There's no end to the variety of delicious salads you can make for yourself at home and as winter sets in, it's great to have a light dish that actually leaves you feeling full! My Black Bean Spinach Salad with Red Pepper Dressing does just that and also packs a strong nutritious punch at the same time. Making the salad is the quick and easy part whilst the dressing takes a little bit more preparation. However, it's well worth the time it takes to get ready!
Using red peppers as the base for a salad dressing is an amazing way to take full advantage of their health promoting properties. Red peppers are packed full of vitamins and nutrients – especially vitamins C & A. As we know, vitamin C is great for the health of your skin and vitamin A is essential for the good health of your eyes. Red peppers are also a wealthy source of vitamin B6 and magnesium, a combination of which is thought to help decrease anxiety levels and the vitamin B6 half of this duo is also fantastic for preventing bloat and hypertension.
To make enough for two people, you'll need the following ingredients:
2 cups of cooked black beans
1 cup of spinach
1 small onion
A handful of black olives
A head of romaine lettuce
A whole carrot, shredded
A large handful of almonds, roughly chopped
And then for the dressing you'll need:
2 red bell peppers
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp of maple syrup
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
So to begin, preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C. You can then slice your peppers in half and remove all of the seeds you find inside. Take your coconut oil and massage it lightly all over the peppers. You must then put them into an oven-proof dish and then leave them in the oven for 45 minutes.
Once this time is up, take the peppers from the oven and leave them to cool for ten minutes or so. After ten minutes, the skins should slide easily from them and you can then place them into your food processor with all of the other dressing ingredients. Give this a whiz until it is completely smooth and then it is ready for use.
Take your black beans and combine in a separate container with half of the salad dressing that you have just prepared. Give this a good stir and then add in the onion, spinach, almonds, lettuce, olives and carrot. This can then be served onto two plates and more dressing added if needed.
Remember, if you want to learn more about nutrition then check out The Flexie Foodie Academy!