Happy Earth Day!  One way to show our love for Mother Earth is to cut back on our consumption of meat and animal products so we can reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources such as water and fossil fuels.  By eating less animal proteins, we can also reduce our risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and actually extend our lives. Wow, right?

People frequently ask me to help them find a good source of plant-based protein.  This recipe uses inexpensive and delicious Urad Dal (Split Matpe Beans).  These tiny white beans are nutritional powerhouses, containing 120 calories, 24 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup.  Spiking these beans with herbs and farm fresh vegetables turns them into a meal that is sure to satisfy vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Makes 8  heaping 1 cup servings

2 cups Urad Dal

2 carrots, shredded

2 cups red cabbage, shredded

Juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Salt to taste

3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallot

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, cilantro, and/or basil

Directions

Pick through Dal and rinse until water runs clear.  Add to pot and cover with 5 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until beans are quite soft and cream looking, about 40 minutes.

Place beans and vegetables into a large bowl.  To make the dressing, place remaining ingredients into a separate small bowl, and whisk.  Mix dressing into beans and vegetables and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Serve over fresh crispy greens for a complete meal.   Store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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