It’s officially Spring and I’m celebrating with a fresh and deliciously green kale spring pea salad. I love seeing all the emerging fresh bright produce at the markets this time a year and am a major fan of eating like its summer before it actually is.
I was so pleased when I woke up to an email from Julie, asking if I’d like to contribute a recipe to her blog. Julie and I go back a few years and first got to know each other when we used to meet for 7am saturday morning spin classes at Soulcycle in TriBeCa, NYC. Followed by coffee and green juice in a nearby cafe, obviously. Then we both moved to London and ended up living just minutes from each other, which meant countless mornings working together, exploring London and hanging out with my, at the time, 1 year old son. Julie was that treasured friend who was there to give me sanity on the days where motherhood was tough, and she was was the most faithful guinea pig for the countless times I made her try new recipes – good and bad. Knowing Julie and her love for greens and fresh colour, I thought this salad was perfect and hope you all love it!
Nutritionally green peas are a great source of vitamin K, B vitamins, fibre and protein. In fact just one cup contains 44% of your daily need for vitamin K, which is essential for healthy bones as it helps anchor the calcium inside the bones. B vitamins are essential for healthy energy levels as well as healthy skin, hair & nails, and peas also embody a unique set of phytonutrients that provide some amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits! One of these phytonutrients are called coumestrol. A recent study based in Mexico showed that just 2 milligrams of coumestrol had protective effects against stomach cancer. To put this into a perspective… a single cup of peas contains around 10 mg of this powerful compound, giving us a small glimpse into the nutrient rich and health promoting nature of these small green wonders. Remember, the fresher the peas – the greater nutritional value. So go raid your local green market and choose fresh over frozen whenever possible (that said, frozen peas are better than no peas at all).
Peas are also a fantastic source of plant based protein with a surprising 7.5 gm of protein for every cup (137 gm). That is the same as a large egg! Note that down for next time someone tells you that plants don’t have protein. Ha!
This dressing is inspired from my love for nutritional yeast and dulse flakes. I love adding a few teaspoons (or tablespoons – who am I kidding) on my salads and love all the health benefits I get from both. Nutritional yeast is full of B vitamins (some brands includes B12 as well), trace minerals and is a bioavailable source of complete protein, which contains all 18 amino acids. It is naturally free of dairy, soy, gluten and sugar, and contains no animal products. B vitamins help balance the myriad systems of the body, support healthy energy production, and can help decrease PMS, mood changes and irritability. B vitamins can also improve skin, nails and hair and is great for memory and brain function. Dulse flakes, on the other hand, is a sea vegetable and an amazing source of iodine. It adds great flavour to salads and is rich in many minerals and helps support a healthy thyroid function as well as a healthy metabolism. It is also great for the digestive system and supports healthy gut, brain and liver function, making a sprinkle of dulse an amazing and easy way to enrich your meal. And if you’re not a fan of seaweed at all, try it anyway as the flavour is dry subtle and barely noticeable atop a salad. The dressing also packs a pinch of cayenne, which adds a great spice and somehow works really well with the rest. I’ll admit I was sceptical when first trying this dressing, but I was instantly a fan… and hope you will be too.
Head over to Julie’s blog, Julieann Gregory, to get the full recipe…