Is it still a health food if we have taken it apart into so many pieces, it barely resembles the initial product - a soy bean? This is the current controversy. So what should we do? Products that keep the bean whole - meaning there is no chemical and over-processing involved to extract some part of the bean, such as soy milk, tofu, or the beans themselves in either a roasted snack form or the boiled bean (edamame) are great. The rest, including protein powders, really should be avoided as much as possible - soy protein bars included.
Soy has a lot of isoflavones which act like estrogen. There's cancer protection in those isoflavones!That's a good thing, but for some involved with a breast cancer diagnosis, check with your doctor. Soy is also a complete protein - it contains all of the essential amino acids. However, soy is a pesticide heavy crop, so use an organic brand.
Experiment with soy! I use silken tofu - sold right on the shelf in the Asian food aisle - in smoothies and puddings. I use the extra firm tofu for just about anything - grilled, sauteed, salad addition, soup addition, etc. Tofu just has to be marinated or cooked in way so it soaks up the flavors around it. I use the soy bean (edamame) in salads or in anything as a substitute for peas. I also eat tempeh which is a fermented soybean product that is delicious grilled and made into a faux chicken salad. The following recipe is an absolute favorite!
How will you try soy this week?
Edamame Salad w/ Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
4 lg. salads
1 head garlic or less, if desired
1 TB extra virgin olive oil, approximately
6 TB red wine vinegar
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb. or 3.5 C edamame, fresh or frozen (taken from the pods) I buy 2- 12 oz. bags in pods
2 C corn, fresh or frozen
1 lg. cucumber, quartered and sliced chunky w/ skin
2 stalks celery, diced
¾ C walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 TB fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 oz. feta, crumbled or diced
Optional: Lettuce leaves and a whole wheat tortilla or pita
- Take the center from the head of garlic, then chop off the top of the head getting each clove. Place the garlic on a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven on 350º for about 30 min. You can then squeeze the garlic out onto a board and mash it smooth. Do the roasted walnuts at the same time, but roast only 3-5 min.
- Put the rest of the dressing ingredients in a jar with 2 tsp. olive oil and the mashed garlic. Shake well.
- If you buy edamame pre-cooked and steamed, you are set to go with that. Otherwise, boil water and place the edamame in the water to cook for about 7 min. Test one to see if it is cooked. Rinse under cold water and then shuck into the bowl.
- Boil the corn for just a few minutes, rinse under cold water and drain. Mix with edamame.
- Toss in the cucumber, onion, celery, parsley, feta, and dressing. If you are not planning to eat all of the salad immediately, add the walnuts as you eat.
- The salad can be served as is. Or, serve on top of you favorite lettuce. Or, serve as a wrap or a pita sandwich with lettuce (my favorite is the wrap).