Vegetarian Soybean Recipes

Soybeans are extremely healthy, and they're easy on the pocketbook. If you're new to the world of soybeans, these vegetarian soybean recipes will help you get started.


| January/February 1985



Soybeans

Soybeans aren't just healthy — they're tasty, too!

PHOTO: FOTOLIA/ELENATHEWISE

It's hard to find a more healthful (or less expensive) food than the soybean. This versatile legume — which can be prepared in a multitude of ways, from soymilk to "ice bean" desserts to fermented tempeh — is low in starch and devoid of cholesterol while being high in protein, minerals, vitamins and lecithin. The following four soybean recipes (which have been kitchen-tested in my home by three hungry men and rated excellent) should help you on your way to discovering a nutritious, tasty, low-meat diet.

Preparing Soybeans

Although the fastest way to cook soybeans (or any other dried bean) is in a pressure cooker — unsoaked soybeans will take about 40 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure — I generally prefer to soak the beans overnight and simmer them the next evening. I usually cook one or two pounds of soybeans each week, leaving half of them whole and grinding up the rest in my food mill. In this way, a single cooking gives me the basis for a week's meals with a minimum of effort. I also save and store the nutritious cooking water for later use in soups, breads and other dishes.

To prepare your beans for cooking, sort through them and discard any discolored kernels, then rinse them. Presoak the beans by adding enough water to a pound of soybeans so that they're covered with 2 inches of liquid, and store them in the refrigerator overnight (the beans will nearly triple in size, so use a big pot).

After the legumes have soaked, skim off 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, a process that usually takes about three hours. When properly cooked, the soybeans should squish easily, but if they're too tender, they'll form a paste when you grind them up.

Barbecued Soybeans

  • 4 cups of cooked soybeans (you can substitute other beans for part of the soybeans or use 1 cup of cooked mixed vegetables in place of 1 cup of soybeans)
  • ¾ cup of catsup
  • ¼ cup of mustard
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder 
  • a dash of Worcestershire sauce

To make this high-protein baked bean dish, combine the beans with the sauce ingredients and bake, covered, in a loaf pan in a 300-degrees-Fahrenheit oven for 2 to 3 hours. (For a sweeter, less spicy sauce, you might want to omit the chili powder and increase the sugar to ¼ cup.)

Soy-vegetable Loaf

 Loaf: 





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