Give this versatile plant-based protein a try.

Soy is a great option for anyone looking for vegetarian or dairy-free proteins for recipes. From main dishes to desserts, soy can be worked into many flavorful recipes. It’s a plant-based protein which is neutral in flavor, making it a great option to allow other ingredients to shine through when cooking. As a heart-healthy option, it may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

Soy comes in a wide variety of options including oil, tofu, soy milk, edamame (steamed soybeans in the pod) as well as vegetable protein crumbles. So give these recipes a try sometime — you may be surprised at the flavors soy can bring to the table. Photos and recipes courtesy Missouri Soybean Assocation.

Soy Honey Garlic Wings

(as seen in photo at beginning of this section)

For chicken wings:
3 pounds chicken wings
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
Oil for deep-frying

For sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup water, warm
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Green onion, sliced, or sesame seeds for garnish, if desired

To prepare wings: Pat wings dry with paper towels. Add sesame oil to the wings and coat evenly.

In a medium bowl, combine baking powder, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder. Toss wings in the baking powder mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When ready to cook, allow wings to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before frying. Deep-fry wings at 375 degrees for 9 to 12 minutes or until wings reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

For sauce: While wings are in refrigerator, combine soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, garlic, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl combine water and cornstarch. When cornstarch is fully dissolved add to the saucepan seasonings and mix. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil while whisking regularly. Once the sauce boils, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and transfer sauce to a new container and allow to cool. When ready to serve, toss the wings in the sauce, top with green onion and sesame seeds and serve.

Teriyaki Glazed Burgers

2 pounds ground beef
4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, divided
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices Havarti cheese
8 burger buns, toasted

Mix ground beef, 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, onion powder and garlic powder. Patty eight 4-ounce burgers and set aside. Season burgers with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the patties on the stovetop or grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

On the first flip, baste burgers with the rest of the teriyaki sauce. Flip one more time for 30 seconds to 1 minute until teriyaki sauce is caramelized on the burger.

Remove burgers from the pan and top with cheese. Toast burger buns until golden brown. Top with burger and a slice of cheese, if desired, and serve

Chicken Adobo

For marinade:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white or rice wine vinegar
2 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried bay leaves

For chicken wings:
2 tablespoons soy vegetable oil
4 boneless, chicken thighs, skin removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

For marinade:
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves. Add chicken and marinade in an airtight container and let sit for two hours or overnight.

To prepare chicken:
Heat oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Pat chicken dry, then add chicken to the pan and brown for 4 minutes per side. Be sure to set the marinade aside for later.

Remove browned chicken from the heat and drain any excess liquid. Add minced garlic, sliced onions and more oil, if needed, to the pan and saute until tender.

Remove bay leaves from the marinade and add marinade, water, brown sugar and black pepper to the pan of onions and garlic. Heat mixture until slightly thick.

Add chicken back to the pan and braise until chicken is done, 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Mozzarella Sticks

2 cups soy flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup unflavored soy milk
12 sticks string cheese
Oil for deep-frying

Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder together in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine eggs and soy milk. Dip string cheese into egg mixture. Once coated, dredge cheese stick through flour and set on sheet pan. Repeat for all cheese sticks. Once all sticks are coated place in freezer for 30 minutes.

When ready to prepare, deep-fry at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 minutes per stick.

Shrimp Fried Rice

1 pound medium-large fresh shrimp, cleaned
3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
2 tablespoons soy oil
12-ounce bag mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans and corn)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
4 cups rice, cooked
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

For shrimp: Marinate shrimp in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and soy oil and allow to sit in mixture 1 to 2 hours.

Heat soy oil in large nonstick skillet. Add shrimp to skillet for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

For rice: Add mixed vegetables, garlic cloves and onion to skillet and cook until soft. Move vegetables to side of pan and add rice. Cook rice until pieces get crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring intermittently.

Move rice to side with vegetables; add eggs and scramble until eggs are cooked. Add cooked shrimp, remaining soy sauce and sesame oil, and salt and pepper into the rice and vegetables and mix well. Serve warm.

Blackberry Delight

1 1/2 packages graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup margarine, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 1/2 ounces firm tofu 8 ounces Cool Whip topping
1 quart blackberries
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar

Mix graham cracker crumbs and margarine and press into a 13-inch-by-9-inch pan.

Blend cream cheese and tofu in a blender until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip and set aside.

Cook down blackberries, cornstarch and sugar until thick. Set aside to cool. Fold blackberry mixture into cream cheese mixture and pour over graham cracker crust in pan.

Refrigerate until set. Cut into squares and serve.

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