Salads are almost a daily indulgence for me and even with summer almost gone, salads are a big part of my standard diet. Creating a salad with a little added protein is always a good idea, but I don’t always want to eat the same ingredients over and over again. I do like to change it up and use fresh soybeans or edamame, instead of grilled chicken or salmon because I can get a big boost of protein with a much different flavor profile.
When I think of edamame it’s most often eaten at Japanese restaurants served steamy out of the bowl. However, cold fresh soybeans have an al dente texture that is super toothsome and mildly grassy with a uniquely fresh taste – sometimes overlooked eaten cold, especially if you are not a vegetarian or vegan.
Edamame are available fresh or frozen and already shelled, which makes them easy to toss into salads. Adding a few other ingredients along with the edamame like; fresh baby spinach, pinto beans and freshly diced sweet and spicy peppers creates not only a delicious, but colorful bowl of enjoyment, sort of a carnival of healthy fun.
12 ounces fresh or frozen edamame, defrosted and drained
1 cup canned pinto beans, drained
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (remove half the seeds if too spicy for you)
8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup croutons – homemade preferably
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 avocado, peeled and seed removed
1 teaspoon fresh chives, minced
1/2 clove fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1. In a food processor combine lemon juice, tamari, avocado, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 garlic clove. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth.
2. Add oil and blend for 1 minute. Rinse and drain edamame.
3. Add edamame to a bowl along with pinto beans, bell pepper and jalapeno.
4. Pour avocado dressing over top and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
5. Spoon edamame over spinach leaves and toss together. Salt and pepper to taste and top with a few croutons, Enjoy!