Soyfoods Win at the Michigan State Fair
posted on September 21, 2009 7:04am
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The “Healthy Cooking with Soy” recipe contest
made its premiere at the Michigan State Fair this year. The contest
sponsored by the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee required entrants
to get creative with cooking and use soy as the dominant ingredient in
a dish that was then judged on taste, use of soyfoods, creativity and
“Research supports the positive role of soyfoods in the health of everyone, regardless of age or gender,” says Gretchen Hofing, Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) soyfoods health educator and a registered dietitian based in Lenawee County. Soyfoods are a source of high-quality protein, are relatively low in saturated fat, and have been linked to several possible health benefits, including reduced risk of developing heart disease, relief of menopausal symptoms, prevention of some cancers and weight and diabetes management.
“Soyfoods are easily accessible and available as a wide variety of products. It just made sense to sponsor a contest for the public to increase awareness and use of soyfoods,” adds Hofing.
“It was fun to be able to offer a contest with a healthy focus,” said Peter Latouf, community arts coordinator for the Michigan State Fair. “We had a great response and interest in the contest. This was definitely the contest with the most variety in recipe entries,” commented Latouf.
Entries included main entrees, appetizers, desserts and chilis. Many contestants shared that cooking with soyfoods was new to them, but they found it was easy to do and would continue to do so. “Brainstorming for this contest brought to mind all sorts of other ways to use soyfoods,” expressed one contestant who had used texturized soy protein.
Enthusiastic staff, volunteers and fair goers eagerly watched the judges as they progressed through the dishes. As the judges retreated to make their final decisions, the audience asked questions of Hofing. Linda Allen, fine arts coordinator of the Michigan State Fair, shared a song she had drafted to the tune of “Joy to the World”:
Soy for the world
It’s quite de-lish
So let us fill our plates
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
The taste makes it a winner
So let’s all eat some soy
So let’s all cook with soy
So let’s all enjoy the soy
Purchasing and consuming soyfoods is a great way to support your
health and Michigan agriculture. The Michigan Soybean Promotion
Committee represents soybean producers in the state and funds soybean
research and educational efforts. For more information on the Michigan
Soybean Promotion Committee, visit www.michigansoybean.org. For information on MSU Extension nutrition programs, visit www.msue.msu.edu/fcs and click on “Nutrition.”
The first place recipe winner, Liz Strand, beat out her mother and grandmother, with her “Graceland Chocolate Cream Parfaits.” Try this tasty treat for yourself with the recipe below. Look for more soyfoods recipes at www.soyconnection.com.
Graceland Chocolate Cream Parfaits
1 package Silken tofu (12.3 oz)
6 oz bitter-sweet chocolate (chips or coarsely chopped)
1 package vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
? cup plain soymilk
1 large or 2 small bananas, thinly sliced
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
? cup sliced almonds
Additional chocolate curls or pieces for garnish
Blend tofu (preferably at room temperature) in a food processor, blender or hand mixer until smooth. In a double boiler, stirring constantly, melt chocolate with a tablespoon or two of water over low heat. Blend melted chocolate into tofu until fully mixed. Add pudding mix and soymilk; mix for two minutes. Chill for one hour.
Layer mousse, peanut butter, bananas, almonds and chocolate pieces in parfait glasses. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: 4 servings.
Source: “Healthy Cooking with Soy” 2009 Michigan State Fair winning contest entry by Liz Strand of China Twp, Michigan