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Savoring soybeans

Agriculture.com Staff 04/11/2008 @ 11:00pm

Tired of the same old vegetable choices meal after meal? Try green soybeans (also known as edamame).

This bean variety is bigger and sweeter than the traditional soybeans grown by farmers. Raw or cooked, they offer a light sweetness blended with a nutty taste. Cooked and lightly salted, these little green vegetables are a delicious treat.

Consider growing soybeans in your garden. Edamame, large soybeans harvested when the beans are still green and sweet tasting, are easy to grow. They like full sun and can adapt to most soil types. Edamame is ready to harvest in 65 to 90 days, and planting seeds every week or so will let you enjoy fresh soybeans all summer long.

From a flavor and nutrition standpoint, edamame is best if eaten soon after it's picked.

So for a new twist to your vegetable offerings, give green soybeans a try.

Prep: 20 minutes, Chill: 2 to 24 hours

8 ounces dried radiatore pasta
12-ounce package frozen sweet soybeans (2-3/4 cups)
1 green sweet pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced radishes
3/4 cup bottled reduced-calorie cucumber ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or honey-roasted peanuts

Step 1: Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the soybeans to the boiling water along with the pasta; drain.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine pasta mixture, sweet pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and radishes. Toss with salad dressing. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. To serve, sprinkle with peanuts. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 313 calories, 10 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 477 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 14 g protein

Start to finish: 10 minutes

2 teaspoons butter or margarine
3 cups shelled fresh soybeans or frozen soybeans, thawed
3 tablespoons fresh whole small mint leaves
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil

Step 1: In a skillet melt 2 teaspoons butter or margarine over medium heat. Add shelled soybeans to skillet. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in mint, basil, and salt to taste. Makes 6 side-dish servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 7 g fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 123 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g protein

Prep: 20 minute, Bake: 25 minutes, Oven: 350 degrees F.

1-1/2 pounds fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets, cut into 6 serving-size portions
20-ounce package refrigerated mashed potatoes
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup snipped fresh basil
3 cups frozen sweet soybeans (edamame), thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes or small cherry tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Step 1: Thaw fish, if frozen. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl stir together potatoes, yogurt,   teaspoon salt, and   teaspoon pepper.

Step 2: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add basil. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Add soybeans to skillet. Cook and stir 5 minutes more or until almost tender.

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