Spring is upon us and we all know what follows.
Bathing suit season.
Which means, if you are like me, you are looking for ways to cut back a little bit on fat and calories, and increase protein and other healthy ingredients after the winter “slide”. A lot of people think this means giving up their favorite foods, but you don’t have to! In many cases you can simply swap out some of the high calorie ingredients with soy based products for a higher protein, lower fat, lower calorie and lower cholesterol option.
Soy milk is a great alternative to dairy milk offering 7 grams of protein. Soy nuts have 11 grams of protein compared to only 7 grams in peanuts. Steamed edamame is a great alternative to french fried boasting less than half of the calories and less than 1/4 of the fat. Soy crumbles have 1/5th of the fat of 80/20 ground beef.
April is National Soyfoods Month and to help celebrate, I swapped out a couple ingredients in one of my favorite indulgent recipes – Swedish meatballs.
Instead of ground beef and ground pork for the meatballs, I chose to use MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Nuggets and instead of heavy cream I chose Silk Unsweetened Soymilk. Yay for non-GMO options!
Even the dog agreed (see the little brown nose above?) – the recipe turned out delicious!
- 1 Package MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Nuggets
- 2 tbsp butter (or vegetarian butter substitute)
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour (gluten-free preferred but not required)
- 1 cup vegetable (or chicken flavor) broth
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
- ½ cup unsweetened soy milk
- ¾ tsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Parsley (optional)
- Cook Veggie Nuggets according to package instructions.
- While nuggets are cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- When butter is melted, add the flour and whisk for about a minute.
- Pour in chicken broth and whisk until smooth then add in the coconut sugar.
- Turn heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce heat back to medium and cook for 10 minutes until sauce is thickened stirring frequently.
- Add in soy milk, soy sauce and black pepper, raise heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
- Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Sauce should thicken.
- Add Veggie Nuggets to sauce over low heat for a few minutes until warm.
- Garnish with parsley for some added color.
This sauce was delicious and the perfect compliment to the MorningStar Farms nuggets. It thickened up just fine with the soy milk, which honestly kind of surprised me. I thought it would end up being a thinner sauce than I am used to. The nuggets were better than I expected, you could taste the veggies and I like that I could SEE them as well.
This is a great appetizer or snack or even part of a meal. It would go great over some gluten-free egg noodles or wild rice. Or do like I did and enjoy them by themselves!
Soyfoods can be a heart-healthy alternative to certain ingredients in your favorite foods. You don’t have to avoid these indulgent foods you just have to make some creative swaps!
For more information about National Soyfoods Month, the benefits of soy and some great swap ideas visit: www.soyfoodsmonth.org.