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.

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 soy beans, 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. Continue reading

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