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Spicy bean, corn and coconut salad with turmeric spiced nuts

You might be noticing I’m including different types of beans / legumes in my recipes more frequently in the past 6 months or maybe a little longer. A few reasons for this…

+ they’re pumped with high quality nutrients – with protein and fibre topping the list

+ they’re an economical source of protein to add to a meal and when working through solutions for people’s nutrition and health ensuring that it isn’t a ridiculously expensive process is important

+ they keep incredibly well in the pantry and can be ready as a meal within minutes with a few other basic ingredients

+ they’re a more environmentally sustainable way to eat than having a form of animal based protein at most to every meal

+ on a personal note – I’ve shifted much of my diet away from red meat, poultry pork etc. I still enjoy dairy and fish a few times throughout the week, but the rest of the meals are up to my nutritious creativity

I totally understand when people say ‘beans don’t agree with me’, with flatulence and bloating being a couple of the after effects for SOME people (not all though) but there are a few ways to manage this so that you can enjoy more of these nutrient rich super heroes in your diet.

1/ Start small – like my philosophy in health – “make small frequent changes”. Start with small portions of beans in your  diet to start. Don’t overload your digestive system eating them daily or too often in a single day.

2/ Cook and eat them fresh, or once opened and rinsed from a tin eat within a few days. Whilst they don’t have the rapid bacterial growth as meats within a few days, many individuals find this helpful to manage any digestive discomfort they may initially find with beans

3/ Rinse any dry beans or tinned beans well and cook them with a piece of kombu (seaweed) which helps to tenderise the beans in the cooking process

4/ Enjoy some digestive enzyme rich foods between meals – these include papaya, pineapple and kiwifruit. 1/2 to 1 cup of these as a snack is a great way to increase digestive enzymes which support the break down of food.

So back to the beans and how rad they are  and this delicious recipe inspired by Sri Lanka travels! I’ve included both moong dhal and dried mung beans in this recipe, but you can easily swap up for whatever is on hand in your bean cupboard. You can also reduce the quantity of beans in the recipe and top up the recipe with cooked brown or basmati rice to start if you need too – there are always ways to swap it up. Finally – be careful of the addictive nature of the turmeric nuts and seeds. They’re so good you may not get them to your salad if you not careful!



Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

Gluten free : Dairy Free : Vegan

100g dried mung beans

150g dried moong dhal


Turmeric Spiced Nuts:

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder

pinch chilli flakes

1/4 cup (50g) cashews

1/4 cup (50g) sunflower seeds



250g corn kernels, cooked

1 small (100g) red onion, peeled and finely diced

1/2 bunch coriander, leaves and stalks rinsed and finely chopped

1 (180g) cucumber, finely sliced

1/2 cup (30g) shredded coconut

sea salt and black pepper



1/2 cup coconut (or natural full fat dairy) yoghurt

1/2 teaspoon curry spice mix


Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil, add mung beans and moong dhal and cook for 25 minutes or until tender, drain and set aside.

Whilst the beans are cooking make the turmeric spiced nuts by combining honey, turmeric and chilli in a frypan.

Place frypan on medium heat and melt the honey and spices together, then add cashews and sunflower seeds, toss to coat and cook 5 minutes on the stove top, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool. They will become brittle -like as the cool. Once cooled, break into pieces ready for the salad.

Whisk ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl

To make the salad, combine cooked beans and moong dhal, spiced nuts, corn, red onion, coriander, cucumber, shredded coconut in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss.

Serve by spooning dressing over the base of a large serving platter and laying the salad over the top so you can scoop into the dressing as you eat it. 

+ Ingredients sourced through and collaboration with Naked Foods. 

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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