Thursday, 24 October 2013

Vegetarian Protein Packed Edamame Beans

Edamame Beans

Most veggies are the same as me I’m sure.   I’m always mindful that I try and get my quota of protein within my diet.   I look at the protein levels on a packet’s ingredient listing and those that have high levels, I incorporate into meal-times as best as I can.
Taking this into account, I have recently become quite enamored with edamame soya beans.  These little beans popular across Asia, are in essence soybeans which are used to produce soy products such as soymilk.  In the far east, they are often consumed still in their pods but in the UK, shelled beans are predominately how you’ll find them sold.  Known as Mao dou in China and edamame in Japan, the Japanese use the beans to create cakes and desserts with as well as using them for savoury dishes.  Although emphasis is made on its high protein content, amongst other nutrients, the beans also boast the benefits of calcium, fibre and vitamin C.
Taste-wise, their texture I can only describe as sapid, yet bizarrely ‘waxy’ and after stir-frying them they still retain a nice crunch.
Available from the salad aisles of most major supermarkets, upon purchasing,  I decided to turn them into a stir-fry with some other protein sources to make a ‘super-food’ meal to kick-start my week with. 
I’ve outlined my ‘super food’ meal recipe below which of course can be adapted by changing the seasoning or substituting one or two of the ingredients as is preferred.  The ingredients I’ve put together collectively contain great health benefits and are ideal if you need that protein hit. 
From the recipe, protein levels and positives to note are:
Quorn Meat Free Chicken Pieces
14.0g per 100g
Edamame Soya Beans 
12.6g per 100g
ClearSpring Japanese Green Nori Sprinkles 
21.7g per 100g 
(nori – a form of dried seaweed available from delis/specialty aisles in large supermarkets).
2.8g per 100g (spinach is also packed with iron)
Good Hemp Oil 
a great oil to use as it contains less fat than olive oil, also contains omegas 3/6/9 and has a gentler taste.
Himalayan Pink Rock Salt 
Sourced as the name suggests from the Himalayan mountains, contains far more nutrients than standard table salt and is promoted by alternative health/healing practitioners as a suggested healthier option for salt.

Edamame soya beans are definitely the fashionable culinary new kids on the block so if eaten as per my recipe below or via another recipe method, they will make for a nice change and will give you a ‘feel good factor’ of having something healthy which is packed with goodness yet meat-free.  So, roll on Meat-Free Mondays – we’re packing a protein punch right at you!
Quorn & Edamame Bean Stir-Fry

Quorn & Edamame Soya Bean Stir-Fry
Serves 2
350g Quorn Meat-Free Chicken Pieces (defrosted)
150g Edamame Soya Beans
1 Red Pepper (sliced into strips)
2 tbp SpringClear Japanese Green Nori Sprinkles
100g Spinach (NB: will wilt)
Drizzle of Good Hemp Oil  
Squeeze of Lemon Juice

Grinding of Himalayan Rock Salt and Black Pepper

         *  Heat the Good Hemp oil in a large saucepan/wok.
 * Add the Quorn pieces and fry gently before adding a good squeeze of lemon and  grinding of pepper. 
 * Continue to stir-fry.
 * Add the edamame soya beans, red pepper and spinach leaves.
 * Continue to stir-fry – add more oil if required.
 * Grind some pink Himalayan rock salt all over and stir.
 * Finally, add the green nori sprinkles and fry until all ingredients have been combined  and cooked through.  NB:  the edamame beans will still be hard but as long as they  have been heated up sufficiently, then they have been cooked.
 * Ready to serve.

Note:  Protein levels are correct as listed on food packaging I used as per date of this blog post.  Some ingredient benefits are stated on packaging or have been ‘suggested’ by those in the health profession.  To gain full clarification, contact the product manufacturer or a reliable nutritional information establishment.

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