Everyday Lentil Salad

It took me exactly a week to get over my week long vacation in Nepal. I was in this weird funk followed by a sore throat and the desperate need to catch up on my sleep. Nevertheless, it was an amazing time with my family after such a long time. I had every intention to post while I was away but I did not realize how busy family events get. Blogging was probably the last thing on my mind - sad but true. I made this lentil salad right before I left as a measure to clean out my fridge so it's pretty flexible in terms of ingredients. It's great for your lunch box as it does not require any heating and can be made ahead of time. Today I am sharing this Everyday Lentil Salad as  a reminder for me to get back to eating my vegetables, fruits, and everything else that's good for my body because for the last couple of weeks, I have been thriving on deep fried deliciousness and sugary treats..because #vacation.

If lentils aren't already a staple in your kitchen, I suggest you make that change soon because they are a nutritional powerhouse - great source of plant-based protein (1 cup cooked lentils = 18 grams), fiber (1 cup cooked lentils = 16 grams)  and several other micronutrients. Plus, they are cheap, cooks fast and hearty. I normally buy them in bulk at Whole Foods/Sprouts/Central Market. If you have never cooked lentils before, Kitchn has a good tutorial but generally, it requires cooking 2:1 ratio of liquid (water/broth) to lentils for about 30 minutes. Everyday lentil salad can be dressed up or down depending upon the ingredients on hand and your taste. The version I am sharing today is pretty simple with your basic chopped onions, tomatoes, bellpeppers, and fresh cilantro. I could see cucumbers, olives, and cheese (feta or goat) marrying together very well here. I drizzled some olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon ( vinegar would work too), dash of salt, pepper, and cumin and mixed everything together. It's that simple! 

I made myself a snack platter with hummus, pita bread, and lentil salad for a light, refreshing lunch but you can enjoy the salad by itself as well. I am looking forward to making more salad such as this one more often and experiment with different grains and beans. If I whip up something delicious, I promise I will share it with you guys!


Everyday Lentil Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil then add lentils. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Add all the chopped vegetables then drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and spices.
  3. Mix everything well and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Cover and store the remaining salad for 2-3 days.

Three Bean Salad

So tell me what's new with you? Anything I have missed lately...fill me in.