There have been numerous studies on soy and soy proteins – leading to many questions! This coming Tuesday evening, October 9th, there will be a class, Creating Health @ the LivingWell Bistro, at 7:00pm, focusing specifically on “Soy Power & Rest.”
In preparing for this class, I thought I would share a few facts and an awesome recipe that I found – perfect for an appetizer or inside a sandwich or wrap!
According to the USDA’s Nutrient Database, soy beans or edamame, served boiled/steamed without salt, contain 127 calories, 11 grams of protein, ~6 grams of fat, and ~10 grams of carbohydrate (~4 grams of dietary fiber) in a ½ cup portion. This makes soy a great source of multiple nutrients! Soy protein is the only “commonly consumed” plant protein that includes all nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities to meet the body’s needs – in essence, making it equivalent to a traditional “meat” protein!
What are some other sources of soy protein? Do I just have to eat steamed edamame?
Of course not! There are the traditional sources like tofu and soy milk, as well, but countless new products are beginning to include soy protein! A great item, that has gained popularity in recent years, is Tofu Shirataki – or noodles made of tofu and a plant root! Not only is it an excellent plant-based option, it is also gluten-free. These noodles, after a quick draining and a good rinse, can be used in curries, “pasta” primavera, and more! I’d encourage you to try them. My personal preference is using the Tofu Shirataki angel hair noodles with a green curry sauce. These noodles are available at most grocery stores – including Safeway, Whole Foods, and more – just check the refrigerated section where other tofu products are located!
Another item sometimes overlooked, but also a rising star in the soy world – is tempeh! At the LivingWell Bistro, we use tempeh in the Tempeh Wrap and frequently on a specialty pizza! I believe that one of the best tempeh recipes is in the cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Her tempeh sausage with fennel seed is awesome and a great addition to a tofu breakfast scramble, a marinara sauce for pasta or as a pizza topping! Tempeh is created by a natural culturing and fermentation process that binds soybeans into a patty or cake form, similar to a very firm plant-based burger patty. Commercially prepared versions usually include another grain like barley too - so check the ingredients if you have any allergies! Since the whole bean is used to create tempeh, it is naturally higher in fiber and other nutrients than a soy product like tofu.
And now…a promised recipe!
20 Ounces of Frozen, Shelled Edamame
20 Ounces of Frozen Peas
1/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
2 Teaspoons Fresh Garlic, Minced
½ Teaspoon Ground Coriander
½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
¾ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
½ Teaspoon Fresh Jalapeno, Minced Finely
¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
¼ Cup Fresh Mint, chopped
Gently boil the edamame and peas until tender. (It may be easiest to do these individually since they the edamame usually take a bit longer.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl of ice water – to keep them bright green! Once cool, drain well!
Using a food processor or Vita-Mix, pulse the edamame and peas into a course puree. Transfer to a medium bowl and gentle stir in the juice, garlic and spices. Once these are well combined, gradually stir in the oil, mixing well. Toss with the fresh cilantro and mint! Taste a little sample – and season to your liking with salt and pepper!
And for a fun twist, you could try throwing some fresh avocado into it for a unique type of guacamole with a super creamy texture!
*Recipe idea based on bon appetit’s recipe for Edamame Hummus, December 2011.
If you are interested in learning more, a few websites may be helpful: