MY NEW ROOTS' MUNG BEAN SALAD (V+, GF, GrF, NF) 

''And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'' - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968)

I have mainly viewed my little corner in cyber space as an opportunity to share my passion for good, healthy plant-based food. Sure, there has been a gentle undercurrent of wanting to empower myself and my readers to cook more and make informed food choices. And I've perhaps jutted down a note or two about eating local, organic plant food. But it's never been more political than that.

However a few weeks, as the run up to the UK elections was hotting up and pretty nasty and disturbing comments about immigrants and other disadvantaged groups in society were being batted about, I felt I needed to speak up and use this nook for more. I mean how could I 'just' talk about yummy food when there was all this 'stuff' going on around me?

mungbeancollage

You see, it's been a time of change in the UK. Unsettling change that has brought me great sadness. There have always been voices that have preached hatred and intolerance, but generally they have been drowned out by those who have really positive messages to spread. However, over the past few months these angry and frightened voices have not only become louder, but have also been given a platform to preach their message of intolerance. 

And suddenly Martin Luther King's words just resonated again which is why I'm putting them out there. I hope they resonate with you too. They are still so relevant today as we need to continue to help those less fortunate and embrace rather than reject difference and diversity. It will make us stronger and free us from anger, sadness and fear.

IMG 7767yelloer

I feel that my little street in London is the perfect example of how people from different parts of the world, different backgrounds, political views, ages, religions and cultures can somehow live together and make it work. Not just that, what each and every one of us brings to our community enriches it and makes it the special place that it is.

My family and I gladly bring some Latin spice to the Lane (as we like to call our road) and recently got everyone together for an ealy 5 de Mayo celebration. And what better way to do so than over a plant-based feast because food has the magic power of uniting us all, right? This week's super delicious salad was at its centre. It is simple, yet has lots of different layers of flavors and textures. Really unique, scrumptious and oh SO healthy. I adapted the recipe from Sarah Britton's lovely new book My New Roots.
With the salad we also served:

- Chunky Avocado Dip
- Swedish Crisp Breads cut into tortilla chips
- Nut-free Super Green Pesto 
- 2 kick-ass vegan desserts. One of which you can find here 

Thanks for reading everyone. Peace, love and harmony! (Recipe below)

IMG 7770A

MY NEW ROOTS' MUNG BEAN SALAD (V+, GF, GrF, NF)

This salad is super easy to make, so please don't be put off by the long ingredient list. Please also check the tips at the end of the recipe!

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 - 60 minutes (though this will vary, please see instructions)
Serves: 8 - 12

Ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cups / 500g (organic) Mung beans
1/3cup / 80ml (organic) cold-pressed olive oil
14 cup / 60ml (organic) apple cider vinagre
1 tbs real maple syrup
1 tbs yellow mustard
2 tsp salt (I used this one)
1 tsp (organic) ground black pepper
1 tsp (organic) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (organic) ground tumeric
1/2 tsp (organic) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (organic) ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon (organic) ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon (organic) ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon (organic) ground cinnamon
1 medium (organic) red onion
1 cup / 140g (organic) dried currants or dried cranberries
1/3 cup / 40g capers
handful of fresh (organic) parsley leaves

Instructions:
You can soak the mung beans the night before. This will speed up the cooking time. However this step is not essential.

Rinse the mung beans. Place the beans in water with a pinch of salt in a large pot and bring to the boil. If cooking in a normal pot, the beans will take about 60 minutes, but do check after 45 minutes to make sure you're not overcooking them (they should be tender, but not mushy and it may take a little longer or shorter to cook them depending on whether you soaked them the night before). If you are using a pressure cooker and soaked them the night before - as we did - they will be done in about 10 - 15 minutes or so. 

Whilst the beans are cooking away, start making the dressing by combining the olive oil, maple syrup, mustard and spices in a jar. Shake.

Peel and then finely dice the red onions. Wash/rinse in cold water - it makes them less pungent - and set aside.
Chop up the fresh parsley and set aside. 

When the mung beans are cooked, remove them from the heat and drain them under cold water.
Mix in the currants and capers, drizzle with the dressing and toss in the parsley leaves just before serving. 
All done. Enjoy!

Tip 1: This makes A LOT of salad. So it is great to make for a party or a large family.
Tip 2: The salad will keep 2-3 days in the fridge in an air tight container.
Tip 3: Don't have mung beans to hand? Try other beans like adzuki for example.
Tip 4: I used currants for this salad, but would recommend using dried cranberries if you have them to hand as it adds to the dish visually.

IMG 7541

IMG 7726bluer