YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sprout Salad

Twice this week I brought to work a lunch that was particularly delicious, nutritious, crunchy, flavorful, satisfying and filling, not to mention easy and self-enclosed.  Not just that but it was incredibly inexpensive. 

Like many of the things we eat around here, it did not require more time all in all, but it did take some planning.  I prepared two jars, one with mung beans and the other with green lentils.  You can also use white beans, black beans, soybeans, chick peas, adzuki beans, or any other legume.  

Here is a step-by-step instruction kit for sprout salad.
2T dry beans of any kind, rinsed
water
jar
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olive oil
salt & pepper
1. Place the beans in a medium-sized glass or plastic jar, approx. 2-3 cups in volume, and fill the jar 2/3 full with water.  Then leave the jar on the kitchen counter and forget about it.  Time estimate:  3 minutes.
2. After 6-8 hours, or overnight, drain the water through your fingers while keeping the beans inside the jar.  Rinse once or twice, each time draining all the water.  Now lay the jar on its side and shake the beans so they rest along the sides of the jar instead of on the bottom.  Time estimate: 1 minute.
3.  Rinse the beans twice daily.  Continue to leave the jar by the kitchen sink.  It’s very important to leave them near the faucet where you will see them and remember to rinse them.  Do not put the jar into a cabinet or dark place or you will discover moldy beans in a few weeks.  Time estimate: 30 sec x twice daily x 3 days = 3 minutes.
4.  In 1-2 days you will see tiny root tails beginning to peak out.  In 2-4 days the sprouts will fill the jar at least halfway, if not higher, and they will be ready to eat.  Rinse the beans one last time, cover the jar with its lid and place the jar in the refrigerator.  I like sprouts better with small roots than with long ones, so I harvest on the early side.  Time estimate: 30 seconds.
5.  In the morning, open the jar, and add 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few shakes of pepper.  Then recap the jar, place it in your purse or lunchbag, and take it to work for lunch.  Time estimate: 30 seconds.  (Total time: 8 minutes)
Sprout salad is a great idea when you know that you aren’t going to have time to go to the supermarket to buy fresh greens that week.  If you keep a few containers of dry beans in your cabinet, then you can start a couple of batches whenever you’d like.  Plan to eat your sprouts 1-2 days after you refrigerate them.
Take whatever else you’d like to complement your wonderful sprout salad.  Today I brought multi-colored cherry tomatoes, watermelon slices, and some dark chocolate.  

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