and Gravy. Imagine my delight when I learned this! Yet, watching him prepare the meal, there was no addition of sausage or heavy cream to make the sauce, it was textured soy protein in place of the sausage and fat-free milk in place of the heavy cream. With a skeptical hungry eye, I was ready for my first bite.
The smell of fennel and black pepper was reminiscent of my favorite breakfast diner order with a smooth white gravy sauce filled with what looked like sausage covering the top of my golden brown biscuits. To my delight, I took the first bite and found it to be the very best Biscuits and Gravy I had ever tasted. Seriously. I nearly licked my plate clean.
George Formaro, our chef, was so gracious to share the recipe with me. And I want to share it with you. I came home #SoyInspired to make it because it takes me right back to the soybean field.
My favorite soy product has to be Textured Soy Protein (TSP or TVP – Textured Vegetable Protein). I love using it in recipes to stretch my meat a little farther like in chili, as a pizza topping in place of sausage (just use the same recipe to make the “sausage” as in the recipe below), and of course in this delicious recipe. TSP takes on flavors exceptionally well which makes it incredibly versatile in dishes where you would ordinarily use ground beef or pork. One-quarter cup of TSP provides 12 grams protein and 4 grams fiber. Bonus: Eating soy twice a day has been found to lower cholesterol levels. Yippee! It’s great for re-doing recipes like this one.
Textured Soy Protein Biscuits and Gravy
Serving size: ½ cup
Servings per recipe: 6-8
1 cup textured soy protein
1 teaspoon lite soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
3/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups fat-free milk
- In a small bowl, add textured soy protein, soy sauce, fennel, thyme, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, seasoning salt and water. Stir and let rest for 10 minutes.
- In a pan over medium heat, add butter. Once butter is melted, add textured soy protein mixture and sauté until lightly browned. Add flour and stir well.
- Slowly whisk in milk. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes or until beginning to thicken. Serve over buttermilk biscuits if desired.
Worthwhile re-do? Oh yes! Depending on the size of my biscuit, a 2-inch diameter biscuit + ½ cup of this gravy would provide 218 calories and 5 grams of fat. Now that’s a re-do worth doing.
Jen Haugen has been a registered and licensed dietitian for over 12 years across many specialty areas including clinical practice at Mayo Clinic and currently as a supermarket nutritionist at Hy-Vee. Jen also does freelance work through her Down-to-Earth Dietitian website, www.jenhaugen.com. Jen specializes in “Unearthing the journey of food” for moms so they can create nourishing meals for their families. Follow Jen on Twitter and Facebook.