Warm Lentil Salad

Lentils, in the legume family, come in a variety of (small) sizes and colors, including green, brown, red, yellow.  With their good protein, fiber and iron content, they are an essential part of any plant-based diet. You can get them with husk and without. With husk they hold their shape with cooking, without husk they for more of a puree (think lentil soup). This salad uses French green lentils which hold together and is a tasty meal on its own or a great accompaniment.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups French Green Lentils/yellow peas
  • Vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp savory (if you have it)
  • 4 Carrots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • Mace (or nutmeg is a good substitute)
  • Clove
  • 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts and pumpkin seeds
  • 2 medium golden beets or 1 yam

Cut beets/yams into 1 inch or smaller pieces and put in the oven on a cookie sheet at 400F. Roast until a fork goes in easily, about 20 minutes. While that is roasting, cook lentils/peas as directed on the package, with veggie broth rather than water, and adding in the thyme and savory for a little extra flavor. In the meanwhile sautee the carrot, garlic and shallot until they are fragrant and the shallot is translucent. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the carrots, garlic and shallot to the lentils/peas along with a pinch of mace and a pinch of clove, and finish cooking until the lentils and carrots are tender. If needed, add more water 1/4 cup at a time to cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Add walnuts and mix. Once the beets/yams are done, add to the lentils. I like to put everything on a bed of greens (as I do with most things), but it is just as tasty without the greens as well.  Sprinkle some shelled pumpkin seeds on top and dress with a 50/50 mix of olive or avocado oil and red wine vinegar and enjoy.

 

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