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I grabbed a bag of lentils at Costco a while back and I was running out of ways to put them to use, that wasn’t so repetitive. So I played around with a favorite salad of mine, and replaced the black eyed peas with the lentils. Try it out and see if you love it as much as I do! I love Mexican food, and my Granny taught me a few southern tricks of the trade, and thats where my usual black eyed peas came into play. Now I am proud to say that I have options!
High Protein Lentil Salad
1 cup dry lentils (green or brown)
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (could use black eyed peas here too)
1 red bell pepper
1 C thawed sweet corn kernels
1/2 small red onion (or sweet onion)
1-2 Roma tomatoes
Large bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 medium avocado, chopped
Optional: green onion (I love onions, so I use them!)
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Tapatio hot sauce, to your personal taste
Cook lentils according to package directions, leaving them firm and not mushy.
While lentils are cooking, you can make the dressing: place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Finely dice the bell pepper, onion, avocados and tomatoes. Roughly chop the cilantro.
In a large bowl, place the black beans, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and lentils.
Add the dressing and toss to combine. Add avocado and cilantro, and lightly toss.
Serve immediately or chill covered in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors combine.
I LOVE to eat this with tortilla chips, but it is amazing just as it is, a stand-alone salad packed with protein! Enjoy!
I am always searching for new, healthy dishes for the holidays. I look for unique, healthy and colorful. The colors add to the health benefits, and knowing that what you eat, is good for you inside and out, makes enjoying the dish that much easier! I am not sure what it is about pomegranate seeds that scream festive, but they just do to me! I stumbled across a recipe that is now on my list of must tries. The recipe and post come from vegan cookbook author Kathy Patalksy, and her website healthyhappylife.com.
Ms Patalksy explained on her blog that she accidentally created this beautiful salad, that just screams Christmas Festivities! Thank you Kathy for this beautiful, healthy salad and your recipe:
This Christmas Tree Holiday Salad will fill your holiday season table with cheer! And healthy-deliciousness too. Dive in. Twinkly lights not needed for this shiny-fabulous tree..
Shopping Tip. Make sure you buy organic, super fresh chard since it is your main ingredient! Look for perky green leaves with plenty of “bounce” in their movement. Wash and pat dry your chard leaves very well.
Nutrition Bonus! This salad is filled with healthy things. Those pomegranate seeds are loaded with antioxidants. The pecans are rich in healthy fats and minerals. The chard is loaded with vitamins and minerals – including even more free radical fighting antioxidants. The citrus is rich in vitamin C. The dried fruit and pretty much all of the ingredients are rich in fiber.
And in case you didn’t notice, this salad is DELICIOUS even though it has no oil added. The only fat comes built in from those crunchy raw pecans.
Christmas Tree Salad – aka Raw Chard Pecan Pom Salad
makes about 6-7 cups
1 bunch organic swiss chard (red or green will work) – rinsed well + sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about the amount from from 1 medium pomegranate)
3/4 cup frozen red globe grapes, sliced*
2 satsuma mandarin oranges, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw
2 Tbsp dried cranberries (or another dried fruit like dried golden raisins or even chopped dates!) – organic
1 small honeycrisp apple, organic – chopped
*tip: those frozen grapes help to keep the salad nice and cool for you and your holiday guests! I simply freeze the grapes, then right before I slice and toss with the salad, I run them under warm to hot water to quickly “thaw” the outside layer. This washes off any ice crystals too. It also seems to easily release lots of sweet grape flavor!
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
1/3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp fine black pepper
1/8 tsp coriander
a pinch of cayenne (optional, but warms up things nicely)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
a few pinches of satsuma orange zest
(feel free to use your own seasonings as desired as well – or use your own favorite dressing.)
star topper: 1 slice of toast (I used sprouted grain)
Other optional ingredients that would be fabulous: pear, avocado, dates, bell pepper, corn, grains like quinoa or brown rice, beans, tomatoes, diced roasted squash or sweet potato …… gosh, pretty much anything yummy would be beautiful in this salad!
Directions: Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor. You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the “star” tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.
Again, thank you Kathy for making this amazing salad! Maybe it will become a favorite for many to come!
Article, recipe and photograph from Kathy Patalksy and healthyhappylife.com