Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lentil Salad

Here is a great recipe for a lentil salad. It is super nutritious and tasty, and it makes a pretty large quantity that you can keep in the fridge for the next few days as leftovers. Lentils are especially excellent for vegetarians, vegans, or those of you who are looking to include other protein sources in their diet. Here are a few facts about lentils:
  • They contain 26% protein - the highest content in any vegetable except soy beans
  • They have a high fibre content (31% in green lentils, 11% in red lentils) and B vitamins
  • Lentils have virtually no fat
  • Lentils are one of the best vegetable sources of iron. This makes them an important part of a vegetarian diet, and useful for preventing iron deficiency
Now that you're familiar with the goodness of lentils, here's the recipe! It doesn't take long to prep, and takes about 25 minutes to cook.

Ingredients (Lentils):
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 bag of green lentils, washed (approx. 2 cups)
4 cups vegetable stock

Ingredients (Dressing):
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 cup freshly ground flaxseeds
1/8 cup flaxseed oil
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the broth and lentils. Cook on medium heat until boiling, then cover, and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Cook until all of the stock has been absorbed and there is just no liquid left in the mixture, but the mixture is still moist.

2. While the lentils cook, prepare the dressing. Grind the flaxseeds (you can easily do this in a coffee bean grinder). Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl for the dressing. Whisk until the mixture thickens. Set aside.

3. Once the lentil portion is fully cooked, remove from the stove and pour into a large bowl. Mix half of the dressing in with the lentils.

You can now place the lentils in the fridge and let them cool, or serve them warm. When serving, put a little more of the dressing on the lentils. Keep the lentils and the dressing in the fridge and you can have this tasty dish over the next few days if you wish! You can serve immediately after cooking, or wait until the mixture cools in the fridge.

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