Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chef & Child Recipe Contest Puts New Spin on Versatility of Soyfoods

A Chef and Child Soyfoods Recipe Contest was held at the Iowa Culinary Institute on Friday, at the culmination of a three-day soyfoods culinary tour held in Des Moines, IA August 8 thru 10, 2007. During the three days five chefs, their children (or young family friend) and 10 food editors visited a soybean farm, learned about soy nutrition and the culinary versatility of soyfoods, visited the Iowa State Fair and sampled locally produced soyfoods products from Pulmuone Wildwood, Inc, MicroSoy Corporation and Heartland Fields.

Winning the contest, and a $1,000 scholarship for culinary education, was MacKenzie Smith, age 12, of Las Vegas, Nevada. She competed with her mom, Shannon Kelly Smith, Culinary Educator for Las Vegas High School who received $2,000 for her expertise in helping MacKenzie with her recipe development and demonstration.

"I love to make tacos so it was easy for me to pick my recipe," exclaimed MacKenzie as she began her food demonstration. "They're easy to make and they're good for me and good for the earth because they're made with soybeans."

Smith also made "Guilt-Free Brownies" featuring black soybeans - one of the more creative uses of soyfoods seen during the recipe contest. (Recipes of the winning entrée are below.) Who knew soyfoods, an often-unapproachable food for adults, let alone children, would be the highlight of an event that brought chefs from all parts of the country together for the first Chef and Child Soyfoods Recipe Contest - an event focused on creating healthful, child-friendly soyfoods snacks and entrées.

"We wanted to create a venue where children were the focus," states Linda Funk, Executive Director of The Soyfoods Council. "With childhood obesity concerns looming, and the need to better educate parents and children about soy nutrition and versatility, we thought of no better way than to get children involved- making recipes they could prepare and, of course, love to eat!"

Winning the "Most Child-Friendly Recipe" award was Ruby, age six, and her dad, Chef Andrew Mayne, Executive Chef of Catering at Stanford University. Ruby explained in her food demonstration for a "Tempeh Avocado Sushi Roll with Soy Dipping Sauce," that sushi is her favorite food. When she takes sushi to school, the other children try to steal it because they love it too! Chef Andrew added,

"It's a great way to show kids and parents that healthy food is easy to make and tastes great."

Judges for the contest included Devin Alexander, Host of The Discovery Channel's "Healthy Decadence" and author of Fast Food Fix and The Biggest Loser Cookbook, Chef Robert Anderson, Chair of the Iowa Culinary Institute and Linda Funk, Executive Director of The Soyfoods Council.

Other Chef and Child Soyfoods Recipe Contest Winners Included:
Most Versatile - Executive Chef Ephraim Malag, Tournament Club of Iowa - The Oak View Restaurant and Jordan Franklin (age 13) of Polk City, IA. They prepared a "Lily Gyoza" for their snack and "Smoked Jasmine Pork Appanoose" for their entrée.
Most Creative - Master Chef Marcel Biró, Biró Internationale, LLC of Sheboygan, WI and Destinee Palimore (age 9) of Des Moines, IA. Chef Marcel and Destinee showcased a "Chocolate-Covered 'Soy-Prize'"(edamame, soy nut butter and chocolate fondue) for their snack and "Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps" as their entrée.

Most Surprisingly Healthy - Chef Steve Kapelonis, The PUMP Energy Food Restaurant, and Chrysoula Kapelonis (age 8) New York, NY demonstrated a "Mixed Fruit Topped with Soy Ice Cream and Soy Granola" for their snack and a "Grilled Chicken Soy Caesar Whole Wheat Twist" for their entrée.

Winning Recipes

Double Whammy Taco Wraps

Serves 6

1 12 ounce package soy meatless taco meat
1 15 ounce can black soy beans - rinsed and drained
1 package soy flour tortillas
1 small avocado - skinned, pitted and smashed
1 12 ounce container soy sour cream
1 12 ounce package of soy cheddar cheese alternative
1 large vine ripened tomato - chopped
1 10 ounce package shredded lettuce
1 small bottle of hot sauce - optional

Place the taco meat and beans in a medium size frying pan. Using medium low heat warm the meat mixture.

To assemble the wraps:
· Spread 1 tablespoon of the smashed avocado and 1 tablespoon sour cream on a tortilla.
· Place 1/3 of a cup of the meat mixture onto the avocado and sour cream mix.
· Top with 2 tablespoons of cheese.
· Add the shredded lettuce and tomato.
· Sprinkle on hot sauce if desired.
· Roll up the wrap by folding in the sides and then rolling up the tortilla from the bottom.
· Cut at a diagonal (/).
· Serve immediately.

Guilt-Free Brownies

Serves 16

1 15 ounce can black soy beans - drained and well rinsed
3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup soy flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup soy oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup powdered sugar - optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8" x 8" glass baking pan with cooking spray.
Place beans into a food processor or blender, chop for several seconds. Beans should look coarse not smooth.
Add remaining ingredients to the beans and blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar (optional).
Servings: 16
Serving Size: 2" x 2" squares
Weight, 3 ounces

Optional Ingredients
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
Serving Suggestions:
Serve brownies warm with vanilla soy ice cream

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