Iron and energy salad

AVOCADO, ARAME, BEETROOT, CARROT AND LENTILS

GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE
MAKES 1 - 2 SERVINGS

Arame sea vegetable and lentils are both rich sources of iron, but not in a form that makes them easily bio-available. The citrus dressing provides a large dose of vitamin C, which helps maximise usage of the vegetable-based iron, and a sprinkle of currants adds delicious sweetness. While I know carrot will have more goodness when left unpeeled, it does oxidise rapidly, so I prefer to peel carrots when grating them for a salad. Don't go overboard on the arame, as it swells considerably when soaked - you only need a little to provide a lot of goodness.

KITCHEN NOTES:

Soaking the lentils makes them easier to digest, but best of all, cuts their cooking time by one third. If not soaking the lentils, they will take approx 35 - 45 mins to cook. For extra deliciousness, try marinating the currants and cooked lentils in the dressing for a couple of hours beforehand. They are a great standby to have in the fridge to add nutrient density and important iron to a handful of grated vegetables at the drop of a hat.

DRESSING

1-tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon flax oil 2 tablespoons orange juice 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 1/4 teaspoon seed mustard 2 drops toasted sesame oil (optional) pinch of finely grated ginger (optional)

THE SALAD

1 tablespoon green lentils 1 teaspoon whey or lemon juice 1 pinch of arame sea vegetable, soaked in 1/4 cup water for 15 mins 1 small carrot and grated 1 small beetroot or half a larger one, peeled and grated 1 small or 1/2 larger avocado 1 tablespoon currants

Add lentils to a small bowl with the whey, and cover with half a cup of water. Stir through and leave to sit overnight, or 6 hours. This is best done at room temperature.

Strain the water and discard. Add the lentils to a small saucepan with three quarters - 1 cup of water. Simmer over a very gentle heat for 12 mins, or until the lentils are soft. Drain and discard the water.

Add the arame and half a cup of water to a small bowl and allow to reconstitute - approx 10 -15 mins. Drain and discard the water.

Combine the arame, lentils, grated carrot and beetroot, roughly chopped avocado and currants in a small bowl with the dressing. Gently toss together and serve.