When beans and pasta are eaten together, the vegetable proteins combine to provide as good a source of protein as meat. Here, tender flageolet beans partner chunky pasta shapes in a salad with celery, red pepper and canned artichoke hearts. A well-flavoured dressing marries the ingredients perfectly.
Try canned soya beans instead of flageolet. These small, firm and nutty beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein. * Omit the tomatoes, and instead add a quartered and thinly sliced bulb of fennel. Replace the flageolet with cannellini beans. Add 55 g (2 oz) finely shredded Italian salami to make a meaty main course salad. * Marinate 225 g (8 oz) button mushrooms with the basil in the dressing for at least 2 hours before making the salad, then add them instead of the canned artichoke hearts. Add halved cherry tomatoes instead of the large tomatoes, and omit the celery.
Flageolet beans are high in protein and low in fat, and they also provide useful amounts of vitamin B1 and iron. Along with other beans and pulses, they are a good source of dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, which can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and thus lessen the risk of heart disease.
A, C * B1, B6, niacin, iron, potassium * E, copper, selenium