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The Secret of Edamame

Soy snack is a yummy - and healthy - handful

How Do You Buy It?

In my supermarket, you can find two types of edamame in the frozen vegetable section: shelled or with the pods. Both are already cooked and ready to be thawed and eaten.

I keep a bag of each in my freezer. I like the edamame in pods as a snack -- you have to work harder to get to each soybean this way. And I use the shelled edamame in cooking (casseroles, soups/stews, noodle or rice dishes, etc.).

At the very least, you can keep a bag of edamame in pods around for a low-maintenance finger food. Just thaw it and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick snack. It's perfect for when you (or a family member) are hungry but it's still an hour or more until dinner. For only 120 calories, 1 1/8 cup of the edamame in pods is very satisfying, thanks to its protein, fiber, and a touch of smart fat.

Cooking with Edamame

Edamame are more than just a snack -- they make a great ingredient in recipes.

There are lots of recipes in the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic collection to which you can add shelled edamame, such as:

  • Parmesan Artichoke Dip
  • Easy Three-Bean Salad (edamame can take the place of one of the types of beans)
  • Pesto Pasta Salad
  • Most of the entrée salads
  • Any of the soup/stew recipes

Just journal the amount of edamame you add as starch/legume without added fat.

Here are a couple more recipes to help send you on your merry edamame way!

Edamame-Spinach Scramble

Journal as: 2 eggs alone without fat, 2 ounces low-fat cheese, 1/4 cup legumes without added fat, 1 cup vegetables without fat

Don't let the list of the ingredients scare you. This is easy to whip up and very filling.

1 large egg
2 egg whites or 1/3 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon fat-free half-and-half or any type of milk
1 teaspoon olive oil (or substitute canola oil)
1 1/2 cup fresh raw spinach leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup shelled edamame, frozen or thawed
1/8 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/8 cup finely chopped sweet or yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup shredded grated cheese of choice (cheddar, Swiss, etc.)
1 medium tomato or 1 1/2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley or basil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Add egg and egg whites or egg substitute and half-and-half to 4 cup measure and whisk until smooth; set aside.
  • Add olive oil to nonstick medium frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add spinach, edamame, bell pepper, onion, and garlic and sauté until spinach shrinks down and onion is lightly brown (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Pour in egg mixture and reduce heat to medium. Continue to gently stir and cook until eggs are soft and cooked throughout.
  • Turn off heat. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Top with tomatoes and cover frying pan with lid. Let sit for a couple of minutes to melt cheese. Sprinkle fresh herbs over the top as garnish, if desired.

Yield: 1 large serving or 2 small servings.

Per large serving: 415 calories, 37 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 7.7 g monounsaturated fat, 4 g polyunsaturated fat), 229 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 430 mg sodium (not including added salt). Calories from fat: 39%.

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