Health

Energy-boosting protein power salad recipe

Sometimes it’s hard to feel like a goddess during the cold winter months. Many of us are still recovering from the holidays, New Year’s hangovers, and the realization that we now have to function at work again.

Angela Liddon

Sometimes it’s hard to feel like a goddess during the cold winter months. Many of us are still recovering from the holidays, New Year’s hangovers, and the realization that we now have to function at work again. Ice, snow, slush, and salt cover our once shiny boots and if you’re like me, your skin is drier than the Sahara. On top of all of this, we want to get fit, eat healthy, organize, and accomplish a handful of other things on our goal list in 2012. It’s no wonder that so many of us wind up feeling tired, run down, and desperately searching for energy this time of the year!

Now let’s dream about summer for a moment. It’s so easy to feel like a goddess during the warmer summer months, isn’t it? The sun is shining, the mornings are bright, and the evenings are long. Exercise feels like a natural release, rather than a chore.

I like to think of this power bowl as a little piece of summer energy! It’s packed with protein, whole grains, and vegetables, all lightly coated in a flavourful lemon-tahini dressing that’s low in oil. This is a great pick-me-up salad when my energy is low and needing a boost, so it’s perfect for this time of the year. The recipe makes just over six cups and the leftovers are great for easy lunches throughout the week. Here’s to feeling like a goddess in the dead of winter!

Protein Power Goddess Bowl

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked green lentils
1 cup uncooked wheat berries or grain of choice, like brown rice
1/2 tbsp olive oil, for sautéing
1 & 1/2 cups chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
3 cups spinach or kale, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges and lemon zest, to garnish
 
Directions:
1. Cook lentils and wheat berries (or grain of choice) according to package directions. I did this the night before to save time. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare the Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing in food processor (see below for recipe).

3. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic for about 5 minutes, until caramelized. Now add in the chopped red pepper and tomato and sauté for another 7-8 minutes.

4. Stir in the chopped kale or spinach and sauté for another few minutes, until tender. Stir in the full batch of the dressing, the cooked and drained grains and lentils, and simmer on low for another few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the minced parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lemon wedges and zest. The salad will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for about 4-5 days.
Yield: 6 cups

Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about two lemons)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
3/4 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2-3 tbsp water, or as needed to thin out
 
Directions:
1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth.
Yield: About 1 cup

Angela Liddon is the creator of Oh She Glows — a popular healthy vegan recipe website receiving over 1.6 million page views a month — and one of Chatelaine‘s Women of the Year 2011. Angela’s passion for healthy vegan food is contagious and she’s eager to show others that vegan (and often gluten-free) food can blow your taste buds away.