k  Mung beans, roasted tomato, baby leeks with hemp & nigella seeds  k

I’m channeling my inner hippie with this dish. After all, we are the original Love Island. Mung beans and hemp are ingredients that seem to typify hippie cooking for their health properties. These emerald green legumes are perfect for sprouting…

…and are a powerhouse of easily digestible protein. And in Ayurveda cooking, mung beans are used for cleansing and fasting. In Chinese medicine they are believed to help with skin conditions, clear excess body heat and toxins. If the mung bean is the love child then hemp is the rock star of the health food world – one of the few plant-based foods that contain 20 amino acids…

These include the nine essential amino acids the body can’t make and all three essential fatty acids (Omega- 3, 6 and 9) needed for the human body to function. They taste like a combination of pine nuts and sesame seeds with a creamy, nutty flavour. I’ve also added a liberal sprinkle of Nigella seeds (another super food sweetheart) brimming with antioxidants that can help lower cholesterol, kill off bacteria and alleviate Inflammation. They protect the liver and aids blood sugar levels. Topped with sweet slow roasted tomatoes, baby leeks and shallot mustard vinaigrette and of course the marvelous Hemp & Nigella Seeds!

This dish can be served warm or cold as a salad, both delicious…

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

250g dried mung beans (soaked overnight in double the volume of water)

6 organic ripe tomatoes (in cut in to¼)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

6 baby leeks (keep some of the tops on)

8 tablespoons extra olive oil

3 shallots finely chopped

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Handful chopped parsley (or fresh oregano)

1 tablespoon nigella seeds

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Method

Drain the mung beans and place in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add a good pinch of sea salt and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until they are tender.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 160oc and put the cut tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt, roast for 30 minutes or until they look slightly charred around the edges. After 10 minutes of cooking time add the baby leeks (they require less cooking time)

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the red onion on a low heat until they are transparent and soft. Leave to cool

Now make the dressing by whisking the mustard and red wine vinegar, slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil, and then add the cooked onion and parsley.

Toss the cooked mung beans in the onion herb dressing. Transfer onto a serving plate and arrange the roasted tomatoes and leeks on the top and scatter over the hemp and nigella seeds.