For many families, the summer is a break from the fast-paced life of school semesters, sports seasons, and activities. Space finally opens up to relax a bit and enjoy some fun with family and friends.

This year invest in your in-real-life social network and get together. A great way to do that is to invite friends over for a fun, summer meal. A dinner party doesn’t need to be complicated to have a good time— simple meals are often the best as you let summertime itself be the secret ingredient.

Soy foods are the other perfect ingredient for any summer meal. Dishes made with soy are not only delicious, but a nutritious and easy way to add pizazz. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with a variety of soy products such as frozen edamame, soybean oil, and canned soybeans so you’re ready to whip up something tasty anytime. Here are three easy recipe ideas to fuel your summer festivities from a relaxing afternoon to a get-together with friends.

Edamame Hummus – Surprise guests with this delicious take on a hummus dip. Prep it ahead of time so you can actually enjoy being with your guests, then serve it alongside your favorite dippers, use it as a spread on grilled chicken sandwiches, or fold it into warm pasta for a really simple main dish.

Summer Salad with Edamame – Jazz up a summer salad with all kinds of colorful toppings to take it from boring to brilliant. Start with a bed of your favorite lettuce mix then top with thawed, shelled edamame, roasted red peppers, mini mozzarella balls, and seeds or nuts. Create a simple dressing by drizzling with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and fresh cracked pepper. This is going to be the salad that your guests ask for again.

Soybean Cowboy Caviar – This incredibly versatile dish is one you’ll lean on time and time again. It combines a variety of delicious and colorful ingredients including soybeans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and more! You can serve it as a dip with chips, a side dish, a filling for tacos or as a garnish for grilled meat and it’s just so tasty. The extra bonus is that it’s also a nutritious recipe.

No matter where this summer takes you, these recipes are the perfect way to fuel your summer fun with plant-powered protein from soy. All of these dishes can be made ahead and travel well – whether that’s to the beach, a campsite, a party, or your dinner table.

Edamame Summer Salad

By Jenna Braddock, MSH, RDN, CSSD, LD/N

Servings: 8-10


1 bag/container of your favorite salad greens – recommend spring mix

2 cups shelled edamame, thawed (if frozen)

¾ cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped

1 package (about ¾ cup) mini mozzarella cheese balls, drained

⅓ cup sesame seeds

Fresh cracked pepper

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice from ½ lemon (more if desired)


On a serving platter, arrange salad greens in an even layer.

Sprinkle edamame over salad in an even layer.

Spread peppers, mozzarella balls and sesame seeds on top of the salad.

Crack or sprinkle pepper on top of salad, then drizzle with oil. Squeeze lemon juice on top of salad to desired taste.

Serve immediately.

Notes: If making ahead, wait to dress with oil and lemon juice until ready to serve.

Recommend to not toss this salad before serving.