Who says going to the movie theater can't mean healthy snacking? Whenever I go, there's always a ziploc bag full of yummy roasted edemame hidden away in my bag.
We all know that movie theater popcorn is unhealthy, but after my son had a summer job working at our local movie house, I realized the popcorn is not only a bad choice nutritionally, but probably not as sanitary as I like my food. (Sorry movie theater owners, but you know it's true!)
Now I say I "sneak" my snacks in, but in reality, ours and most theaters in the US have a policy that allows food from outside to be brought in by people on special diets, etc...
I often choose edamame because it's a portable, yummy, "finger food" that just happens to be good for you as well. What is edamame, you ask? It's baby soybeans! The word "edamame" means "beans on branches" and it grows in clusters on bushy branches. To retain the freshness and its natural flavor, it is parboiled and quick-frozen. In East Asia, the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. Edamame is consumed as a snack, a vegetable dish, used in soups or processed into sweets. As a snack, which is my favorite way to consume it, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers. Even better, in my opinion, is when you roast the beans with spicy seasonings like chili powder and cumin...or for a more powerful kick, wasabi!!
Now for the nutrition facts: A half a cup of edamame has only 100 calories, 3 grams of fat, 9 carbs with 4 grams of fiber, leaving a net carb count of only 5 for a HALF CUP! Plus, that half cup packs a whopping 8 grams of protein.
So...give it a shot...here's a recipe to get you started...try it and sneak it into a good movie:
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (10 ounce) package ready-to-eat soybeans, thawed if using the frozen variety (fresh or frozen, edamame)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In small bowl, stir together oil, basil, chili powder, onion salt, cumin, paprika and black pepper.
- Drizzle mixture over soybeans and toss to coat well.
- Arrange beans in a single layer in a shallow baking dish.
- Roast, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring once, until soybeans begin to brown.
- Serve hot as a vegetable side dish or cooled as a snack.
- Refrigerate any leftovers.