Take a big bite of this healthy and delicious protein packed salad and you'll feel the energy start pulsing through your body. It's as easy to make as it is to eat!
Guess what time it is? It’s time to start training for my second marathon, and Alex’s first!! Can I get an Amen? Actually, Alex is super nervous about the race, but not me; been there, done that. I’ve been told that the second marathon is worse than the first because you know what to expect. I’m not feeling that way. In my mind, I know how to train, and I learned what to do, and what not to do, to be successful. So what’s scary about that? The unknown is far worse in my mind. I also know that it’s all about the journey, and I really loved all of the months leading up to the marathon. So yes, I’m excited to begin training again and to get my body back to its peak condition. More importantly, I’m so freaking excited to do this with my one and only mini me. How many moms can say that they started a vegan food blog, are writing their first cookbook, and are going to run the Chicago Marathon together? One of those things alone is inspiring, but all three, in three years, well, let’s just say that I couldn’t be happier, prouder, or feeling more fulfilled than I am right now. It just doesn’t get much better than this. Especially when you get to eat this protein packed salad with black beans, chickpeas, kale, spinach, black quinoa, and a spicy ginger dressing to kick things off.
If you followed my marathon journey last year, you know that I shared my menu and my activity with you every week. If you enjoyed it, and would like me to track all of my miles and eats with you again this year, let me know. It’s a lot of work, and I’m only going to take the time to do it if you’ll read it, learn from it, and get inspired. So leave a comment. Yay or nay?
Now on to this gorgeous and healthy protein salad.
I’m in love. ♥ This scrumptious compilation of plants has got it going on. There’s a ton of plant-based protein, antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and energy on this plate. It has all the things that you’ll need to rev up your engine and keep it going for miles. The garbanzo and black beans are clean protein that won’t weigh you down the way a piece of meat would. They’re also cholesterol free. You can’t say that about a piece of lean meat. Did you know that one cup of diced chicken has 41% of the daily recommended allowance of cholesterol? That’s huge! It also has 29% fat, and 25% of that is saturated. Yikes! Salmon isn’t much better. One filet of salmon has 37% cholesterol and 22% saturated fat. Beef and pork are similar. So if you want to run and recover better than ever, don’t clog your heart and arteries with fatty, cholesterol ridden food that will cause inflammation; choose beans, grains, and veggies that will do the same thing, only so much better. Last year, after running my first marathon, I was told by multiple runners that I’d feel like crap for at least a week. Well guess what? They were wrong. I was pretty sore the day of the marathon, I had a burn going the day after—but nothing I couldn’t deal with—and by the next day, I was feeling back to my old self. And please keep in mind, I was 52 years old. No spring chicken. I truly, with all of my heart, believe that my whole foods plant-based diet played a huge role in my speedy recovery.
Now you’re probably not training for a marathon, but that’s okay, because eating healthy quinoa and bean salads with lots of greens is for everyone. This salad will help you get through your day feeling strong and energized. It will satisfy you and keep you nourished. And best of all, you can eat a lot of it without feeling guilty. Trust me, you’re going to want to choose a dinner plate over a little salad plate once you take your first bite. It’s so yum.
The ginger dressing is straw worthy. Seriously, you could just sip on it. The ginger, green onion, garlic, and vegan honee complement each other so beautifully. There’s a little zing from the ginger and the green onions, plus a little sweet from the vegan honee, and then there’s the sour from the white wine vinegar. The blend of flavors are exactly what the ingredients in the salad needs to turn bland into exciting.
Make this salad and let me know what you think. And don’t forget to let me know if you want to hear about my path to the Chicago Marathon this October.
Enjoy your week!
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Protein Superfood Bean Salad
- 1 cup 200 g uncooked black quinoa
- 2 cups 480 ml water
- 1 15 oz [425 g] can of black beans, rinsed well
- 1 15 oz [425 g] can of garbanzo beans, rinsed well
- 3 cups coarsely chopped kale
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- FOR THE DRESSING
- 1/3 cup 80 ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp 15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 green onions
- 1 garlic clove finely minced
- ½ tsp Bee Free Honee
- ½ tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well. Transfer to a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the germ has separated from the grain. Let cool.
- Drain and rinse the beans and put them in a large salad bowl with the kale and spinach. Add the quinoa and toss with the dressing.
- FOR THE DRESSING
- Finely mince the white bulb of the green onions and add to the vinegar. Finely slice the green stems of the onions and set aside.
- Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil to the vinegar and whisk well.