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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

The annoying vegan – Iron salad

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Iron salad to the rescue!

The two challenges for me as a vegan are my B12 and iron levels. I’ll save the B12 conversation for another time and talk about iron.

There are two types of iron – haem and non-haem; the latter is iron not found in animal tissue and is found in many plant foods.

In a healthy diet, you have to make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Sometimes I can get busy and plain old slack and last week my annual blood test came back showing that my ‘biochemistry is beautiful’, but I was a little low on iron.

Luckily, for this annoying vegan, I have a sister who is an annoying dietitian who supports my plant-based diet on the understanding that I keep it balanced. She reminded me that I need to up my legumes and leafy greens, oats, quinoa, and tofu.

So I rolled out my old favourite, ‘oh-no-the-invite-says-bring-a-plate-to-share’ last-minute salad that is full of iron.

The ingredients are very simple.
raw oats
red onion
balsamic vinegar
sesame seeds
lemon or lime juice

Amounts? I don’t know – I just grab it as I go, but I usually use a tin of chickpeas. The method is very easy – I make layers.

Whenever I’m making a salad with onion, I make sure I pickle it first. I slice it up and let it soak in a little bit of vinegar while I’m getting the other ingredients organised.

The second ingredient I prepare is the tomato and once it is sliced up I’ll stir it into the onion.

The rest of it is really easy: you just layer it all into a bowl. I add the parsley, thinly sliced capsicum, chickpeas (keep the juice – aquafaba – you can use it to make a lot of tasty things – ask Dr Google).

Then I add cumin, raw oats – about one-quarter of the amount of chickpeas – and sesame seeds.

Last but definitely not least is the citrus juice. In this instance, it serves two purposes: it makes the salad taste super yummy, and it also assists the iron absorption*.

I then put some rocket into a large bowl and dump the whole salad on top and toss the lot.

If I am feeling extra cordon bleu, I’ll drizzle (see what I did there?) some sesame oil and sprinkle some nooch** over the top and toss again.

If you really want to bump up the iron on this, make a meal of it by adding some cooked quinoa and very lightly steamed broccoli.

Too easy. Try it, you’ll love it!

Signed, The Annoying Vegan

* Inhibitors of iron absorption include tannins so limit your coffee and tea when eating your iron-rich foods.
** Nutritional yeast – The Goddesses’ gift to vegans.


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