Black-eyed Beans (known as ‘Black-eyed peas in the US – even though they are actually a bean) are a fabulous addition to conscious cuisine.
In today’s recipe, I am using black-eyed beans, in a delicious beetroot salad with tahini sauce.
You can buy black-eyed beans in a tin or carton, although if you buy the dried version (which is usually cheaper, probably more nutritious and goes a lot further) then you’ll find they cook quicker than most other dried beans do.
There’s something about black-eyed beans that makes me like them more than any other bean. They have that sort of perfect balance between ‘bite’ and ‘creaminess’. They taste great and hold together really well when over-cooked (where other beans might fall apart).
Not only is this salad jam packed with all the nutrients you’d expect in any conscious kitchen cuisine, it is full of exciting textures too.
In this recipe we’ve got the gentle, crunch of the broccoli, the soft bite of beans and raisins and the subtle creaminess of the tahini sauce.
That colour too…
It’s the beetroot red that makes it so colourful. Personally, I think that colour filled, vibrant salads seem to make the world a brighter, lighter, more fun place to be. So let’s bring ’em on!
Just can’t help myself. I go for the most vibrant colours every time. Smiling and dancing about the kitchen as I go. A feast for the eyes. Colours effect our energy and mood. They can enliven us; nourish us, nurture us!
That is especially said for beetroot red. It excites everything it touches. Infusing it with an awakened vibrancy that makes you enjoy salad in a whole new way.
As we can see, salad doesn’t have to be boring ever…
It can be a whole sensual experience. The flavour is just one part of that. Of course, the taste IS an important part of the experience. The flavours have to dance, complementing each other in a way that leaves an element of mystery ‘hmmmm what did you put in this? I can’t quite tell, but I like it’.
What really excites me is that the salad experience begins before that first bite even reaches out mouth.
Let’s not forget the beautiful aroma too. I’ll often have someone walk into the kitchen as I am preparing salad, commenting on how good it smells. The fresh, earthy scent is released as we start to prepare each ingredients. Sometimes subtle with a salad, but most inviting none-the-less.
Tips for the tahini sauce
This salad benefits from a delicious, creamy tahini sauce. Tahini makes an excellent dressing – one of my favourites in fact!
Tahini can however, be a little stubborn at times – if this happens, then just keep mixing until it creams up. It should be really creamy as you finish the dressing.
Tahini can also come in different consistencies, depending on the brand. If your’s is really thick, then simply add a little more water. If it is super thin, then you might leave the water out all together.
Different brands of tahini vary a lot and it really matters…
There are lots of different tahini’s out there; all with different tastes (and to be quite honest, it can be a bit off-putting if you get a grainy bitter one). Make sure you get a creamy, delicious version. I tend to avoid the raw ones as they generally just don’t do if for me. In the UK, Suma, Essentials, Sunita and Cypressa do the best ones. They are all creamy and delicious and they also do organic, light versions (‘light’ means it has been creamed without the husks). In the USA my good friend Jen put me onto Achva Organic Tahini which I can recommend for my North American readers. Jen did not like tahini until she found that one. Now she’s a big fan… so I am thrilled that she didn’t give up! There are some other delicious brands out there although I’ve forgotten the names. If you have a favourite please do let me know and I’ll check them out.
I must warn you though, if you stumble on to a delicious source of tahini, you’ll probably get hooked on the stuff, just like we have! For more about the health benefits of eating seeds check out my article here: The Importance of Eating Seeds for a Healthy Diet
Go for a brand that you like!
Tahini sauce ingredients
- 2 heaped tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon rice syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Twist of pepper
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons water (or a touch more if needed)
- 1 beetroot (tennis ball sized)
- 1 very small broccoli
- Small handful raisins
- 1/2 can (125g) black eyed-beans (drained)
- Make the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Tahini can be a little stubborn at times - if this is the case, then just keep mixing until it creams up. Tahini can also come in different consistencies, depending on the brand. If your is really thick, then simply add a little more water. If it is super thin, then you might leave the water out all together.
- Make sure your beetroot is clean and remove its top & tail with a sharp knife. Grate the beetroot (with skin still on) into your salad bowl.
- Finely chop the broccoli and add to the bowl.
- Toss your drained black-eyed beans and raisins in with the salad.
- Mix in your tahini dressing well.
- Eat on it's own as a hearty salad or a part of a salad buffet. This works really well on top of rice, quinoa or millet too.
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