Edamame, A Good Source of Everything

When my oldest granddaughter, Isabelle, was diagnosed with Leukemia, a lot of things changed in our family’s life. Trips to the hospital, shuffling of her big brothers to various homes, more prayer and lots of tears.

Christian made lifestyle changes for his “Belleydancer”

But one of the biggest changes that my son-n-law Christian, Isabelle’s daddy, made was how he viewed food. They say that you should never undertake a drastic lifestyle change when you are under extreme stress. But Christian has always broke the mold and done things his way. He began researching the correlation between what we eat and illnesses. You see, the year before Isabelle was diagnosed, her mommy, my oldest daughter Rebekah, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Sarcoidosis. Christian was certain that the fast food, high fat, dairy enriched, meat laden diet had something to do with it. So he did the only thing plausible to him – he became a vegan. No meat, dairy or fast food, period. Christian is an all or nothing type of guy and he has lost 95 pounds and is once again running.

Now, his family put up resistance and only acquiesced partially to the diet change, and Isabelle flat out said NO! She is a very picky eater, especially after the months of chemo. But for the most part they are eating much healthier with mostly fruits and vegetables in their diets. After six months, even Christian has put fish and some chicken back into his diet.

The dilemma is family meals. We do try to all eat healthy, after all, I have lost 158 pounds in the last year and a half. But we still have meat as our main source of protein. One night, after Rebekah had gal bladder surgery, I decided to make  them dinner. Bekah was easy, just a can of soup. The kids requested mac and cheese with hamburger – I know not exactly healthy, but hey I did use 90% lean meat! The problem was Christian. What was I going to make him that would be good and satisfying. I had green beans and a natural fruit salad, but what to make him for protein?

He loves mushrooms and edamame (soy beans), so I decided to make him a dish with those ingredients. I searched the web but couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I did what I always do in these cases, I wing it. I started by sautéing minced garlic in olive oil, after about 30 seconds, I added fresh sliced mushrooms. While they were simmering, I shelled the edamame – you can get them shelled, but you have to boil them. I opted for the fully cooked kind that all you have to do is defrost and shell. I’ve done both and not sure which I prefer.  When the mushrooms were just about done, I added the edamame and stirred to just heated. Next, I removed them from the fire and added a couple squirts of lemon juice and about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.

Parmesen Edamame and Mushroom

I was really nervous about this dish, because Christian is also very particular about his food. But later that evening he texted me to say thanks for the meal and to exclaim how delicious the soy dish was. I guess I hit on a keeper of a recipe, plus I impressed my son-n-law – a bonus!

Edamame is kind of the wonder food of this millennium. It is very low in Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese. A serving size of around 5.5 ounces has 17 grams of protein, more than any meat, with only 186 calories and 8 grams of fat. Also, you can get them dry roasted to keep in your purse, car or backpack for quick protein snacks.

There really is solid research about reducing dairy, red meat and fats from your diet. Christian discovered that countries that don’t include these foods in their diets have significantly lower incidents of cancer, heart disease and other life threatening illnesses. I don’t have all the research, but maybe I’ll do a post on that at another time. For now, I just wanted to share this amazing new dish with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as Christian.

Parmesen Edamame and Mushroom

2 cups fresh sliced mushroom

2 cups shelled edamame (soy beans)

1 T of minced garlic; enough olive oil to sauté mushrooms (I started with a couple tablespoons but kept having to add more)

1/4 to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese; lemon juice (optional)

Prepare your edamame prior to cooking. Either by boiling or defrosting and shelling.

Begin by sautéing garlic in heated olive oil just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, stirring until nearly done. They should be lightly golden.  Add the edamame to the mushrooms and stir until they are heated well through. Remove from heat and add couple squirts of lemon juice (this helps cut the fat) and the parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

To read more about the benefits of edamame, check out Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9873/2#ixzz1uZyeuBBu

To read about Isabelle’s journey, check out her blog at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/belleydancer

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