This past week has been full of way too much heavy food. My roommate had a friend visiting from Texas, and in an effort to show her a good time, we ate at two local Italian restaurants, one pizza parlor, one ice cream shop, and one frozen custard joint. Then, to add insult to injury, we visited a tasty German Bakery/Deli/Café over the weekend and between dinner, breakfast, and rich pastries, all courtesy of the café, my stomach had reached its limit. Don’t get me wrong...it was all VERY yummy, but I needed something light and vegetarian to counteract the previous 5 days of rampant gluttony.
Tired of rich, heavy foods, I turned to my fridge and cupboards to see what kind of light meal I could throw together for dinner tonight. I noticed a half-eaten bag of frozen edamame in the freezer, and decided to use it up.
I really love my edamame. It’s the ultimate mod pod! The beans boast a buttery, nutty flavor and crisp texture, perfect for snacking. They’re addictive as peanuts but with far less fat―only 3 grams per ½ cup, all of which is the heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated kind. Because they are high in protein (8 grams per ½ cup), they make an ideal choice for getting your 25 grams of soy protein daily. Edamame also provide 4 grams of fiber per ½ cup. Go edamame!
Anyway, I wanted to do something more than just boil and eat them, like I always do, so I decided to puree the heck out of them, add some herbs ‘n’ stuff, then ladle the whole mess over soba noodles.
The results turned out quite nice! A light, meatless meal with plenty of protein and not a whole lot of fat! Tasty and healthy. Finished up with a small handful of fresh strawberries for dessert. Mmm-mm. Just right.
I eyeballed the ingredients. I’ll try to duplicate the recipe here.
Herbed Edamame Sauce with Soba Noodles
About 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (blanched)
¼ cup dry roasted cashews (pine nuts or other nuts could probably be used)
½ cup basil leaves
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
A couple heaping teaspoons minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
1 cup hot water
Hot cooked gluten-free soba noodles
Prepare edamame according to package directions. (Probably a good idea to omit salt – I always do, but for this recipe it’s especially necessary).
Place edamame, cashews, basil, and next 7 ingredients (basil through garlic) in a food processor and pulse it up until finely chopped.
Next, slowly pour hot water through the food chute and keep processing the mixture until smooth. Serve over soba, and garnish with extra cashews, cilantro, whole edamame, and lime wedges, if desired.
• The sauce was a bit too citrus-y for my taste, so I sprinkled some cheese on top. I had pecorino romano on hand, but any hard cheese should work. Next time I’ll add the cheese to the sauce to tone down the lime flavor.
• I don’t have a food processor. I like to pretend I do, and write recipes that require one. For this recipe, I used an old, beat-up blender. I think I bought it at Rite-Aid on sale for $8 when I was a Freshman in college. It didn’t work as nicely as a food processor would, but with a bit of elbow grease, it got the job done. Who wants to buy me a food processor, hmm?
• Whole Foods has a new item in their bulk department: peppered cashews. I had to give them a try. They did not disappoint.
• The brand of soba noodles I had in the cupboard was a bit salty. I guess soba noodles are supposed to be salty to begin with, but they seemed extra salty to me. Next time I might try regular ol’ wheat spaghetti noodles, and experiment using pine nuts and more basil for an Italian flare.
Here are some photos of the finished product.
My happy little live basil plant:
Soba & Sauce: