Last week I went to ‘Build A Salad Jar’ event where each participant brought four different ingredients and four quart sized mason jars to build salads with. You layer ingredients in a jar with sturdier foods on the bottom and more fragile ones on the top.
The concept is you can easily build salads in a portable jar rather than in a large bowl that can be taken on the go. Not only are the salads delicious with diverse ingredients, but they also develop healthier eating habits.
Two of the ingredients I couldn’t keep my eyes off were edamame and quinoa. I knew that I would have to act quickly if I wanted to have edamame in my jar of salad ingredients - and boy was I right!
I had a completed salad jar with quinoa, edamame, and mixed veggies such as cabbage, carrots, and radishes. I can now say that I am obsessed with edamame quinoa salad recipes!
Not only does the edamame give you a robust flavor in your mouth and the quinoa a fluffy texture you desire, but they also have the ability to speak the language of your genes.
And now I’d love to share with you a few of my favorite delicious variations of quinoa edamame salad that you can add to your salad arsenal.
What Does an Edamame Quinoa Salad Look Like?
Main Ingredient Breakdown
Edamame is a young soybean that is harvested at the peak of ripeness before the pods are fully hardened. Both healthy and easy to eat, these shelled edamame beans make a delicious snack or addition to a dish.
Edamame is a good plant-based protein source as well as nutrient dense. Once harvested, the pods are lightly boiled and sold frozen to preserve freshness.
Edamame can be served simply steamed with a sprinkle of coarse salt or the beans can be removed from the shell and added to many dishes for extra zip.
Quinoa is a starchy seed that is often referred to as a grain. However, unlike other grains, it is gluten-free, which makes quinoa easily digestible and alkaline-forming.
It contains 20 percent protein and other nutrients such as manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, thiamine, and folate. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids and is a good source of dietary fiber.
Quinoa is prepared in similar ways to rice, at 1:2 quinoa to water, broth or other liquids ratio for about 20 minutes. Enjoy quinoa as a breakfast cereal, in place of rice, to add a grain to salads, or in place of pasta.
What Are the Health Benefits of Edamame?
Edamame Influences Your Genes
Edamame contains bioactive compounds such as isoflavones, phytic acid, and flavonoids that interact with your genes. Due to the different bioactives, edamame classifies as both an Influencer and Super Food in the GK Ingredient Toolbox.
As a Super Food, each bite of edamame provides a plethora of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of folate, magnesium, vitamin K, plant-based iron, and phosphorus. Edamame is also a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. Take a look at the nutrition facts label and see just how nutritious edamame is!
Edamame is considered an Influencer ingredient because it supports biochemical processes in the body to affect health outcomes. These biochemical processes include producing the base units of your DNA, which is the fabric of your genes, and support detoxification by ridding your body of toxic substances.
Phytic acid found in edamame has the ability to act as an antioxidant, while isoflavones (phytoestrogens) may decrease the risk of cancers associated with hormones.
Edamame and Estrogen: Soy Myths
Soy foods contain isoflavones and edamame is the richest source in the human diet. Isoflavones are a class of phytoestrogens. In other words, phytoestrogens weakly mimic estrogen activity because of their structural similarities. This means that the genes that respond to estrogen are altered when the DNA and the estrogen-receptor complex interact. Estrogen receptors are found within many tissues throughout the body such as bone, liver, heart, brain, and those that are associated with reproduction. Depending on the type of estrogen receptor that the soy isoflavones bind to, the effects of estrogen may be mimicked in some tissues and blocked in others, thus reducing the risk of some reproductive-related cancers and improving bone mineral density.
Mixing Things Up: Whole Grains Swaps!
Don’t like quinoa? Try replacing the quinoa in your edamame salad with barley, farro, or wild rice!
Barley is a grain that comes in hulled or pearled forms. For the most nutrient-dense type, try the whole grain form, hulled barley. If you’re looking for a quicker alternative, pearled barley can be cooked like rice in a pot of water on the stove in only about 15 minutes; however, it is lower in fiber and is slightly less nutritious.
Farro is a chewy, nutty-tasting grain that is a rich source of protein, fiber, and B vitamins. It is also a whole grain and contains antioxidants.
Wild rice can be used instead of quinoa to add a nutty, earthy flavor to your edamame salad recipe. While it does take a little longer to prepare than the traditional rice, it can be made ahead of time for quicker prep time! Typically, wild rice takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook.
Edamame Quinoa Salad Recipes
Check out these interesting healthy salad recipes with edamame beans in your cooking.
We love this rendition of quinoa and edamame salad from Wendi. This recipe is packed full of bioactives that will get your genes talking! Wendi also suggests using chia gel as an alternative to olive oil in the dressing.
Cassidy from Cozy Peach Kitchen created this simple, savory edamame quinoa salad topped with a creamy cashew miso dressing. There are only 5 ingredients total and it can be re-purposed into other dishes!
This edamame quinoa salad from Two Peas and Their Pod features red cabbage, carrots, red pepper, cucumbers, cilantro, and is topped with an Asian dressing. It is a delicious, colorful salad that is sure to make both your taste buds and your genes happy.
What To Do With Leftovers
Try repurposing your edamame quinoa salad by turning it into a wrap, taco filling, or as a side dish for your next meal! These recipes can also be made in advance and used as healthy meal prep ideas for the week.
Edamame is nutrient dense, good for your health, and downright delicious! Whether you’re an avid edamame connoisseur or a newbie, these versions of quinoa edamame salad are sure to fire up your taste buds and communicate with your genes. Go ahead and give these edamame recipes a try and let us know which is your favorite!
At the Genomic Kitchen, we created an Ingredient Toolbox that contains many of these important foods. By including these ingredients on your grocery list and putting them on your plate, you provide your body with critical information to optimize your health. Sign up to receive our Quick Start Guide to this toolbox here.
And if you are interested in taking a journey to the heart of The Genomic Kitchen and learn the essential of choosing and preparing food that talks to your genes, join us in our 4-hour express course.
Linus Pauling Institute. Soy Isoflavones. Oregon State University. 2004. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/soy-isoflavones#food-sources. Accessed 5/08/19.
*This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. The Genomic Kitchen is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.
United States Department of Agriculture. USDA Food Composition Database. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/. Accessed 5/08/19.
Wang LQ. Mammalian phytoestrogens: enterodiol and enterolactone. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2002;777(1-2):289-309.