scone city

We made our first visit to Great-aunt Helen’s recipe box in January 2015 and it floors me that I continue to find recipes worth getting excited about. Besides the first two boxes,we’ve since added two smaller–and most definitely quirky–books.   … Continue reading

soy snack break

After recouping from last week’s presentation with multiple mugs of hot chocolate, food for fun is ready to hit the blogging circuit again. This week, I offer the six recipes featured last week when presenting a Snack Break at a client’s annual meeting.

Minnesota Soybean has been a long-time partner and my work with them has taught me that soyfoods can be a fun tool in the kitchen. Why not include them in your ingredient palette when you’re thinking through meals, snacks, and even the sweet stuff?

True, some people have allergies to soy and there have also been whispers of soy’s “dark side” in certain media circles. To those with allergies, skip right over these recipes, or try subbing in another type of nut, nut milk, green veg, or flour. And to those who believe soy has that dark side, I’d offer that moderate consumption of soy has yet to show negative effects in any study to date. On the plus side, it’s a strong source of plant protein and fiber and has been proven to reduce high cholesterol levels, possibly prevent against certain hormonal cancers, yadda yadda yadda.

Shopping for and cooking up the snacks for the presentation was loads of fun–as a writer, it’s a treat to move around and create something tangible (and edible!) for a work project. An overestimate of attendees meant there were plenty of leftovers, which I wish I could serve up here. Instead, I’ll post photos and recipes and invite you to try a little soy.

green tea edamame

Green Tea Edamame

  •  1 quart water
  • 4 tea-bags green tea
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen edamame
  • Sea salt to taste

In medium pot, bring water to a boil. Remove pot from heat; add tea bags. Steep 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove and discard tea bags. Return pot to medium heat. Bring tea to a gentle boil. Add edamame. Cook about 7 minutes or until beans are cooked through; drain and discard tea. Sprinkle edamame with salt. Serve immediately. Makes 4 (generous 1-cup) servings.

soy sconesSavory Spring Scones

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough soymilk to measure 1 cup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • Dash cracked black pepper

Heat oven to 500°F. In measuring cup, combine vinegar and soymilk; let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in soured soymilk until dough forms. Stir in onions and pepper.

Turn dough out onto well-floured surface; knead dough gently 8 to 10 times, sprinkling with flour as needed. Pat dough into 8-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut circle into 8 pie-shape wedges, pressing down with knife without sawing. Sprinkle baking sheet with flour. Gently transfer wedges to baking sheet.

Reduce oven to 450°F. Bake scones 20 minutes or just until golden. Makes 8 scones.

tofu saladEgg & Tofu Salad

  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives
  • 4 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) package water-packed soft tofu, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, and chives until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; stir gently to coat. Adjust seasoning to taste. Makes 4 cups.

Edamame-Chile Hummus

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen edamame, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each seeded diced red and green jalapeño chiles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In food processor, combine all ingredients; cover. Process until blended, but still slightly chunky. Adjust seasoning as desired. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

pumpkin granolaPumpkin Soynut Granola

Love pumpkin? Go ahead and double the pumpkin puree.

  • 3 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup roasted soynuts (can use Cinnamon-Roasted Soynuts, recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Heat oven to 325ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, toss together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.

In small bowl, stir together maple syrup, pumpkin puree, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir into oat mixture until coated. Stir in cranberries, soynuts, and pumpkin seeds.

Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before storing in covered container. Makes 5 cups.

1386593552042Cinnamon-Roasted Soynuts

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups soynuts
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 300°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

In medium bowl, beat egg white just until frothy; beat in vanilla. Fold in soynuts. Stir in brown and granulated sugars and cinnamon.

Spread soynuts evenly on baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until just lightly browned. Cool slightly, breaking up any clumps before serving. Makes about 2 cups.

All together now:

tofu, edamame, soynuts, oh my!

tofu, edamame, soynuts, oh my!

scones with soy and the one with all the links

Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw, vegetarian–while I’ve found truly spectacular recipes in all of these categories on other blogs, foodforfun has never gone down these roads. Sure, I’ve whipped up a kale shake (need a better recipe as I could barely choke it down), stirred beets into my brownies,  and even gone the distance by whipping up an amazingly addictive batch of Scarlet Rosita’s Utterly Delicious Date Slices. But most often, foodforfun brings you recipes containing gluten, dairy, animal products, and even alcohol. That said, I’m a huge fan of vegetables and healthy eating–when not enjoying ice cream, cake, marshmallows, and the like–and occasionally post downright healthy fare.

Today I feature a somewhat controversial health food, though one I’ve long enjoyed. My role as sometimes-spokesperson and  longtime food consultant for Minnesota Soybean has given me great opportunity to hear experts speak and keep up with the latest research on soyfoods and their effect on health. It was my conclusion in the beginning and still is nearly 15 years later that soyfoods, when consumed as whole foods and in moderation, can be a good addition to a healthy diet. (Excepting folks with soy allergies and thyroid issues.)

As blogger for Minnesota Soybean’s The Real Story, I have the opportunity to play with soyfoods as I develop recipes for monthly posts. I’ve pureed silken tofu into pudding, crumbled firm tofu into “egg” salad, baked banana bread with soynuts, made ice cream with edamame. The latest recipe took inspiration from green onions as I was anxious to cook with one of the first spring veggies to come into season. (True, green onions are available year-round, but Minnesotans–tiring of snow–celebrate the green onions, asparagus, and rhubarb that first peek through the ground in April.) Stirring sliced green onions into a scone dough that contained soy flour and soymilk resulted in a winning recipe that featured two soyfoods. Even better, plain soymilk and vinegar are mixed and used in place of buttermilk, highlighting soymilk’s versatility and ability to sub in for dairy milk in nearly any form. (One exception: Instant pudding mixes take twice the amount of soymilk than they would dairy milk per package instructions.)

You can read my Real Story blog post here, though you’ll find the recipe below as well. These savory scones are elegant enough to be passed in a bread basket when company comes and comforting and homespun enough to make a satisfying snack when solo. They accompany soups, salads, cheese, fruit, and anything else you think to serve them with. Gluten- and dairy- and animal product-free they are not, but these soy scones offer heart-healthy protein and antioxidants as well as great texture and taste.

But before we get to the food, I have one more link to add to the alarmingly long list already shared. A few days back, I hung out over at Blog of Funny Names for another funny names in food post and would love it if you’d click over for a read. You’ll be sweetly rewarded as it’s all about a man who rocked the chocolate world!

Back to those scones…

doubling down on the soy with pretty spring scones

doubling down on the soy with pretty spring scones

Savory Spring Scones

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar plus enough soymilk to measure 1 cup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • Dash cracked black pepper

Heat oven to 500°F. In measuring cup, combine vinegar and soymilk; let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in soured soymilk until dough forms. Stir in onions and pepper.

Turn dough out onto well-floured surface; knead dough gently 8 to 10 times, sprinkling with flour as needed. Pat dough into 8-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut circle into 8 pie-shape wedges, pressing down with knife without sawing. Sprinkle baking sheet with flour. Gently transfer wedges to baking sheet.

Reduce oven to 450°F. Bake scones 20 minutes or just until golden. Makes 8 scones.

bacon, pumpkin, scones

Working with recipes–whether in cookbooks or on websites–means inspiration is never far away. A recent find was on Hormel’s website. I’d passed over this scone recipe a few times before realizing that it was something I needed to make. And tonight was its night.

My supper menu included leftover chili–tasty, but borderline ho-hum. Pumpkin-bacon (!) scones (originally Bacon Squash Scones) seemed just the thing to make leftovers more exciting. I had just cooked up a batch of pumpkin, so was happy to sub that in for the squash. As well, I cooked up my own bacon instead of using the bits. (Six strips, weighing about 7 ounces total before frying, made just enough for this recipe. The half-cup crumbled bacon weighed just shy of 2 ounces.) I also skipped the maple-powdered sugar glaze as I wanted more savory, less sweet. Instead, I brushed the dough with a bit of buttermilk just before baking. Then, halfway through baking, the scone tops were brushed with maple syrup for a touch of sweetness and extra browning. And instead of spacing the scones 1 inch apart on a baking sheet, I shaped the dough into an 8- or so inch round and cut it, without going all the way through, into eight wedges. They were easy enough to cut through once baked.

The scones were amazing. They worked as a savory side, but I’d take one for dessert, too. (I did, in fact.) They’d make a perfect breakfast or anytime snack as well. Adding a handful of shredded Cheddar cheese and/or a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives to the dough would push them firmly into the savory category; a sprinkle of cinnamon would make them sweet. Amazing, versatile, AND they contain bacon. Triple threat scones for sure.

golden pumpkin-bacon scones