Eating gluten free can be challenging at times. I am always in a quest for new an interesting meals. We can all fall into the trap of eating the same thing over and over. Boring! This week I came up with the beautiful recipe for southwest jerk salad. It not only has a variety of textures and flavors, it is full of rich, nutrient ingredients.
I began with a pork shoulder which I made in a crock pot. I got the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Holistic Squid. You can find a recipe here. The actual recipe we used was part of a meal plan, called realplans. Since this is a product Holistic Squid sells, I can't post the actual recipe. Using the recipe above, you can add jerk seasoning to the recipe and get close to the recipe in the meal plan.
In addition to jerked pork, this lovely salad also has pinto and black beans. To ensure the best nutritional value from the beans, it is important to prepare them in the traditional ways. Legumes are high in phytic acid (phytate), which is actually an anti-nutrient. What does that mean? It means it actually steals nutrients from the body. It has the ability to bind to essential minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in the digestive tract and inhibit their absorption by the body. When individuals, such as those with Celiac Disease, are hard pressed to absorb nutrients, phytic acid can make mineral deficiencies even worse. The way to prevent this is to soak the beans for up to 48 hours in warm water, making sure to change the water often as it starts to ferment. Drain and rinse each time you change the water to help wash off the phytic acid. Here is a great resource form more information on soaking beans and grains.
You can use any type of salad greens for the salad. I like a mixture of lettuces, kale, and spinach. You can also add whatever vegetables you prefer to it. For this recipe I used onions, peppers, jalapenos, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The hot peppers blend well with the jerk seasoning and make a very balance taste overall. If you are not keen on spicy, you don't have to use the hot peppers, but for me right now I am addicted to the adobo chipotle peppers. I also am a very big cheese lover so I topped it all off with cheese, but if you are dairy intolerant there are so many rich flavors that cheese is not necessary for a really enjoyable salad.