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Plant based iron and a juicy Mexican Salad

Pumping up the plant based iron (non-haem) in this dish with plenty of flavour too…

If you’re aiming to eat more plants you don’t want to miss those ingredients rich in iron so ensure you’re integrating these when you’re making your meals:

  • lentils, chickpeas and other beans including kidney
  • tofu
  • nuts and seeds – almonds and cashews are my go to
  • pumpkin, sesame, hemp and flax (linseed) seeds
  • leafy green vegetables such as spinach and beetroot leaves, broccoli and brussel sprouts

You will need to eat more of your non-haem (plant based) iron sources than haem (animal tissue) iron sources to meet your daily needs – around 1.5-2 times more.

Team them with a source of Vitamin C – citrus such as a squeeze of lemon for instance to improve the absorption of the iron as Vitamin C and Iron are synergistic nutrients.

SUPER BEAN MEXI SALAD

Gluten free : Dairy Free : Vegan

Serves 4-6

200g corn kernels

300g hard organic tofu, cut into 2cm pieces

2 teaspoons coconut or extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground smoky paprika

pinch chilli flakes

400g tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained

400g tin brown lentils, rinsed and drained

2 cups shredded red cabbage

200g cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 red capsicum, seeded and finely chopped

1 yellow capsicum, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped

1/2 cup mint leaves, finely sliced

100g red onion, peeled and finely diced

1 large avocado, peeled and diced

juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes

sea salt and black pepper

Heat a frypan on medium heat, add oil, corn kernels, tofu, cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli and cook 4-5 minutes tossing frequently to coat. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl combine kidney beans, lentils, cabbage, tomatoes, red and yellow capsicum, coriander, mint, red onion, corn and tofu, season with sea salt and black pepper. Top with avocado pieces, and drizzle all over with lemon or lime juice. Serve as is or with tortilla or corn chips if desired.

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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