Soy Diet: Painless Ways to Add Soy to Your Diet (cont.)

Now that we've checked out what's new in the world of soy, here are a couple of main-dish salad recipes using some of these products. Either makes a great warm-weather meal for vegetarians or anyone who wants to start reaping the health benefits of soy.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Journal as: 3/4 cup "starches and legumes without added fat" + 1/2 cup vegetables without added fat + 1 serving tofu without added fat.

This is a wonderful main dish pasta salad to serve on those hot summer nights!

4 cups dry, thin penne pasta (choose whole wheat pasta if you prefer)
12 ounces frozen sugar snap peas (if using fresh, trim ends and stems)
3 links Tofurky Sweet Italian Soy Sausage by Turtle Island Foods (or 11 ounces similar sausage)
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes (if packed in oil, drain; if dry, soak in warm water, then drain)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic
1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half (or substitute soy milk)
2 tablespoons bottled marinara or tomato sauce
2 tablespoon nonfat sour cream (or use soy alternative sour cream)
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)

  • Bring 5 quarts of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in large saucepan. Pour in pasta. Stirring occasionally, cook about 12 minutes. Pour in sugar snap peas and continue to boil 1 to 2 minutes (noodles should just be tender). Drain noodles well and place in large serving bowl.
  • While noodles are boiling, brown thinly sliced or coarsely chopped soy sausage in large nonstick frying pan coated with canola cooking spray. Let cool. Once cool; add to pasta in serving bowl. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Place remaining ingredients in small food processor, or use a medium-sized bowl and a wire whisk. Puree briefly just to blend. Pour dressing over noodle mixture and stir to blend. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt if desired. Refrigerate until needed.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 380 calories, 19 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 10.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat information not available for the sausage), 0.3 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 280 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25%.

Soy Best Taco Salad

Journal as: 1 veggie patty without added fat + 1 cup vegetables without added fat + 1 serving (1/4 cup) starch without added fat + 1 serving (1/2 cup) soy yogurt unsweetened.

You decide whether you want to use soy cheddar cheese and soy sour cream or the dairy versions of these products.

12 ounce package Smart Ground Taco/Burrito (Veggie Protein Crumbles) by LightLife
1 1/2 cups shredded soy cheddar cheese (i.e. Veggie Shreds Cheddar Flavor by Galaxy) or reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (about 6 cups)
3 tomatoes, diced
1 small sweet or mild onion, chopped
15-ounce can lower sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Sliced black olives (optional)
5 ounces reduced-fat tortilla chips or baked tortilla chips (crumbled lightly with hands)

1/2 cup fat-free or light sour cream (or substitute soy sour cream)
1/2 cup mild salsa

  • Brown the veggie protein crumbles until nicely browned in a large nonstick skillet. Let cool.
  • In a large bowl, toss the soy crumbles with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and beans. Add sliced olives if desired.
  • In small bowl, blend dressing ingredients well. Add the crumbled chips and dressing to the rest of the salad ingredients right before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 376 calories, 25 g protein, 50 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 3.6 g monounsaturated, 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 12.5 g fiber, 800 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17%.

SOURCES: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2004. Journal of Nutrition, January 2004. Journal of Nutrition. American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2004.

Originally published April 16, 2004
Medically updated April 14, 2005

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