Ankeny, Iowa, April 22, 2019 — May is National Salad Month, but salad season extends into late spring, full summer and the fall harvest season. When you’re entertaining, you know it’s likely you’ll be preparing food for omnivores as well as flexitarians (those who gravitate to vegetarian diets but occasionally eat fish or meat). To make your life easier, remember that soy ingredients—versatile plant proteins with healthy fats and no cholesterol—provide something for everybody. This salad season, the Soyfoods Council offers a selection of crowd-pleasing ideas. Protein-rich ingredients such as tofu and tempeh can be combined with meats, seafood or chicken, while edamame can add fresh, colorful protein to seasonal salads.
To make salads with wide appeal, start with soyfood-based ideas that can be customized. Depending on preferences, you can add meat, seafood or dairy ingredients to the basic salad. Here are some examples that will appeal to flexitarians and omnivores alike.
1. Edamame and Walnut Salad is a colorful plant protein combination that pairs well with grilled pork or beef. Salad ingredients include shelled cooked edamame, toasted walnut halves, and peeled, sectioned oranges. The dressing combines Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of brown sugar and black pepper.
2. Edamame Salad with Tofu Croutons and Raspberry Vinaigrette is an excellent base for salads with chicken. For those who choose to stick with plant protein, this salad offers a double-whammy of soy protein, along with soybean oil—another heart healthy ingredient—in the dressing. In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally recognized the cholesterol-lowering properties of soybean oil.
To make tofu croutons you’ll need cubes of water-packed extra-firm tofu, soy sauce, water, and 2 Tablespoons of ranch dressing seasoning mix. The croutons are first marinated in the seasonings, then dipped in soybean oil and tossed with cornstarch before frying. You can make them in an air fryer without having to add additional oil. Tofu croutons can also dress up Caesar Salads.
3. Creamy Miso Slaw with Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna is a blend of Asian flavors. Soyfoods meet seafood in this salad that’s bursting with cruciferous vegetables. Enjoy the slaw alone, or add ahi tuna (or grilled shrimp) to appeal to seafood-lovers. The slaw combines red cabbage and Napa cabbage, along with scallions, red pepper, cilantro and shredded carrots. Make the dressing in a blender, with white miso, silken tofu, ponzu sauce, garlic, chili paste, water, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger.
May is also National Barbecue Month—the ideal opportunity for exploring the flavor and texture of tempeh, combined with spring greens and salad dressings that incorporate barbecue sauce. Barbecue-marinated tempeh (fermented soybean cake) adds a nutty flavor to salads. Tempeh can be grilled, fried or sautéed. One serving offers approximately grams of protein and 7 grams of dietary fiber.
For complete salad recipes, easy salad dressing ideas, and cooking tips for soyfoods, visit The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.