Color, texture, and of course flavor are the three criteria I use to judge any salad. We eat a LOT of salads built around seasonal vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains, and I never get tired of them. With all the variations available, you could create a tasty, unique salad every day of the year and never have to repeat the same salad twice. This salad meets all of my criteria with the raw carrots, celery and cucumber adding crunch, the lentils adding a hearty earthiness along with protein, and the mint and ginger dressing bringing all the flavors together. You can play around with the ingredients depending on your own personal tastes, but try and cut the ingredients into equal sized pieces. I added ginger, mint, and a little Dijon mustard into my dressing to give the salad an added vibrancy, but you could use any dressing you prefer.
Lentils are very good for you, being very high in dietary fiber which is known to lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and stabilize blood sugar. Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians. Although lentils include such beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are also low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but will leave you feeling full and satisfied. When choosing lentils, use the small green or beige lentils, not the larger orange ones, and the smaller lentils retain their shape and texture better, while the orange lentils can become mushy.
Deborah Mele 2015
Lentil Salad With Diced Veggies & Mint Ginger Dressing
- 2 Cups Dried Lentils (See Notes Above)
- 5 Green Onions, Diced
- 2 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 1 Medium Cucumber, Peeled & Diced
- 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 Cups Baby Arugula Leaves
- 1 Inch Piece Fresh Ginger
- 5 Fresh Mint Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar Or Lemon Juice
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- Place the lentil in a pot and cover with water by three inches.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are “al dente”.
- Drain, and cool the lentils to room temperature.
- Place the lentils, onions, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes in a bowl and toss.
- Place the dressing ingredients into a blender and pulse until blended.
- Pour the dressing over the lentil mix and toss well.
- Add the arugula and toss gently.
- Place in a large bowls and enjoy!