purple protein salad

Now that reading magazines counts as school work, I’m amassing them more quickly than ever. Despite my rather obsessive collection of food magazines, when I saw this salad splashed across the cover of Vegetarian Times, I had no second thoughts about shelling out the five bucks.

Not usually one drawn to potato salads, this one promised something new. As opposed to the dominantly creamy and heavy versions, this one is fresh and light–perfect for the transition from summer to fall.

purple potato salad

Another plug for the salad: it got me through at least a week of on-the-go eating that characterizes grad school. It’s delicious at room temperature too, making it an excellent traveler between classes and interviews. Each time I’d open my plastic container and see those amethyst potatoes glistening in olive oil a wave of comfort in the face of mounting stress would wash over me. Cafeteria food just doesn’t have quite the same effect.

I’m not a huge potato lover, but I do love how in this picture you can almost see the growth, as in an oak tree’s rings. Beneath the russet skin, purple flesh tells of nutrient-rich soil. Speckles and veins are revealed by the swift glide of a knife, leaving little chunks ready to be dressed.

Edamame, or young soybeans, are one of the healthiest ways to get your soy. While there is much debate about the health benefits of soy, most researchers agree that soy in it’s “whole food” form is almost indisputably positive.¬†Miso, tempeh, soy milk, and edamame are considered “traditional” soy foods. Prominent soy researcher Mark Messina recommends no more than two servings of these forms of soy to maintain safe estrogen and phytic acid levels. With soy as with everything, moderation is key.

One thing I do know about these beans is that they’re delicious. They’re meaty and bright green, while being high in good-quality protein. Tossed together with cabbage, garden tomatoes, chickpeas and a simple dressing, they surpass their destiny as mere appetizer to sushi. You can find them in your grocery’s frozen section, conveniently shelled and rearin’ to go.

If you find yourself feeling grey, try this little rainbow feast.

Warm Potato and Edamame Salad

serves 4, or one for a weeks worth of lunches

1 12-oz package frozen shelled edamame
1/4 head green cabbage, finely shredded¬† (about 1 cup) or, if you don’t like cabbage, fresh spinach
16 small, purple, fingerling potatoes, about 1 lb (use red, or new potatoes if you must)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
4 cups baby greens for presentation

  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch edamame three minutes in boiling water, then transfer to a medium bowl with a strainer or slotted spoon. Blanch cabbage in the same pot for 1 minute and place in the same bowl.
  2. Drop potatoes in boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and add to edamame mixture. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and toss with oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  3. Place greens in serving bowls and mound potato salad on top.

Per serving: 351 calories, 13 grams protein, 17.5 total fat, 37 grams carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 9 grams fiber, 6 g sugars.

Courtesy of Vegetarian Times

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