Saturday, 2 August 2014

Lupini Napa Salad

After a lovely two weeks at home teaching swimming lessons and spending time with my family, I am back in Toronto!  As I was out grocery shopping today to replenish my refrigerator with fresh fruits and veggies, I started talking with a guy who was thinking about reducing his consumption of animal products, but seemed concerned that that might mean only eating salad.  I was able to reassure him that plant-eaters can indeed eat much more than salad!  However, I don't know if I would really mind that so much anyway - vegan salads can be so diverse, filling, and delicious!  Take, for example, the lupini bean and napa cabbage salad I made for dinner this evening:

With crisp napa cabbage and shredded carrot and beet, smooth avocado, crunchy lupini beans, and a creamy tahini lemon dressing, this salad was filling, nutritious, and very yummy! 

Lupini and Napa Salad

napa cabbage - about 2 cups chopped
raw beet - 1/2 shredded
raw carrot - 1 shredded
avocado - 1/2 diced
lupini beans - about 1/2 cup (rinsed from canned)*
tahini-lemon dressing
tahini - about 1/2 tablespoon
lemon juice - about 1 teaspoon
rice vinegar - about 1 teaspoon
fresh ginger - about 1/4 teaspoon minced
optional a little maple syrup for sweetness 
Toss salad ingredients together.  In a separate container, whisk together dressing ingredients, adding water to thin out as necessary.  Pour over salad and enjoy!

*Lupini beans are legumes that come from the lupin plant.  I first discovered them when I began researching for my Master's thesis. (my topic is on legumes and blood pressure - and given how much I like legumes (ex. chickpeas, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, etc.) I'd say it's a pretty good study subject for me!) :)  All legumes are pretty rich in protein, but lupini beans are one of the best sources!  (Many people, including my new friend, are also concerned about getting sufficient protein, but this is not a problem with a plant-based diet - you can find plant sources of protein in lupini beans and other legumes, as well as nuts and seeds, and many grains and veggies!)  Additionally, lupini beans are flavourful and crunchy, making them an ideal bean to add to salads and soups.  Although I like to buy most beans dried (a cheaper option, as well as cutting down on salt which is present in most canned legumes), I buy lupini canned because dried lupini beans contain a toxin which can cause lupin poisoning if the beans are not properly prepared.  (Preparation of the beans is a crazy process - if you're interested, check out "lupin poisoning" on Wikipedia).  I found my lupini beans at a Middle-Eastern grocery store in Toronto, but if you can't find them, feel free to substitute another bean - I'm sure edamame or chickpeas would go well with this salad too!
This salad is rich in protein and healthy fats as well as micronutrients.  If you would like to round out your meal with a little more carbohydrate, you could add some cooked grain like quinoa to the salad, or you can do what I did and end off your meal with some fruit!
I hope you enjoy the salad! :)


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