“Get Your Protein On” Bean Salads

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Curry Chickpea Salad, Italian White Bean Asparagus Salad + Black Bean Avocado Salad

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with people about how to make sure you get enough protein following a vegan diet. Honestly, this is the most common conversation that I have about eating vegan. The answer for me is by eating a healthy variety of whole plant-based foods that includes beans, nuts, nut butters, seeds, tempeh, tofu and some whole grains like quinoa.

I’m not big on tracking this kind of thing and I don’t count calories, but for a nutrition class I took while I was in culinary school I was required to track my food intake for two weeks. What I found is that my vegan diet met all of my protein needs perfectly. So I don’t sweat this too much. My focus and energy is directed toward holistic wellness and I trust that my healthy lifestyle will always support me.

Matt Frazier, an ultramarathoner and author of the book No Meat Athlete says “If you’re eating enough for your activity level and consuming a variety of whole foods, you will get all of the protein you need.” He explains that for his weight and activity level he needs about 2,500 calories per day and shoots to get about 10% or 250 calories from protein.

So, with an emphasis on protein, I thought I’d put together a few bean salad recipes today. Each one includes one can of beans, some vegetables, nuts and herbs. They are super easy to throw together. I made these with ingredients that I had in my pantry and refrigerator. All of the recipes can be easily improvised by adding what you happen to have in your house.

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Ingredients for Italian White Bean Salad

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Italian White Bean Salad

Italian White Bean Salad

Serves 2-4

1 can great northern or cannellini bean, drained and rinsed

4-5 asparagus spears, lightly steamed and chopped

1/2 yellow pepper, diced

1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

2 Tbsp raw pinenuts

1 T Garlic Expressions dressing or balsamic vinaigrette, or to taste

1 tsp tuscan or italian seasoning or to taste

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

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Ingredients for Curry Chickpea Salad

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Curry Chickpea Salad

Curry Chickpea Salad

Serves 2-4

1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans (same thing), drained and rinsed

1 medium sized carrot, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 mango, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp raw cashews, finely chopped

1/2-1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

Curry Dressing (recipe follows)

Sea salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add 2 Tbsp of curry dressing and toss to coat, adding more if needed. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Curry Dressing

2 Tbsp vegan mayonaise, I used Vegenaise

1 Tbsp mango chutney

1 tsp curry powder

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.

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Ingredients for Black Bean Avocado Salad

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Black Bean Avocado Salad

Black Bean Avocado Salad

Serves 2-4

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cucumber, unpeeled and diced

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 avocado, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 Tbsp salsa

2 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

1 tsp taco seasoning or to taste

Avocado dressing (recipe follows)

Sea salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add avocado dressing and toss again to coat. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Avocado Dressing

1/2 avocado, chopped

2 Tbsp salsa

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

Sea salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Combine until smooth. Adjust season to your taste.

2 responses »

  1. omg omg omg i am drooling… i wish we had the variety of things here in uganda! i think I can make the chickpea salad tho, once i get some more chickpeas! 🙂 Hmm wait though, I don’t have chutney and the mayo here is like miracle whip. Do you know how to make one’s own mayo? I know it wouldn’t be vegan tho

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