Disclosure: For the next year, I am serving as an ambassador for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board by highlighting stories surrounding Arkansas’s largest row crop – soybeans! #themiraclebean #ARSoyStory #ARSoySupper
As I sit here writing on this post, crazy old-screamer rock music blasts behind me. It is lunchtime and I have found a moment during the midday to locate a restaurant with a quiet spot to write. Quiet-ish. They’ve made some changes to the restaurant, I notice. They have added a harvest communal table and chalkboard writing on the walls. CNN is now gracing a corner wall. Obviously someone has determined they need to give this place a more modern edge. Or at least they are trying to be like everyone else.
The waiter slips me a plate of edamame and fried wontons. This is new. I skip on the wontons and hungrily wolf down the soybeans. This is a welcoming new touch. Also ironic… since I am currently writing about a pretty salad that features edamame, aka immature soybeans.
Did you know that soybeans are the only source of complete vegetable protein?
Let that sink in for a moment.
What kind of meals do you think of when you think of soybeans? A plate of skillet-tossed and lightly salted edamame? Tofu tossed in your favorite stir-fry? Or, if you are dairy-free like I was for fifteen years, do soybeans mean an alternative source for milk, cream cheese, or cheese? All of these are excellent meals and loved by many.
Now hear this…
I just learned that Arkansans who consume soy (and foods that consume soy) are supporting local soybean farmers in our state. Together we are contributing to Arkansas $2Billion soybean industry because of it. You may be thinking, “Hey Lyndi, I don’t eat tofu or edamame.” Okay, that may be true. However, you and I are most likely eating foods that consume soy… such as cattle, sheep, and buffalo. They are the ones who are consuming Arkansas soybeans in their feed and we in turn benefit from what they eat. Interesting, right?
I’m looking forward to learning more about our local farmers and ranchers who support their local Arkansas soybean farmers. And when I do, I’ll share what I’ve learned with you. And what it means to the food that graces our tables.
In the meanwhile, I made you this layered green edamame and white vegetable salad. It’s healthy and satisfying and makes a great to-go meal.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.
LAYERED GREEN AND WHITE EDAMAME VEGETABLE SALAD
1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Boil water and add asparagus, green beans and cauliflower.
- Boil until tender, approximately ten minutes. Drain and set aside.
- While vegetables are boiling, add cucumbers, romaine lettuce and feta to large mixing bowl and toss.
- In a small mixing bowl make the dressing: combine olive oil, mayonnaise, pesto, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Use whisk to combine and drizzle into large bowl. Incorporate.
- Add asparagus, green beans, and cauliflower to large mixing bowl and carefully toss once.
- Transfer to plate and enjoy!