This vegetarian lunch is really satisfying and doesn’t skimp on protein, thanks to the combination of nuts, cheese and chickpeas. When you’re eating vegetarian food, it’s important to combine protein sources within one meal, to get the right balance of amino acids necessary for healthy muscles and energy levels.
You can of course add in some fish, cooked chicken or hardboiled eggs if you want a more substantial protein hit. This salad is also a great source of fibre for gut health and to keep you feeling fuller for longer, plus colourful antioxidants from the peppers, turmeric and beetroot reduce inflammation and keep your cells healthy. Beetroot is also a great source of nitrates, which may help to increase endurance during workouts.
The flatbreads are super easy to make, and add some healthy, slow-release carbs to your meal, but they are naturally gluten free and higher in protein than grain flatbreads, which your gut and blood sugar balance will thank you for.
|Salad – Serves 3-4|
|150g mixed leaves|
|125g mozzarella (drained weight), sliced|
|400g tin chickpeas|
|Handful green lettuce, e.g. romaine|
|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|
|125g chickpea flour|
|Pinch sea salt and pepper|
Before you make the salad, mix up the flatbread batter to give it just a little time to rest before you cook them. Just add all the ingredients to a large bowl, whisking everything together well until smooth. Then just set aside while you make the salad.
Toast the pine nuts carefully in a dry frying pan until golden, then put them in a bowl to cool. Using the same pan, 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 and pine nuts. Season well, and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil or your salad dressing of choice.
For the flatbreads, heat some coconut oil in a large non-stick pan and, depending on the size of your pan, add enough mixture to coat the bottom of the pan about ½ cm thick. Swirl the mixture round to cover the pan evenly, then allow to cook for a few minutes, until the flatbread comes away easily from the pan, and flip over to cook on the other side until golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture until you have as many flatbreads as you need – any leftover mix can be stored in the fridge for a day or two.