Grill Talk: Soyfoods With Sizzle
Soyfoods are hot, and you can prove it on your own grill. In fact, now that soyfoods have become mainstream ingredients, more cooks are discovering ways to feature them in appetizers, main courses, side dishes and even desserts made on the grill. Readily available and convenient, soyfoods fit your summer lifestyle.
Soyfoods Offer Sizzle With Simplicity
According to Linda Funk, executive director of The Soyfoods Council, “It’s easy to incorporate soyfoods into everyday grilling experiences.” One of her suggestions is as simple as it is satisfying. “When you put a foil-wrapped vegetable packet on the grill, include edamame.” In addition to young, green soybeans, the vegetable packet you assemble can include slices of onion, zucchini, green pepper, asparagus, green beans or other favorites. Simply brush the vegetables with olive oil, then add a squeeze of lemon juice or a bit of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Other grill cooks prefer to toss the vegetables in a prepared vinaigrette salad dressing before grilling. When the main course is done, so are the vegetables. It’s also easy to incorporate canned soybeans, either black or tan, into your favorite baked bean recipe to serve with foods hot from the grill.
When you add soyfoods to the menu, you’re adding protein without adding cholesterol. You’re also boosting the isoflavones. Studies have shown that the isoflavones in soyfoods can decrease the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. Let’s face it, though: The best reason for including soyfoods such as tofu in your summer menu is that they add great flavor and texture. Whether you’re grilling soyfoods or serving them as an accompaniment, they add a flavorful, nutritious note to the meal.
Home cooks and restaurant chefs alike are attracted to soyfoods because of their versatility. The range of products includes a variety of tofu styles, soy burgers, fresh and frozen edamame, canned soybeans, soy nuts, soy flour and more. Let your own creativity be your guide. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Fruit dip made with silken tofu adds a simple, light note to summer meals. Serve dip on the side to complement grilled fruit such as pineapple (brush it with a mixture of olive oil, honey and lime juice) or peach halves (pitted, peeled and brushed with olive oil). For Lemon Cream Fruit Dip, combine 4 ounces of 1/3 fat cream cheese with a half-cup of soft silken tofu, then blend with a 7-ounce container of marshmallow crème and the zest of one lemon. Another quick idea, made in a blender, is Spiced Fruit Dip. Add 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to 1¼ cups of soft tofu. Serve a dollop of this dip alongside grilled fruit skewers (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes) made with mangos, grapes, and strawberries. You’ll find these and other dip recipes on The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
Soyfood Specialties Create Menu Variety
Tofu is so adaptable that you don’t need to buy extra ingredients or seasonings to incorporate it into your grilled menu. Just add extra-firm tofu cubes to standard recipes for grilled fajitas or kabobs that combine alternating cubes of tofu with chunks of onion, slices of red or green bell pepper, and grape tomatoes.
In the past, American consumers thought of soyfoods such as edamame and tofu as ingredients for Asian specialties. Today, though, more families are discovering delicious new ways to incorporate them into traditional summer meals made on the grill. Elizabeth Karmel, host of the website Girls at the Grill®, provides soyfoods recipes in the brochure “Fire it Up!” If you’re looking for new ideas to round out your grilled food menu, you’ll find everything from vegetables to main courses. Consider Edamame Walnut Salad as a side dish for Crusty Citrus Pork Chops, or Grilled Asparagus Spears with Tofu-Tamari Dressing for a grilled salad specialty.
Soy burgers are great on the grill, but don’t forget that you can also brush extra-firm tofu slices with your favorite barbecue sauce and grill it along with you standard barbecue fare. In “Fire it Up!” you’ll find recommendations for grilling sliced tofu. For a dense, meaty texture, freeze the tofu for a couple of hours, then press it to remove the water. Elizabeth Karmel also shares her creative side dish recipe for Grilled Tofu Fries with Barbecue Dipping Sauce.
Perhaps the most traditional dessert for a grilled meal is S’mores. You can update this classic by serving open-faced s’mores made with cookies in place of graham crackers. Try soy-rich cookie recipes from The Soyfoods Council brochure “Cookies for Any Occasion,” such as Ginger Lime Shortbread, or Toffee Bars that are already topped with
To order your own copy of the grilling brochure “Fire it Up!” or the cookie brochure, “Cookies for Any Occasion,” send an e-mail to The Soyfoods Council at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 866-431-9814. You can also find
these brochure online: www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.