• Soyfoodscouncil

Tostadas of Ancho Spiced Potatoes, Warm Corn Salsa, Fresh Goat Cheese and Tofu Jerky

Ancho Potatoes Ingredients 2 ea Dried ancho chilies

2.1/4# Burbank Russet potatoes

12oz Milk

4oz Plugra butter

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp White pepper, ground

Corn Salsa Ingredients 1c Allens Whole kernel Corn

4 tbsp Olive oil

1 clove Peeled garlic, minced

1 ea Jalapeno pepper

1 tbsp Red onion, minced

2 tbsp Cilantro, washed and rough chopped

1 ea Lime, juiced

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp Black pepper, ground

1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, ground

1 tsp Cumin, toasted and ground

1 tsp Ancho chili powder

Tofu Jerky Ingredients 1/2# Wildwood High protein Super Firm Tofu

1 c Soy sauce

1/2 c Maple syrup

1 tbspWorcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Ancho chili powder

1 tsp Black pepper, ground

As needed Low-Linolic Acid Soybean Oil for frying

Tostatdas Ingredients 1/2 ea Poblano pepper

1/2 ea Red bell pepper1c Olive oil

3 ea 12” flour tortillas4.5oz Fresh goat cheese

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp Black pepper, ground

Ancho Potatoes Instructions Place peppers in a small sauce pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and remove stems and seeds. Place the peppers into a food processor and puree smooth, using the reserved liquid to thin as needed. Hold warm. Combine milk and butter in a pot, and warm on the stove until the butter is melted. Peel and dice the potatoes. Place them into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain, and return to the heat to dry the liquid off of them. Puree through a food mill and gradually add the cream mixture until a smooth consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Fold in the ancho puree and adjust seasoning if needed. Hold warm.

Corn Salsa Instructions Preheat an oven to 300 degrees

Drain corn well and toss with the 2tbsp’s of the oil. Spread out on a sheet pan and place in the oven, cooking approximately 18 minutes, or until the corn has dried a bit, and started to brown slightly. Remove and chill.

Cut the stems and seeds from the jalapenos and dice them small.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2tbsp’s of oil. Add the garlic, jalapenos and red onion and sauté to aroma, add the corn and sauté to heat. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin and ancho powder.Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Toss in the cilantro and lime juice and adjust seasoning. Hold chilled.

Tofu Jerky Instructions Preheat an oven to 275 degrees. Press tofu by placing it between two pans and pressing it with a weight for 30 minutes to remove excess liquid. Remove and pat dry. Slice tofu approximately ¼ inch thick and marinate slices in ½ cup of the soy sauce for 10 minutes. Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a small pot. While the tofu marinates, mix the rest of the soy sauce, the syrup, Worcestershire sauce, ancho powder and pepper in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer on the stove. Simmer 20 minutes until slightly thick. Fry the tofu slices in the oil a few at a time, cooking until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.Slice the tofu into julienne strips ¼ inch wide. Place these in a bowl, and add the hot soy marinade, tossing the tofu to coat and allowing it to stand in the liquid 2 minute. Drain the tofu and spread out on a lightly oiled, parchment lined sheet pan to make a single layer. Place this in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the tofu has absorbed most of the liquid and turned a rich dark brown. Remove from the oven and chill.

Tostatdas Instructions Preheat an oven to 335 degrees. Remove the seeds and core from the peppers and cut into thin julienne strips 2” long In a sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp of the oil, and sauté the pepper strips until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Using a 2 1/2” pastry cutter cut 24 rounds from the tortillas. Brush each side of the tortillas with the remaining oil and arrange on a parchment lined sheet pan. Top each tortilla round with a thin layer of the ancho potato mixture, then some of the corn salsa, a few strips of the poblano and red bell peppers and a couple of pieces of the tofu bacon. Wrap the pan tightly, and refrigerate until needed.

For service, remove the wrap from the pan and place the tostadas in the oven for 9 minutes, or until heated through. Remove, and using two small spoons, or a small scoop, divide the goat cheese amongst them, placing a dollop on top of each one. Serve immediately or hold in a 145 degree hot box.

Notes Ancho Potatoes: Yeild 24; Portion 1.6oz

Corn Salsa: Yield 24; Portion .5oz

Tofu Jerky: Yield 24; Portion .4oz

Tostatda: Yield 24; Portion 2.5oz

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On World Health Day, Take a Closer Look at Reasons to Add Soyfoods to Your Diet

By Mark Messina

World Health Day 2021—sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 7 each year—highlights WHO’s commitment to building a fairer, healthier world. Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity and has exposed health inequities. 

A healthy diet is essential for good health. Widely available and affordable soyfoods fit in with the goals of making healthier lifestyles possible for a greater number of people. Soybeans provide excellent quality protein. In addition, compared to other beans, soybeans offer low carbohydrate content, provide beneficial unsaturated fat, and consuming soyfoods may contribute to the reduced risk of several chronic diseases.

Traditional Asian soyfoods have been consumed for centuries and have become quite popular in Western countries over the past several decades as increasing numbers of people adopt diets that are more plant-based.  But so much has been written about soy over the past many years, it is easy to be confused about just why nutritionists recommend adding it to your diet.

Soy is a legume or, to use more common nomenclature, a bean. Beans are a vastly underutilized source of protein in many parts of the world including the United States.1  The soybean does differ from other beans like pinto beans and black beans, however. Most beans are comprised primarily of carbohydrate; not so for soybeans, as they are low in this macronutrient.2,3 

The low carbohydrate content of soybeans and soyfoods like tofu make them a good addition to the diet of people with diabetes who are restricting their carbohydrate intake.4 Furthermore, much of the carbohydrate in soybeans is comprised of sugars called oligosaccharides. These sugars increase the number of health-promoting bacteria in the intestine.5

In contrast to carbohydrate, soybeans are higher in fat than other beans. The fat in soybeans is mostly unsaturated, the type of fat that lowers blood cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends soyfoods for the heart-healthy fat they provide.6 

Soybeans are also higher in protein, but more importantly, the quality of soy protein is superior to the quality of all other plant proteins and similar to the quality of animal protein.7 That is one reason that foods like tofu, soymilk, and edamame (green soybeans) are so prized by vegetarians. The quality of a protein is determined by how well the protein is digested into its constituent amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and how well the pattern of amino acids in a protein matches our biological requirement for those amino acids. 


Recent research shows that soy protein promotes gains in muscle mass and strength to the same extent as animal protein in individuals engaged in resistance exercise training.8

While the protein, fat and carbohydrate content of soybeans is reason enough to add soy to your diet, there is an even more intriguing reason. An impressive body of research suggests that consuming soyfoods reduces the risk of several chronic diseases. For example, soy may reduce risk of heart disease, not only because of the healthy fat it provides, but because soy protein directly lowers blood cholesterol levels.9


The US Food and Drug Administration formally recognized the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein more than 20 years.10 

While the heart benefits of soy have attracted attention, those benefits pale in comparison to the interest in the role of soy in reducing risk of developing breast cancer.  Although there may be many reasons for the historically low incidence rates of breast cancer in Asia, much research points to soy being one of those reasons, especially if it is consumed during childhood and/or during the teenage years.11,12 And the reason that soyfoods may be protective against breast cancer is because they are uniquely rich sources of isoflavones.

Isoflavones are often referred to as phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. These compounds share some of the same properties as the hormone estrogen, but also differ from estrogen in multiple ways. Isoflavones have been shown to alleviate hot flashes in menopausal women.13 For those women who have bothersome hot flashes but do not want to use hormone therapy, isoflavones are a good choice. Evidence suggests about two servings of traditional soyfoods daily is sufficient to reduce hot flashes by at least 50 percent.

The isoflavones in soybeans are also the reason that soy may help to prevent cognitive impairment14 and bone loss15 that occurs with aging. Like the case for hot flashes, two servings of traditional soyfoods appear to be sufficient to derive these proposed benefits.

Finally, some of the confusion about soyfoods is because despite their many desirable nutritional attributes, some reports, mostly based on research in animals, suggest that in some people, soy could have harmful effects. 


However, a just-published comprehensive technical review to evaluate these concerns, that included hundreds of studies and was written by 10 leading experts, should give considerable comfort to anyone questioning the safety of soy. Apart from soy allergy, which is relatively uncommon, this team of experts concluded there was no substantial evidence indicating soyfoods exert harmful effects in anyone.16

Fortunately, the vast array of soyfoods, from the traditional soyfoods to the modern soyfoods like soy burgers and soy yogurt, make adding soyfoods to the diet easier than ever.




Meta Description: On World Health Day, the Soyfoods Council shares information about soyfoods contributing to healthier lifestyles.


1. Semba RD, Ramsing R, Rahman N, et al. Legumes as a sustainable source of protein in human diets. Global Food Security. 2021;28:100520.

2. Messina MJ. Legumes and soybeans: overview of their nutritional profiles and health effects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70:439S-50S.

3. Messina V. Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1:437S-42S.

4. Feinman RD, Pogozelski WK, Astrup A, et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: critical review and evidence base. Nutrition. 2015;31:1-13.

5. Hata Y, Yamamoto M, Nakajima K. Effects of soybean oligosaccharides on human digestive organs: estimate of fifty percent effective dose and maximum non-effective dose based on diarrhea. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition. 1991;10:135-44.

6. Sacks FM, Lichtenstein A, Van Horn L, et al. Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health: an American Heart Association Science Advisory for professionals from the Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 2006;113:1034-44.

7. Hughes GJ, Ryan DJ, Mukherjea R, et al. Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid scores (PDCAAS) for soy protein isolates and concentrate: Criteria for evaluation. J Agric Food Chemistry. 2011;59:12707-12.

8. Messina M, Lynch H, Dickinson JM, et al. No difference between the effects of supplementing with soy protein versus animal protein on gains in muscle mass and strength in response to resistance exercise. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism. 2018;28:674-85.

9. Blanco Mejia S, Messina M, Li SS, et al. A meta-analysis of 46 studies identified by the FDA demonstrates that soy protein decreases circulating LDL and total cholesterol concentrations in adults. J Nutr. 2019;149:968-81.

10. Food labeling: health claims; soy protein and coronary heart disease. Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule. Fed Regist. 1999;64:57700-33.

11. Messina M, Hilakivi-Clarke L. Early intake appears to be the key to the proposed protective effects of soy intake against breast cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61:792-8.

12. Messina M, Wu AH. Perspectives on the soy-breast cancer relation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1673S-9S.

13. Taku K, Melby MK, Kronenberg F, et al. Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause. 2012;19:776-90.

14. Cui C, Birru RL, Snitz BE, et al. Effects of soy isoflavones on cognitive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Rev. 2020;78:134-44.

15. Sansai K, Na Takuathung M, Khatsri R, et al. Effects of isoflavone interventions on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Osteoporos Int. 2020;31:1853-64.

16. Messina M, Mejia SB, Cassidy A, et al. Neither soyfoods nor isoflavones warrant classification as endocrine disruptors: a technical review of the observational and clinical data. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2021:1-57.

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