Tuesday, January 8, 2008
ABOUT SOY CURLS™ AND COOKING WITH FRESH PINEAPPLE
Last night I felt like having a light, Asian-style noodle dish, and I had a few ingredients that needed using-up-- namely, some sliced chard, what was left of a fresh pineapple, and two portobello mushrooms that wouldn't last too much longer. I also wanted something high in fiber and low in fat. Fresh Pineapple-Noodle Stir-Fry is what I came up with and it was delicious! UPDATE: The recipe is in my book World Vegan Feast.
To tell you the truth, I haven't used fresh pineapple that often before, but now we can get fresh organic pineapples for a decent price, so I've been buying one now and then. I'm experimenting with some fresh pineapple recipes for my (update: now defunct) quarterly newsletter, the Vegan Feast, which is why I had some left over. Even though fresh pineapple can be very sweet, it also has a tartness that canned unsweetened pineapple doesn't have, making it a great addition to a savory dish such as the one below.
For the protein component in this dish, I used Soy Curls™, which I reconstitute in hot chicken-style veggie broth (I use equal measures dry Soy Curls™ and broth). However, in this dish you could use strips of any chicken-style vegan meat analog, including seitan; or Yves, MorningstarFarms, LightLife, or President's Choice stir-fry style "chicken" strips; or grilled or fried tempeh strips; or strips of baked seasoned tofu.
What are these Soy Curls™ I keep mentioning and why do I like them so much? (PS: I do not get a commission for this endorsement, nor do I sell them!)
They are somewhat like dried textured soy protein, but superior in texture and also less processed. They are made only from WHOLE (non-GMO) soybeans, so they contain all the fiber and natural oil, and have no additives or preservatives. (For this reason, I freeze them, even though they are a dried product, to prevent rancidity.)
Organic Kingdom, an online food store from Burlington, VT, describes them like this:
"Soy Curls are a delicious natural, delicately textured product made from 100% whole soybeans. The exquisite flavor results from a special process of lightly cooking, and texturing. Soy Curls contain the natural goodness of the soybean including all essential amino acids. Soy Curls are high in fiber, easy to prepare, no cholesterol and contain the whole bean. Non GMO, grown without chemical pesticides."
When reconstituted in hot broth (which takes only 5 minutes or so), the strips are like tender chicken (though you could flavor them differently). (I usually reconstituted more than I am using at that particular time and freeze the remaining for really quick meals.) They are very versatile and wonderful for stir-fries, casseroles, etc.. You will see a number of recipes I have developed for them on this blog (Update: and in my book, World Vegan Feast).
Because I have to order them by mail, I buy them in bulk, in a 12 lb. box, which I usually split with a friend.
I only have to order them 2 or 3 times a year. You can find out where to buy them online and in Canada,the USA, the Caribbean, and in Europe on this page. amazon.com carries them in a variety of sizes and bags, and even the "crumbs, which can be used like TVP granules (here's a recipe using them), or you can order them right from Butler Foods. Most Seventh Day Adventist stores sell them in bulk.
HERE ARE THE SOY CURL RECIPES ON THIS BLOG:
Fresh Pineapple-Noodle Stir-Fry-- UPDATE: The recipe is in my book World Vegan Feast