White bean kale salad with lemon tahini dressing

March 15th, 2016 by | Posted in Blogs, Feed the Run | Tags: , ,

This recipe is yummy and it’s healthy– the perfect combination for runners who want to be health conscious without sacrificing deliciousness.
White bean kale salad

Adequate protein intake is crucial for each diet, but even more so for that of an athlete. It’s essential for building muscle, recovering after a workout and for the overall functioning of our bodies.

But protein can sometimes be forgotten with society’s obsession with fats and carbs. Headlines are filled with the pros and cons of high-fat, low-fat, high-carb, low-carb and information on protein seems to slip by unnoticed. While I believe that everything can be enjoyed in moderation, including treats, I know that I’ve been caught with inadequate protein intake.

While I’m not a vegetarian, the amount of beans, pulses, legumes and vegetables that I eat suggests I almost could be. (Until I smell sizzling bacon, or see a juicy burger on the BBQ… ) No matter what your food preferences are, there are so many easy ways to incorporate more protein into the diet. The typical solution of adding more meat or seafood is one option, but for vegetarian or vegans, the protein source has to be plant-based. Beans, pulses and legumes are excellent sources. Add in some eggs, tofu, tempeh and other protein-rich ingredients and the days of low protein intake are gone. For example: I love having big salads for lunch or dinner. Already loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, throw on some chickpeas, beans, chicken breast or eggs and it becomes a perfectly wholesome bowl of goodness.

That is exactly what happened recently. I had a couple bunches of fresh kale and was debating what to do with them. Lurking my favourite food blogs, I came across Minimalist Baker’s recipe for white bean kale salad. Confirming that I had all the necessary ingredients, I set to work. The simplicity of the recipe was ideal, and I added some grated beets for extra colour and fibre. They made my white beans turn pink, but that just made the salad look prettier!

White Bean and Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker 

 

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Beans

– 1 15-ounce (425 g) can white or butter beans, rinsed and drained

– ½ lemon, juiced (1 Tbsp or 15 ml)

– 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

– ¼ tsp sea salt

– 1 Tbsp (~4 g) fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for topping

Salad

– 10 ounces (283 g) kale, chopped, large stems removed

– 1 lemon, juiced (2 Tbsp or 30 ml)

– 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

– 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup

– Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 medium/large beet, peeled and grated

Dressing

– ⅓ cup (80 g) tahini

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 ½ lemons, juiced (3-4 Tbsp or 45-60 ml)

– 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) maple syrup

– Pinch each sea salt + black pepper

– Hot water to thin

DIRECTIONS

1. Empty drained beans to a small mixing bowl and add lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and fresh parsley. Toss to combine. Set aside.

2. Add kale to a large mixing bowl with lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Use your hands to massage the kale and break down its texture a bit, and to season the salad. Add shredded beets and toss to combine.

3. To prepare dressing, add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine, then add hot water to thin. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside. (Note: I made half the amount of dressing and found it coated the salad perfectly. It has great flavour so having leftovers isn’t a bad idea either!)

4. Lastly, add beans, croutons, and 3/4 of the dressing to the kale and toss to combine. Serve with any additional dressing and garnish with vegan parmesan cheese (optional). Best when fresh.