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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pulled Chick-un

6 8 oz. Soy Curls
I always say I'm a carb-a-holic, but the truth is, I am also a protein-a-holic...actually, I'm a fruit and vegetable-a-holic too...so maybe I'm just a food-a-holic.  A healthy food-a-holic, of course.  But seriously, I think I crave protein as much as I crave carbs, possibly even more so.  Protein is so satisfying.  It must be all that weight lifting I do!

I love most proteins, but I do try to limit my animal-based sources.  I have admitted before that there are even a few mock meat products that I love, even though these are not particularly healthy (i.e. heavily processed and high in sodium).  I try to limit their use as much as possible so I am always looking for new vegetable-based protein ideas (aside from beans, which I love...but you can definitely get too much of...or so my husband reminds me frequently!). 

Recently, I heard about Soy Curls and was instantly intrigued.  They are made from soybeans but much less processed than texturized vegetable protein.  They are produced from whole, non-GMO soybeans and are quick and easy to use.  According to the company's website, this is how they are made:

Select certified Non-GMO soybeans grown without chemical pesticides are soaked in spring water. Then the soybeans are cooked and delicately textured after which they are dried at low temperature thus ensuring the natural goodness of the whole soybean high in fiber and omega-3.  
Soy Curls™ are one of the most pure, healthful products on the market containing no chemicals, additives, or preservatives.

They are available online, however, I was not interested in paying the hefty shipping fees.  So when I found them in a health food store in our neighbourhood last week, I was thrilled (though I realize now that even with shipping, they're cheaper than what I paid).

This is the first recipe I tried with them and its a winner.  They definitely have the look and texture of chicken, but I'm thinking at some point I might mince them up in the food processor and see if I could make some sort of meat-less balls out of them.  This made for a comforting, satisfying lunch that, along with some cucumber salad, kept me going until dinner time.

I'll definitely be going online to pick up more!

Pulled Chick-un

2 cups (dry) Soy Surls
4 cups boiling water
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls chili powder (mild or spicy)
1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 can tomato paste
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

Whole grain rolls, wraps, pita, taco shells, lettuce wraps, etc.

Soak curls in water for 10 minutes and then drain excess water.

Meanwhile, saute onion garlic and spices in oil in a skillet or pan for about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add vinegar and rehydrated Soy Curls.  Cook another 3-4 minutes.  Add tomato paste and turn heat down to low.  Let cook for another 5 minutes.  Spoon desired amount onto bread, wraps, etc.  Makes 2 hearty servings.  Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 4 days, or freeze for future use.

 
 
Today, Day 22 of my Gratitude Challenge, I am thankful to not be in Australia.  Yeah, maybe grasping at straws today.  It's like -23 Celsius with the wind chill which is just stupidly cold.  But honestly, to me its not quite as bad as the dangerously hot weather they are having in Australia.  How is that for looking at the glass as half full?
 
This recipe has been submitted to this week's Gluten-Free Friday.