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February 1, 2023

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.
chickpeas
raw oats
red onion
capsicum
cumin
balsamic vinegar
rocket
tomato
parsley
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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The annoying vegan – Iron salad

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.

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The only thing worse than a vegan is an annoying vegan. And I would know because I am one  – I’m very annoying.

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