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Make the Switch to a Healthier You

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Soy Sloppy Joes

(Family Features) - Cut back on fatty foods...check. Reduce sodium intake...check. Switch to diet sodas...check. There are a lot of things that get put on the dietary "to-do" list, and most of them involve eliminating what's not good for the body. But what about adding what is good for the body? There are plenty of healthy and delicious foods that need to be added to everyone's diet.

The U.S. 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans follow a healthy meal pattern while staying within their calorie needs. Americans are urged to choose a variety of protein foods including soy products, as well as increase their intake of fortified soy beverages.

"Soyfoods can play a part in any healthy, well-balanced diet because they nourish the body with high-quality protein that's low in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free," said Patricia Greenberg, aka The Fitness Gourmet, who is a Certified Culinary Professional, nutritionist and chef.

"Many people are surprised to find out how many soy products are available," she said. "Besides tofu, you can enjoy soymilk, soy oil for cooking, soy flour for baking, soy nut butter for snacking - and that's just the beginning!"

Soymilk is also an option for children with special dietary needs, such as food allergies and lactose intolerance. Fortified soymilk can supply calcium, vitamin D and a high-quality protein as well as potassium, magnesium, folic acid and iron, all key nutrients of concern for children.

Greenberg says to take steps to a healthier, plant-based diet one at a time, and offers these ideas for making the switch:

Breakfast

  • Dress up high-protein cereal with almonds, dried cherries, and vanilla soymilk.
  • For moist and fluffy muffins, pancakes, and quick breads - use soy yogurt in place of milk.
  • Enjoy a sweet and sustaining breakfast by topping English muffins with soynut butter, bananas, and cinnamon.

Lunch

  • Enhance creamy soups with pureed silken tofu.
  • Liven up soups and salads by adding steamed edamame beans.
  • Go for the veggie burger - and be sure to add all your favorite condiments.

Dinner

  • Create better-for-you quesadillas with grated soy cheddar, tomato, jalapenos, and cilantro.
  • Swap soy crumbles for some (or all) of the ground beef in pasta sauces and chilies.
  • Add sliced vegetarian sausage to Italian-style peppers or jambalaya for a comfort food favorite.

Snack

  • Create homemade trail mix with roasted soy nuts, dried fruits and bite-sized whole grain cereal.
  • Carry soy and fruit bars in your purse or backpack for emergency snack attacks.
  • Refuel fast with a soymilk latte and a banana.

For more ideas and recipes, visit www.soyfoods.org.

Soy Sloppy Joes

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 12-ounce packages soy crumbles
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 whole grain burger buns, split

Preparation
    1. In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and sauté crumbles, onions and peppers, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add ketchup, tomato juice, mustard, salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
    3. Smother a bun half with 1/2 cup of crumble mixture, replace bun top and serve.

Serves
Makes 6 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: This mixture can be made ahead and frozen.

SOURCE: Soyfoods Association of North America



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