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Friday, May 16, 2014

Random Food Fridays - Green Lentil Salad


Here I am. Life is very lively right now. In the last several weeks, we've been in two car accidents, (we're fine), lost a cousin and a beloved aunt to cancer, worried a bunch about my mom, who fell twice and had a we had a major sea change in our jobs, including a relocation. I'm pooped! On one level, I feel just fine. Most of these worrisome things are not within my control. A very talented healer once told me that our only responsibility is to respond. I've responded, and fairly gracefully too. However, it all takes a toll and my body has been at a high level of edginess for a while. I'm grateful to say that I have had some time for self-care. I've prioritized feeling well over doing well. Yay me!


I've been learning about herbs that help with stress hormones and help the body flush toxins. I got a rebounder so I can get bouncy when the invisible tiger is trying to eat me. I have been preparing a week's worth of healthy lunches on weekends. One such lunch item is this lentil salad. I also took some to a pot luck and it was well received.


This is my first try at using lentils for salad instead of soup. It turned out super yummy, but I could have cooked them a little less. I advise you to gently simmer them for 15 minutes after reaching a boil. I simmered them for 20 minutes and many of them broke open. Still yummy, but not shiny like the lentil salads I've had in restaurants. Beans are a standby for my lunchtime fare. They are full of fiber, minerals, protein and staying power. Most beans take several hours to cook properly. Quick cooking is what makes these little lentils great!

Green Lentil Salad
2 cups dry green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 small shallot, diced
1 cup diced English cucumber (or other thin-skinned cucumber)
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tbsp. bottled tapenade (I one that combined green olives and artichoke hearts)
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Avocado
Toasted pepitas
Lettuce

Dressing (recipe follows)

Place the lentils in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Once lentils are cool enough, toss with the veggies and tapenade, except for the lettuce, avocado and pepitas. Toss in about the half the dressing into the salad. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add a little more dressing at serving time.

Serve over lettuce and garnished with avocado and pepitas.

Lemon and White Wine Vinaigrette
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup chardonay vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. grainy mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake like crazy.


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