Ok, one more dish from my January vegan eating; I want to post this one because I used two out-of-the-ordinary ingredients for me: hemp and cabbage. I’ve never really liked coleslaw because it’s filled with mayo or too much oil for my taste, so this salad was a great alternative for a light side.
Since I hadn’t tried hemp seeds before, I bought a really small pack at Whole Foods for $2 or so (I saw Costco is selling really large packs of Hemp seeds now too). An employee at WF was excited to tell me how much she loved them and they can be used in salads, on smoothies, etc. I reluctantly asked her, “but do they show up, you know, like poppy seeds…?” She laughed and said no they wouldn’t show up on drug tests, but I read up later of some rare instances of failed drug tests due to hemp, so it’s up for debate. Most companies selling hemp products, including the one shown below, are in a Test Pledge program that keep the THC in their products under certain levels so that it is extremely unlikely to fail a workplace drug test, assuming you’re eating hemp at reasonable levels. As for nutritional value, you can see the stats below – the small package (2oz or 56g) was 330 cal worth of seeds, 18g protein and 25g fat.
I lined up the nutritional data (from Self Nutrition Data) for hemp against my two favorite seeds that I eat almost daily: Chia seeds and Flaxseeds. I was surprised to find that hemp is highest in protein, Chia seeds have the most fiber, and Flaxseeds win for healthy fats plus a good amount of fiber.
According to Shape Magazine, hemp has the most well-rounded nutritional profile and contains all essential amino acids, something uncommon for most plant sources of protein, so it’s great for those on a vegan diet. Still, you have to eat a lot of the seeds to get a significant amount of protein (I’d probably just stick with a protein powder instead).
I used the seeds in this Cabbage Hemp Salad recipe, which I loosely followed: 1/2 – 1 shredded cabbage head, 2T oil (I used olive & macadamia nut), 1T hemp seeds, juice of 1 lemon, cilantro, and some cayenne. The seeds gave the salad a really nice, light crunch and were a little nutty. The overall cabbage salad was excellent, and even better the second day – I’d definitely make it again. But beware, the hemp seeds get easily stuck in your teeth much like chia seeds!
The verdict? I liked the hemp seeds, but I don’t know if I’d use them all the time, maybe just 1T here and there; I’m a worry-wart and we get drug tested at work often, so I prefer peace of mind. I think my main use for them would be to add a light crunch to salads. My favorite seeds that I always have stocked still stand:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
The Baked Teryaki Tofu above was great too; the full recipe can be found in the Crazy Sexy Diet book, but an adaptation is here. I was pressed for time so baked mine at 400 for 40 minutes and didn’t use sweet chili or peanut sauce like in the recipe link. This meal was perfect for leftover lunches to bring to work.