A Fresh, Nutrition-Packed Spring Lunch
For many of us, spring means that the weather is warm enough to make salads sound appetizing again! However, this bright salad still includes warming elements like curry powder and roasted beets to ensure that it’s comforting and crave-worthy even on rainy wet days – a true ‘rainbow’ of nutrition to brighten the middle of your day. It’s easy to double the ingredients in this recipe and pack them up separately as a lunch meal prep for your work week, and thanks to the generous portions of protein-packed chickpeas and pumpkin seeds, you’ll feel satiated all afternoon.
This salad is entirely plant-based. If you’re curious about exploring a plant-based diet, an accessible way to start is by simply choosing one meal a day at which to avoid animal products. You may find that a vegan lunch will help you feel full but not sleepy and draggy during the afternoon. The wide assortment of vitamins and minerals that this salad offers your body will help you find energy and focus when your stores are running low. Prep this salad on the weekend for your weekday lunches or make it share as a light dinner with a loved one. Your body will thank you.
Ten Ways This Salad Will Boost Your Health
This recipe includes a wide variety of affordable ‘superfoods’ – some of the most nutritious ingredients that nature has to offer. Check out this short sampling of the ways in which these plant foods will help your body thrive:
- Studies show that the inorganic nitrates found in beets can lower your risk of heart disease. They have also been shown to create a marked improvement in the performance of endurance athletes like runners and cyclists.1
- Chickpeas contain 7 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving, which works to improve digestion and promote gut health by providing the ‘food’ that probiotic bacteria needs in order to function optimally.2
- Curry powder is rich in turmeric, which has been shown to improve brain health and reduce chronic pain. It’s also a zero calorie way to add intense, delicious flavor to any recipe.3
- Rich in vitamins A and C, mixed greens can help to reduce your risk of cancer and strengthen your immune system.4
- Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve bone health.5
- Red cabbage contains 10 times more vitamin A than green cabbage and can boost your eye health, both in the present and for the long-term.6
Vegan Rainbow Lemon Curry Salad (Makes 2 meal-sized salads)
2 golden beets, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 small clamshell of mixed greens
¼ red cabbage head, finely sliced
4 mini red sweet peppers, seeded and finely sliced
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 mini cucumbers
½ lemon, sliced into wedges
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425º F and line 2 baking sheets with foil. Spray the foil with coconut oil baking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together beets, lemon pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly across one of the prepared pans and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
- In a large bowl (once the beets are in the oven), stir together chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, curry powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread across the other prepared pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the beets and chickpeas are roasting, prepare the salads. Divide mixed greens between two plates and top with neat rows of red cabbage, sweet peppers, pumpkin seeds, and cucumbers.
- Once the beets and chickpeas are cooked, divide them between the two salads. Add lemon wedges on the side and serve immediately.
- The oil from the roasted chickpeas and beets when combined with the lemon juice creates its own dressing. If, however, if you’d prefer additional dressing, feel free to add a drizzle of vinaigrette or a creamy tahini-based dressing.
- Arugula makes a delicious replacement for the mixed greens in this salad if its available.
- If you don’t have golden beets at your grocery store, red beets or sweet potatoes will work well instead.
Integrative Nutrition is the world’s largest nutrition school and Health Coach Training Program. Through our innovative, one-year online course, students learn the principles of health coaching, business skills, and over 100 different dietary theories with lectures by the world’s leading experts.