The recipe I will be sharing with you in this post is packed with healthy protein and fiber. ‘Protein’ as we know is a macronutrient which is made up of amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks of cells and tissues and are essential for the regulation and maintenance of the human body. The body can make its own amino acids but, we need to get some 9 essential ones from food. In the recipe below I have used beans as a source of protein. Beans contain a comprehensive amount of amino acids, more so than other vegetables. Beans are also high in ‘Fiber’, which is a kind of carbohydrate that does not get broken down into sugar molecules easily. Fiber helps regulate sugar levels, can aid in lowering cholesteral, keeps hunger at bay, feeds our gut microbiome, enables regularity and prevents constipation. It is also a sustainable source of protein!
The beans in this salad are chickpeas, kidney beans, white lima beans and pinto beans. I soaked them overnight, as this allows the ‘Phytic acid’ found in beans to breakdown and allow easier digestibility. Phytic acid is considered an ‘anti-nutrient’ and can interfere in mineral absorption. So, I would highly recommend you soak them in water for at least 12 hours before you cook them!
Also added in this salad is the delicious cruciferous vegetable kale, which is an incredible anti-inflammatory food! Asparagus has been chosen as it is a fantastic prebiotic food that helps feed the good bacteria in our gut!
Ingredients for the salad :
- 200 grams of mixed beans
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 13 stalks of thin asparagus
- 8 sliced cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt on asparagus
- 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt on the beans
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Feta cheese
Ingredients for the salad dressing :
The salad dressing is in itself most nutritious and can be stored in a glass bottle in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks. It is thick in texture and has an intense taste, therefore it can be used in small quantities. The salad dressing’s main ingredient is ‘Tahini’ paste which is made from crushed sesame seeds and water. You can buy prepared tahini from the supermarket. Sesame seeds are a good source of protein and fiber and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are known to help reduce inflammation in the body. The dressing also contains ‘Unrefined dark Molasses sugar’ instead of refined sugar. Molasses is rich in vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. ‘Blackstrap molasses’ is a thick liquid and it is a bit more bitter than molasses sugar, so that is why I have suggested you try molasses sugar first and then gradually replace it with blackstrap as it has concentrated amounts of the nutrients mentioned above. You will see an ingredient called ‘Coconut aminos’. This is a liquid extracted from coconut sap and it tastes like soy sauce or tamari. It is available in supermarkets or organic grocery shops. Mix all the ingredients below in a glass bottle before you begin with the salad preparation:
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp pink himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp molasses sugar (or blackstrap molasses)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Preparation for the salad :
- Rinse the beans and cover them with water in a glass bowl overnight
- Drain the water and place them in fresh water in a pot to boil – about 2 inches above the beans
- Add 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
- Boil them until cooked – approximately 20 – 30 minutes
- Place the asparagus stalks on a baking tray and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt and minced garlic
- Slice the cherry tomatoes and place them along with the asparagus on the tray
- Grill the asparagus and cherry tomatoes for 20 minutes on low temp of 180 C
- Once grilled chop the asparagus into 2 inch pieces
- Mix the beans, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, kale in a bowl
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice on the ingredients in the bowl and sprinkle some pepper then turn the ingredients gently to coat them
- Crumble feta cheese on top and serve!
This can be served as a salad for lunch or dinner or as a warm meal with garlic bread, made with whole wheat sourdough. The photos above are from the dinner I had with my kids the other night and they absolutely loved it! I was thrilled to give them a sustainable meal packed with these nutritious ingredients! Hope you can enjoy this with your family too. This recipe serves 3.