Here is an easy, healthy recipe that will work as we transition from summer into fall. Sweet corn, red bell peppers and organic soybeans (also called edamame) create a colorful vegetable side dish. This is my version of succotash. Succotash was also traditional on New England Thanksgiving tables.
From Lima Beans to Soybeans
Popular during the Great Depression for it’s relatively inexpensive ingredients, succotash is traditionally made with corn, sweet peppers and lima beans. While I love corn and red bell peppers, I’ve never grown to like limas. OK, that was polite. I can’t stand them. So I swapped lima beans for another green bean, soybeans, and now have another welcome way to keep vegetables interesting.
Soybeans – The Good and Controversial
Nutritionally speaking, soybeans are high in protein, folate, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron and fiber, plus important minerals. Additionally, their protein is complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids our bodies can only get through diet.
While soybeans can make a healthy contribution to many diets, this legume is not for everyone. Soybeans are on the “most controversial” list on the World’s Healthiest Foods website. If you are allergic to soy, this is not a dish for you. Swap the soybeans for limas or fava beans.
This recipe uses whole soybeans. As with most foods, the whole form is healthy. It’s the processed forms of soy that are a big problem, health-wise. Processed forms like soy protein isolate (SPI) and TVP, textured vegetable protein should be avoided. So should mass market soy “vegetable” oil that is GMO and processed with high heat or chemicals. These are unhealthy forms of soy.
Succotash is one dish where I am careful to choose organic ingredients. Soybeans and corn, if conventionally grown, are going to be GMO (genetically modified). Not a healthy choice. In fact I believe a dangerous choice. And red bell peppers are on the Dirty Dozen list for produce with high levels of pesticides.
For soybeans, buy only shelled, fresh or frozen organic. The frozen are handy to stock in your freezer. The same is true of corn. Whether fresh or frozen, choose organic corn.
Organic peppers are not always available. I will make this with conventionally grown bell peppers, because it is still more important to get your vegetables than to choose organic in this case.
Prep Your Succotash
There is not a lot of cooking time with this recipe. Drop frozen soybeans into boiling water for about 4 minutes. Corn can be cooked fresh on the cob for 3 minutes in boiling water, or use frozen, thawed and cooked kernels.
Chop and saute a bell pepper (for help, see photos below) along with sliced leek, garlic and herbs. In quick time, you have a delicious side dish to serve with chicken, fish, burgers or about any main dish.
I’ve been enjoying this succotash for lunch mixed with cooked quinoa. It’s great! I discovered this after we finished shooting the photos so unfortunately we don’t have a picture. It’s terrific for a high protein, light, healthy vegan lunch. It’s good warm or cold. Mixed with the quinoa, it also makes for a heartier side dish to serve more people. For how to cook quinoa, directions are here.