Thanks to the Soyfoods Association of North America for sponsoring this post. All opinions are always my own.
Happy National Soyfoods Month! Don't be embarrassed that you didn't get me anything. Let me simply treat you to a healthy, tasty salad that swaps out your meat for the power plant based protein of soy.
I do eat beef and chicken on occasion, but it's not always easy for my body to process meat. I also think it's important to give the system a break from time to time. It can require some serious effort to break down animal proteins in the body, and every-body needs a vacation!
Enter soy. Soyfoods are high in protein, so no worries that you'll lose any energy if you swap soy for meat - it's all here. You also have your essential omega 3s, iron, fiber, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Did you also know that soy is cholesterol free? Yup, it's a high quality, heart-healthy plant protein. Then there's the whole sustainability piece with soyfoods using less energy, water and land than its animal protein counterparts. So what's not to like?
My soy of choice at the moment is edamame - the appetizer you always order before sushi in Japanese restaurants. I like buying edamame out of the shell and using it as my leading star in lunchtime salads. Edamame, aka young soy beans, has more protein than any other bean and is also a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. Of course the best part is that edamame tastes really good.
To make things even healthier, I created zucchini noodles, or zoodles, to toss the edamame in, and dressed it all with a fresh and nutty vinaigrette with chopped walnuts on top. This is going to be my go-to summer salad. It's great cold and the flavors get even better over time. I hope you enjoy it at an upcoming picnic, or while you're out celebrating National Soyfoods Month.
Edamame Tossed Zoodles with Honey Walnut Vinaigrette
Serves About 4
- 1 tablespoon organic, raw honey
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice ( I like using blood orange)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 fresh mint, diced
- 3 tablespoon walnut oil
- 2 large zucchinis
- 8 ounces of shelled edamame (frozen is easiest)
- 3 ounces of walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Place the honey in a glass bowl and microwave for 5-10 seconds so it's in liquid form. Whisk in the orange, sherry vinegar and mint. Then slowly add the oil, stirring until combined. Set the dressing aside.
- Spiralize the zucchinis (instructions here). Place the zucchini strands over a colander, salt and allow to stand for 30 minutes so the moisture can release.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook uncovered about 5 minutes until tender, but not soft. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Squeeze any remaining moisture from the zucchini and pat dry. Place zoodles in a glass bowl. Add the edamame and slowly incorporate the dressing (you may not need all of it for the one salad). Toss and top with walnuts.