Magazine article Sunset

The Versatile Soybean: Healthy and Easy to Use, These Beans Are Breaking out of Their Shells. (Food)

Magazine article Sunset

The Versatile Soybean: Healthy and Easy to Use, These Beans Are Breaking out of Their Shells. (Food)

Article excerpt

Whole soybeans, enjoyed in Japan for centuries, have been going incognito in this country for a long time. In Japanese restaurants, as you pore over the sushi list, a bowl of warm, slightly fuzzy pods--called edamame--arrives. You squeeze open the shell and pop out two or three bright green beans with afresh, nutty flavor--irresistible.

It's hard to stop eating soybeans, so it's a good thing they're good for you. High in fiber, protein, and isoflavones (hormonelike chemicals), they contain no cholesterol and virtually no saturated fat. Studies suggest that they may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

With so much going for them, soybeans can't stay under wraps forever. Fortunately, they're already widely available, cooked in the pod for an instant appetizer or cooked and shelled to use in soups, salads, stir-fries, stews, and pasta dishes. You'll find soybeans in the refrigerator or freezer case in well-stocked supermarkets, as well as in Asian grocery stores. April-national soy month-is the perfect time to start trying them, and here are some recipes that will make converts of us all.

Linguine with Soybeans and Sausage

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes NOTES: Pass additional grated parmesan cheese at the table to add to taste. MAKES: About 4 servings

8 ounces hot or mild Italian
  sausages, casings removed
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 package (12 oz.) frozen shelled
  soybeans or 2 1/4 cups refrigerated
  cooked shelled soybeans
8 ounces dried linguine
3 tablespoons chopped Italian
  or regular parsley
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  cheese (see notes)
  Salt and pepper

1. Pull sausages into chunks and put in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often to crumble meat, until sausage is browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add broth and soybeans and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are hot, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Add linguine and stir occasionally until barely tender to bite, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pan.

3. Add sausage-soybean mixture to linguine and stir over medium heat until hot. Mix in parsley, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a serving bowl.

Per serving: 621 cal., 42% (261 cal.) from fat; 36 g protein; 29 g fat (8.5 g sat.); 57 g carbo (2.3 g fiber); 511 mg sodium; 46 mg chol.

Spicy Shrimp and Soybean Stir-fry

NOTES: To thaw beans quickly, pour into a colander and rinse with hot water. …

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