A World of Wondrous Soybean Recipes

With these soybean recipes, you can turn a tried and true staple into six mouthwaterin' meals.

| March/April 1979

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    A delicious assortment of soybean recipes.

  • 056 soybean recipes.jpg

It's hard to find a more healthful or less expensive food than soybeans. These "miracle" legumes are not only low in starch, but high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and lecithin.

And here are some cosmopolitan soybean recipes that have all been kitchen-tested (by three hungry men) and rated excellent! However, before you attempt anything fancy, you should first know how to prepare the beans for use.

The Basic Recipe

Soak a pound of soybeans in enough water to cover 'em by two inches. (These beans will nearly triple in size, so use a big pot.) After the soybeans have soaked for a day, skim the film that will have formed, add a teaspoon of salt (and more water, if necessary), and bring the pot to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let the beans simmer until they're tender (usually about 2 1/2 to 3 hours). Skim the foam from time to time, and don't let the pot boil over: A floor full of beans is a real chore to clean up!

(I usually cook one or two pounds of soybeans a week, leave half of them whole, and grind up the rest. This single cooking gives me the basis for a week's meals with a minimum of work. I also save and store the leftover, nutritious cooking water for later use in soups, breads, and so forth.)

Cooked beans can—when put through a food grinder—be substituted for (or added to) ground meat in almost any recipe. (Just be sure you don't get them too tender, or they'll form a paste when you try to grind 'em.) All of the following dishes call for already "prepared" soybeans, so start soaking your beans the day before you plan to serve the meal.

Soybean Chili

Sauté 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves of finely minced garlic, and 1 chopped green pepper—in 2 tablespoons of safflower oil—until the onions are golden. Add 3 cups of cooked and ground soybeans, 2 cups of tomato purée or canned tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1 teaspoon of sweet basil or oregano. Let the pot stand covered (but not over heat) while the flavors blend. Later—about half an hour before serving time—heat the mixture to a boil and let it simmer. (You can add more chili at this time if you like really hot food.) The spicy dish is great served over brown rice or in tacos, and a little grated cheese sprinkled on top of your chili will make it especially delicious.


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