Chickpea and sweet potato salad

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Include this gut-healthy salad in your weekly meal plan to satisfy your hunger and your taste buds, while reaping myriad health benefits.

Courtesy of dietitian and nutritionist Lauren Marino @LM_Nutrition, this recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and contains a good mix of healthy fats, low GI carbohydrates, and fibre. 


The low-down on legumes
The hero of the dish? Chickpeas. Belonging to the legume family, chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, which Marino recommends including in your meals at least twice per week.

Legumes are also rich in resistant starch, which resists digestion in your stomach and small intestine before reaching your colon. The CSIRO recommends consuming 20 grams of resistant starch per day to reap these benefits:


Keeps you feeling full
The longer digestion process leaves you feeling satisfied. 



Boosts gut health
Once the starch reaches your bowel, it feeds your good gut bacteria and stimulates further growth. 


Improves colon health
Gut-friendly bacteria increase the production of short chain fatty acids, the main source of nutrition for the cells in your colon. According to the CSIRO, food containing resistant starch leads to positive changes in the bowel and could help to prevent the onset of bowel cancer.


Reduces inflammation
Short chain fatty acids are said to lower pH levels or acidity, reducing inflammation.


Lowers blood sugar levels
Foods rich in resistant starch keep glucose (the main sugar found in your blood) levels stable throughout the day. High blood sugar levels can lead to diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Chickpea and sweet potato salad recipe

Marino recommends adding your protein of choice, such as salmon or tuna, to create a wholesome, balanced meal your body will thank you for.

Energy: 1233kj | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Carbs: 30g | Fibre: 9g
per serve

INGREDIENTS

500g sweet potato, diced
2 onions, cubed
1 bunch of broccolini
1/2 an avocado
1 tin of chickpeas, drained
120g baby spinach
A handful of chopped coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Tzatziki Dressing

1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cucumber, grated
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Coat the sweet potato and onion in cumin, garlic and paprika and a drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil.
  2. Place in an air fryer for 20 minutes or cook in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approx. 30 minutes. 
  3. Steam the broccolini by placing in a bowl, covering in glad wrap and microwaving for 3 minutes. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the broccolini, avocado, spinach, coriander and chickpeas. Add the air-fried sweet potato and onion once cooked. 
  5. Mix the tzatziki dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. Drizzle the salad with dressing and enjoy!