New Soy Cookbook and CD Present Recipes for Foodservice Industry
March 8, 2007
  • /Agricultural and Consumer Economics
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URBANA--An emphasis on healthful foods in schools and institutional settings has brought increased attention to soy ingredients. A new cookbook entitled Soy on the Menu: Recipes for Food Service presents the many ways that soy can be used as a healthy and delicious ingredient in recipes designed for the foodservice industry.

This is the latest cookbook published by the Illinois Center for Soy Foods at the University of Illinois. The recipes were developed and extensively tested by Research Dietitian Cheryl Sullivan and Project Coordinator Marilyn Nash. Funding for publication was provided by the Illinois Soybean Association.

Consumers and foodservice managers tasted and provided comments on the recipes. Students in the Hospitality Management program in the Department of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition at the U of I prepared and tested some products in Bevier Cafe.

The recipes in this illustrated, full-color publication and on the available CD are specifically designed for making 24 or more servings and are written for the quantity foods kitchen. The book contains a wide range of gourmet items from breakfast dishes and appetizers to main dishes and desserts.

"Health-conscious consumers are eager to find foods away from home that will not only be delicious but will meet their dietary needs as well," said Barbara Klein, editor of the book and co-director of the Center. "This cookbook will allow foodservice operations to take advantage of this trend by including a variety of tasty soy foods on their daily menus."

Klein points out that the increasing demand for vegetarian offerings from teenagers and young adults has caused many university dining halls across the country to offer a variety of soy foods.

"As American palates are becoming more familiar with a wide array of foods, there is good reason to incorporate soy into regular offerings," Klein said. "Popular dining options for colleges include soy milk, main dishes made with tofu, edamame or fresh green soybeans in the salad bar, and soy nut butter and soy cheese at lunch."

She notes that many more soy products and serving ideas are available today than just a few years age.

"Some recipes in the book directly highlight traditional soy foods, such as tofu, while others incorporate soy in an almost unnoticeable fashion," Klein says. “Either way, soy foods can help improve the nutrient profile of the dishes provided by the foodservice industry."

Several studies have clearly demonstrated the acceptability of soy dishes in a foodservice setting.

"Researchers at Southern Illinois University conducted a study with preschoolers to compare soy and traditional foods and found that institutional vendors could substitute soy without sacrificing taste or nutrient value," Klein said. "At the University of Illinois, another study with grade-school children demonstrated that soy foods can be low in fat and calories and just as acceptable as their traditional counterparts."

Klein notes that this latest cookbook fits in well with the goal of the Illinois Center for Soy Foods, which is to encourage consumers in the U.S. to eat more healthy products made from soy.

“With this cookbook, we hope to inspire a broader range of people to use and enjoy soy products in many different ways,” Klein said. “We show how the foodservice industry can provide the many health benefits of soy to consumers while allowing them to enjoy wonderful tastes and textures in foods enhanced by soy."

She points out that adding soy to the diet also represents an easy way to gain the many health benefits from soy protein. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a health claim for soy foods that acknowledges the connection between consuming soy and decreasing the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

“Eating soy foods as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as certain cancers, according to many research studies,” Klein said.

Nutritional information, including calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein counts, is provided for each recipe. The book also contains helpful information on buying, storing, and efficiently using soy products.

Soy on the Menu: Recipes for Food Service is available in a CD format at no cost except for a $3 shipping and handling charge by calling (217)244-1706. Additional information is also available on the Internet at