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Amazing Soy

May 9, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

It's Good for your heart, and great for the Nine Days.

The F.D.A. has announced that foods containing soy protein may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. That alone is a good reason to eat soy products.

Each year in Israel there is a food and equipment show at the Tel Aviv fairgrounds. It is quite difficult to get tickets. It's a lot of fun and you get to see and taste what's new in the food business.

One year I went to the fair and I saw a very interesting product from the U.S. under the name of Midland Harvest. They make a variety of soy products. [Some very nice people in Kfar Saba import them to Israel: Isramarket Direct Ltd., telephone (09) 767-8522.]

The products imported to Israel are called "Just Like Chicken," "Just Like Beef," "Just Like Ground Beef," "Just Like Liver," and vegetable burgers. The samples were delicious. The dishes Szechwan chicken, Jerusalem mixed grill, and goulash looked and tasted like the real thing. Everyone was tasting and enjoying.

I use these products quite often. The vegetarians refuse to eat it until they're told it's really not meat. Every time I serve it, even the meat eaters ask if it was meat. I add the vegetable burger mixture to my lasagna. I serve cheese when I serve Parve [non-dairy, non-meat] hot dogs laden with Parve chili and fresh cut onions. Pitas and humus are brought out when I serve Parve Jerusalem mixed grill along with the freedom fries.

It's a lot of fun and you can have milk in your coffee when you finish. And it's perfect for the period called the Nine Days, when we take on extra customs of mourning and refrain from eating meat during the week as we approach Tisha B'Av.

Here are three great recipes. Other soy products can be used, but Midland Harvest seems to have the best texture and appearance in the finished product.

* * *

Jerusalem Mixed Grill "Machaneh Yehudah"

(Smaller recipes found on packages, or simply reduce this recipe.)

100 gr. Just Like Beef
100 gr. Just Like Chicken
100 gr. Just Like Ground Beefs
1 tsp. crushed garlic
5 onions
1 tsp. shwarma seasoning
1 tsp. Parve chicken soup mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil

Soak soy products in 80º C water for 20 minutes. Cut onions in fine rings. Fry the onions in oil until golden, add garlic. Add three types of soy, stir. Add seasonings and water, stir 3 minutes, taste, adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

Makes 10 servings.

* * *

Just Like Chicken Sezchuan Style

300 gr. Just Like Chicken
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
1 tsp. garlic
2 onions
1/4 cup oil


1 can pineapple chunks
1 1/4 cup juice of pineapple
2 tsps. corn flour
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup ketchup
1/2 tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
hot pepper sauce according to taste
1/2 tsp. Parve chicken soup mix

Soak Just Like Chicken in 80º C water 20 minutes. Cut peppers and onions to medium size cubes. Stir-fry Just Like Chicken in hot oil 1-½ minutes. Add vegetables, stir-fry 3 minutes more.

Mix all ingredients of the sauce in one bowl. Add it to the soy mixture, stir a few minutes and serve hot.

Makes 10 servings.

* * *

"Fried" Meatballs

1 kilo vegetable burger mix
2 liters cold water
3 onions
oil for frying
shwarma seasoning according to taste
1 tsp. white pepper
parsley or coriander to taste
1 tsp. crushed garlic
2 tsps. soup mix

Mix the vegetable burger with cold water. Chop the onion and fry until golden, drain and cool. Mix the vegetable burger with onions, add the seasonings.

Heat oil for frying in a pot. Roll the mixture into balls. Place carefully into oil. After 2-3 minutes, turn over. Be careful the oil is not too hot. Drain and serve hot on rice or in a sauce.

Makes 30 servings.

Enjoy! And remember: Any questions or good recipes, write me at:

-- Chef Herschel



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