This delicious, vegetarian salad makes a perfect and satisfying lunch or dinner on its own or you can serve it as a substantial side dish.
Despite being vegetarian, it still contains plenty of protein thanks to the combination of nuts, cheese and chickpeas. When you’re eating vegetarian food, it’s important to combine protein sources to provide a range of amino acids that your body needs.
Protein is an important building block of all cells and tissues in the body, including bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It's also important for balancing blood sugar levels and preventing energy slumps. This salad contains plenty of fibre necessary for a healthy digestive system, plus colourful antioxidants from the peppers, turmeric and beetroot reduce inflammation and keep your cells healthy.
The vibrant green dressing also brings a multitude of health benefits – coriander and parsley help remove heavy metals from the body, tahini is rich in calcium and vitamin E, garlic is great for the liver and helps keep the immune system strong, while avocados and olive oil deliver heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Salad – serves 3-4
150g mixed leaves
125g mozzarella (drained weight), sliced
400g tin chickpeas
50g pine nuts, toasted
100g (drained weight) green or black olives, stones removed and sliced
3 large beetroot – cooked, peeled and sliced
Half a large red pepper, sliced
1 tsp turmeric
Juice of half a lemon
2 spring onions
Half a clove of garlic
Handful fresh coriander and parsley
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp tahini
½ tsp honey
Good grind of sea salt
Toast the pine nuts carefully in a dry frying pan until golden, then put them in a bowl to cool. Then make the dressing, by blending all of the dressing ingredients together using a jug or stick blender, until really smooth. Set aside until you're ready to serve the salad. Using the same pan as the pine nuts, add some olive or coconut oil and heat the chickpeas, adding the tsp of turmeric and stirring through, allowing them to cook just for a few minutes until the chickpeas are coated in the turmeric and a little softened. Arrange the salad leaves in a large bowl, and then add the sliced beetroot, mozzarella cheese, chickpeas, olives and pine nuts. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!