We all know that steamed edamame with a delectable sprinkling of salt make a phenomenal appetizer. Pop those babies in your mouth, strip off the pod with your teeth, discard the carnage and reach for another!
But given that soybeans are nutrient powerhouses, why not get creative and add the precious gems to your regular menu? For just 120 calories per heaping cup of edamame (or 1/2 cup shelled soybeans), you get 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 10% of your Daily Value for vitamin C and iron and 8% for vitamin A.
Here are 15 unexpected ways to enjoy cooked and shelled edamame.
1. Green Dip: Puree soybeans with an equal amount of thawed frozen green peas, a little fresh shallot and garlic, and salt and black pepper to taste; fold in chopped fresh parsley. Serve with whole-grain crackers or pita.
2. Rice and (Soy)Beans: Sauté soybeans in a little olive oil with chili powder and cumin; add to brown rice with green onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice; add hot sauce if desired.
3. Strong Salads: Fold into potato, pasta, seafood and egg salads for a blast of protein.
4. Egg-cellent Breakfast: Add to your morning scrambled eggs.
5. Powerful Pesto: Puree into basil pesto and use as a protein-packed sandwich spread.
6. Super Soup: Add to your favorite soup and chowder recipes for the last few minutes of cooking.
7. Better Burritos: Nestle soybeans into your favorite rice and bean burritos, either in place of the usual beans or in addition.
8. Satisfying Greens: Sprinkle over Waldorf, Caesar and Asian salads (instead of nuts, croutons or fried noodles).
9. Pasta e Fagioli: Add soybeans to ditalini pasta; add tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.
10. Cool Chili: Add to recipes for vegetarian and beef chili during the last few minutes of cooking.
11. Sucker-Punched Succotash: Use in place of lima beans in succotash (i.e., combine soybeans and corn).
12. Great Guacamole: Mash with avocado, lime, onion, garlic and cilantro to create amazing guacamole.
13. Stronger Grains: Add to brown rice pilaf recipes and side dishes made with couscous and quinoa.
14. Wok On: Toss into stir-fries for the last few minutes of cooking.
15. Ravioli: Puree with herbed cream cheese or herbed spreadable cheese (like Laughing Cow, Boursin or Alouette) and use between two wonton wrappers to make ravioli.
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.