This edamame dish can be used as side dish or as the star

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FOOD - By Melissa D’ara­bian

I’m a fan of stock­ing my kitchen with healthy, nutri­ent-dense in­gre­di­ents that can be used on the fly on those busy days when 5 p.m. sneaks up with­out no­tice. Even if I pay a lit­tle more at the store for “healthy con­ve­nience food,” I’m still com­ing out ahead, fi­nan­cially and health-wise, if it keeps me from or­der­ing take­out.

Frozen edamame, or soy­beans, are a great ex­am­ple. Buy both shelled and un­shelled ver­sions and keep them in the freezer. The edamame in the pod are per­fect to grab to stave off hun­gry kid­dos while din­ner is be­ing pre­pared — a quick steam or mi­crowave visit, plus a bit of gar­lic or spices, and a healthy nib­ble is ready. Edamame pods are also great for boost­ing the pro­tein and fiber in lunch­boxes, or as a per­fect­ly­placed din­ner party ap­pe­tizer.

Shelled edamame are also a wor­thy pur­chase, even if they cost a bit more than other frozen beans, such as lima (which, by the way, are a rea­son­able sub­sti­tute if you can’t find shelled edamame).

Toss a hand­ful of frozen edamame into soup be­fore serv­ing, slip into taco fill­ings, blend up into hum­mus, or add some straight to your pasta wa­ter in the last minute or two of cook­ing to bulk up din­ner.

Half a cup of edamame adds 11 grams of pro­tein and 9 grams of di­etary fiber for about 120 calo­ries, so you’ll feel fuller longer with those lit­tle beans in there. Or, com­bine this freezer sta­ple with fel­low week­night sta­ple quinoa to make a power side dish whose left­overs can eas­ily be taken to lunch as a main dish the next day. Cook­ing once and eat­ing twice is the ul­ti­mate week­day time saver.

Edamame quinoa salad with tangy vinai­grette

Start to fin­ish: 10 min­utes

Servings: 4

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 cup cooked quinoa

1⁄2 cup small grape to­ma­toes, halved

1⁄2 cup pars­ley, chopped

1⁄4 cup toasted al­monds, roughly chopped

1⁄4 cup feta cheese crum­bles

Vinai­grette:

1 tea­spoon Di­jon mus­tard

1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

2 ta­ble­spoons fresh dill, chopped

1 small shal­lot, minced

1⁄4 tea­spoons salt

1⁄4 tea­spoon pep­per

Place the edamame, quinoa, to­ma­toes, pars­ley, al­mond and feta in a large salad bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk to­gether the mus­tard and lemon juice. Driz­zle in the olive oil, whisk­ing into an emul­sion. Add the dill, shal­lot, salt and pep­per and mix. Add 1 or 2 ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter if the dress­ing is too thick.

Pour the dress­ing on the salad and toss. Serve im­me­di­ately, or chill.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 238 calo­ries; 129 calo­ries from fat; 14 g fat (3 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg choles­terol; 277 mg sodium; 21 g car­bo­hy­drate; 5 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 9 g pro­tein. Food Net­work star Melissa d’Ara­bian is an ex­pert on healthy eat­ing on a bud­get. She is the author of the cook­book “Su­per­mar­ket Healthy.”

On­line: http://www.melis­sadara­bian.net

MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

This photo shows edamame and quinoa salad with tangy dress­ing in Coron­ado This dish is from a recipe by Melissa D’ara­bian.

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