A great source of soy is edamame. The edamame beans look like lima beans, but they are actually immature, green soybeans. These beans are harvested before the soybean becomes hardened. Once the bean has hardened, it can be turned into soy flour, soy milk or tofu. The high amount of protein in edamame can act as a substitute for red meat. In the world of soy, what makes edamame so unique? Are there more benefits to edamame over tofu? Well, I have learned through my years that people will eat what tastes good to them. I am not a huge fan of tofu because of the consistency. If I am enjoying a Tofu Cheesecake or Tofu Cheeseball, then I am in soy heaven. However, although grilled tofu smells great and looks appetizing, I just don’t like the texture. So, I turn to edamame as a healthy protein. This little bean can be turned into so many dishes! Edemame can be boiled and salted as a snack, mixed in with sautéed vegetables or tossed with fresh, diced vegetables with salad dressing.
Since April is National Soy Month, what better time to take a good look at soy! Soy is a plant-based food with high contents of protein. Soy has been increasingly more popular due its fabulous health benefits. Soy has been shown to lower heart disease risk, lower LDL levels and even lower the incidence of osteoporosis. Soy contains no cholesterol and no saturated fat but is rich in calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Now, all of that scientific nutrition information sounds great on paper, but how does a person incorporate soy into a menu? Here are some tips for utilizing soy products:
- Use soymilk in coffee or on your breakfast cereal: there are several types of soy milks such as almond flavored, vanilla and chocolate.
- Marinate cubes of tofu and cook with vegetables and rice. The protein in the tofu replaces meat in a stir fry.
- Snack on soy nuts instead of eating chips or candy.
- Try soy cheese crumbled into salads or on a burger: it will be less added fat to the overall meal.
- Substitute tofu in dessert or dip recipes with cream cheese.
One of my favorite Edemame recipes can be used as a side dish to grilled chicken or as an entrée dish.
Serving size: 4
1 slice of bacon
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup red onion, diced
2 cups of thawed yellow corn
2 cups of thawed, shelled edamame
1 red pepper, diced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh basil torn
Cook bacon in saute skillet. When fully cooked, remove bacon to a dish and chop.
Add butter to bacon drippings, melt. Add onions and peppers to pan and saute.
Once peppers and onions are fork soft (3 minutes), stir occasionally and add corn and edamame.
Cook for additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Salt and pepper with measurements above or to taste.
Fold in tomatoes and pour in vinegar. Stir to remove any seasoning from the pan.
Remove pan from stove, toss is basil and serve.