Basil Lime Tofu Dressing + Soy Tour of Iowa

Basil Lime Tofu Dressing |

Disclosure: All my trip expenses were paid for by The Soyfoods Council. Thoughts and opinions below are my own.

Embarrassingly, it’s been two months since I went on The Soyfoods Council editors’ trip to Iowa but I’ve been wanting to write a worthy post ever since.

Iowa Soy Field |

I got to spend three days with some super cool bloggers Alex, Jen, Robin, JL, Jenna and Jan, along with our “soy hostesses”, Linda and Jantina. I learned so much about the resourceful soybean from farmers, researchers, chefs, professors and local Iowans.

Just some of the trip highlights:
Interacting with soybean farmers. In my previous life, I worked for the dairy council and one of the things I miss the most is working for farmers. We got to visit AJ & Kellie Blair’s farm – a young couple and fifth generation farmers whose passion for the future of farming was inspirational.

AJ & Kellie Blair |

Iowa Soy Field |

Bonus: I got to drive a tractor.

Soy Field Tractor Ride |

Making tofu in the kitchen labs at Iowa State University. We got to experiment with different flavors – basil, chives, jalapeno and even chocolate. We all agreed this should be the next wave in packaged tofu – flavored tofu options!

Tofu Making |

Spending the evening at Better Homes & Gardens headquarters. We toured the iconic magazine’s test kitchens and enjoyed a delectable array of soy dishes while listening to Nancy Wall Hopkins, Senior Deputy Editor, speak of current food and cooking trends (seeds & nuts, entertaining at home and baking from scratch – all hot topics!)

BHG kitchen equipment |

BHG tour |

Visiting Gateway Market & Cafe (picture a local Dean & Delucca type store – swoon) and a cooking demo by chef partner, George Formaro.  He whipped up a Faux “Sausage” Gravy with Biscuits using textured soy protein (some call it TVP with the V = vegetable) and I gotta say, it was fantastic.

Chef George Formaro |

Faux Sausage Gravy & Biscuits |

Visiting the World Food Prize headquarters in Des Moines. I had never heard of the World Food Prize but similar in scope to the Nobel Prize, this award is specific to those who advance human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Learning about the history of the award and the foundation’s mission of promoting global food security was humbling.

World Food Prize |

Getting to know the Soybean Council’s fantastic interns and Iowa State students. Two of them, Lauren & Celia, helped create and edit all the recipes in this new online soy cookbook. More recently, they won the People’s Choice Award at the Iowa State Fair with this tasty and creamy Basil Lime Dressing using silken tofu. I made it over the weekend for guests – it was delicious over a simple bed of greens with oranges and pecans. Next I want to try it over grilled romaine.

Basil Lime Tofu Dressing |

Admittedly, I’ve never cooked with much soy besides edamame until the ‘Do You Tofu?’ Recipe ReDux challenge last year when I made a Grilled Tofu BLT Sandwich and was blown away by all the fantastic ways ReDuxers used tofu in recipes (check out all the ReDuxers’ tofu recipes.) Silken tofu is like magic – it can be whipped into puddings, dips, soups and dressings for a protein boost.

Now, to be honest, I prefer the taste of dairy milk, cheese and yogurt, but I really like the idea of adding other soy foods to my eating routine as an additional plant-based protein source.

A few things on my list of soy “to dos” in the kitchen:

  • Use TVP in chili and try to recreate that sausage gravy
  • Add edamame to hummus and guacamole
  • Experiment with soy flour
  • Do something with pumpkin and silken tofu for fall!

Do you cook with soyfoods (tofu, TVP, tempeh, edamame, soy flour, etc.)? What’s your favorite way to enjoy soy?

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  1. I just discovered that Bob’s RedMill makes TVP, and I tried it in stuffed peppers the other day. Very pleasantly surprised! Your trip looks like it was fabulously educational :)
    Anne|Craving Something Healthy recently posted..Whole Grains Recipe RoundupMy Profile

  2. I feel like I have so much to comment on here. First of all, I am sooo jealous that you got to go to the BHG test kitchen and hang with Nancy Wall Hopkins. She is a-maz-ing! She is so on it, when it comes to paying attention to and anticipating trends. Second, I love that you made tofu. I got to do that one time, it is surprisingly simple, no? But flavors? This is so needed. Can’t wait to see these coming onto the market! Last, I agree, I need to get more soy/tofu recipes onto my blog. That is actually on my desktop sticky note. Love this post. Thanks for sharing. PS. I also clicked through and followed the other ladies from the trip, what a fun group!
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes recently pie ice cream with salted honey caramel sauceMy Profile

    • Katie! Thanks for all your comment. Nancy is so amazing – I could have listened to her talk all night long. You and me both are going to be getting our tofu/soy on in the upcoming months (Just made whole wheat chocolate tofu muffins last nite – so good.) Great companions on this trip and most of them are Recipe ReDuxers, too. So glad you joined us! Now I’m off to drool over your apple pie post.
      Deanna recently posted..Basil Lime Tofu Dressing + Soy Tour of IowaMy Profile

  3. What a super cool, fun trip! I love to use heart healthy soy products, I often use tempeh in place of chicken or pork, though admittedly my husband isn’t all the way on board; not that he doesn’t like soy products (sometimes I sneak them in on him) he’s just feels that he’s got to have meat. I either have to wait until he’s traveling or make two dinners when I cook with soy.
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes recently posted..SALAD NICOISE with SEARED TUNA and LEMON DIJON VINAIGRETTEMy Profile

  4. It looks like so much fun and your photos are beautiful! Love that you drove a tractor :) And the Basil Lime Tofu Dressing looks so creamy and delicious!
    Sues recently posted..Lemony Kale, Quinoa, and Fig SaladMy Profile

  5. I LOVE tofu! I’ve been using it to make creamy salad dressings for awhile, but I recently discovered my new favorite use – as a ricotta cheese substitute! Awesome for people like me with a small cheese addiction!
    Rachael@AnAvocadoADay recently posted..Saigon Hoppin’ John & Yardlong Beans with ShallotsMy Profile

  6. What a fun tour! This dressing sounds delicious. I always make the same few dressings for my salads, it’s time to add a new one to my rotation. :)
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..What I Ate This Week | Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Are Your New Favorite SnackMy Profile

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