The legumes in the diet are still wrongly neglected. Legumes are premium plant proteins, which additionally contain a lot of fibre while having a low fat content. Legumes are also a source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins, especially B group vitamins. Legume salads will be an excellent side dish to accompany small portions of meat or fish or can be eaten separately as a filling mid-day meal.
1) Moroccan Lentil Salad
1/2 cup dry small green lentils
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 minced hot green chilli peppers
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
Place lentils and water in a pot. Bring water to boil, reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until tender.
In a salad bowl combine lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, green onions, green chillies, bell peppers, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and salt. Toss well. Chill for 20 minutes before serving.
2) White Bean and Artichoke Salad
3 cups canned large white beans (butter beans)
(You can prepare them yourself. In that case soak them overnight for 10 to 12 hours, then boil for 60 minutes in clean unsalted water.)
1/2 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2/3 cup diced green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 ounce chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine beans, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, olives, onion, parsley, mint, and basil.
In a jar or small bowl, combine oil and vinegar; shake together or mix well. Pour oil and vinegar over the salad, and toss to coat.
Cover and chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, to let flavours blend.
3) Black Eyed Pea salad
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
1/3 cup chopped celery, with leaves
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup olive oil
2 oranges, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Place the beans in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by one inch. Bring beans to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender but not mushy (about 35 minutes). Set aside to cool.
When the beans have cooled, place them in a large bowl. Add the celery, carrots, parsley, white onion, and mint; toss to blend.
For dressing, blend olive oil, orange and lemon juice, garlic, coriander, salt, pepper, and brown sugar in a blender for 6 seconds. Transfer to a small saucepan, and simmer over low heat for five minutes. Remove from heat, and cool. Pour dressing over the bean salad, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
4) Easy Warm Chickpea Salad
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 (14 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in the hot oil until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and garlic to onion; cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Mix red pepper flakes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into chickpea mixture; cook and stir for 3 minutes more. Stir parsley and mint into salad.