Soy, The Other Protein

Soy beans are good source of complete protein.  A complete protein contains all of the eight essential amino acids that our bodies need, but do not manufacture.  Soy protein contains no cholesterol, which comes from animal products such as meat and dairy. Soybeans also are an excellent source of calcium.  One cup of cooked soybeans contains 12 percent of the recommended daily allowance of adult calcium.

Soybeans contain a significant amount of isoflavones which, some studies show, replace estrogen loss during menopause.  It is important to know that in Asia, where tofu is major part of the diet, women rarely experience hot flashes during menopause.

Soy also is thought to help prevent both breast and prostate cancer.

To get all the benefits of soy, one must make it a part of one’s daily diet.  It does no good to eat soy products only occasionally.  And the soybean is so versatile that it can be incorporated into almost any recipe, providing us with all of its health benefits without compromising the taste of the original recipe.  For example, soy milk can be used in cafe latte and creme brulee . Tofu can be used to make pesto and smoothies.  Soy protein can be used in the place of ground beef.

A word of advice that springs from experience: Don’t tell anyone that you have ingredients in your recipe derived from soy until they finish and rave about the food.

Angel Hair Pasta Mold with Tofu Pesto

Serves 6-8

12      ounces lite tofu

5        cloves garlic

1/2   cup Parmesan cheese

1/2   cup chopped fresh basil

1/4   cup olive oil

1        pound angel hair pasta

salt and pepper to taste

-In a food processor, puree tofu, garlic, basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and the seasoning. to a smooth paste.

-In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al-dente. Drain the pasta and while it is still hot add the tofu pesto and mix well until all pasta is coated with the tofu paste.

-Spray a bundt cake pan with olive oil spray.  Stuff the cake pan with the pasta.  Press the pasta firmly in the cake pan.

-Bake in a 375 F. degree oven for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven.

-Place shallow serving platter on top of the cake pan and turn-in upside down to un-mold the pasta.  Wait a couple minutes, and then remove the pan.

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