Lentils are popular in Spain and appear in many of their dishes, stews and soups. They are also great served cold, as we do here at La Crisalida in our wonderful Lebanese lentil salad.
The recipe below serves four as a side dish and contains a total of 608 calories (or 152 per serving).
1 litre water
200g red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh mint, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice (or more if you want more tang!)
2 clove garlic, minced
1. In saucepan, bring lentils and water to a boil, cook 30 minutes until tender, drain. Allow to cool.
2. Add pepper, onion and mint.
3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Just before serving, add oil, lemon juice and garlic. Toss and serve.
You can substitute roasted peppers to change the flavour, or use tomatoes or other vegetables or salad items that you have in your fridge for variety.
We serve our lentil salad with a big bowl of green salad leaves, grated carrot and cumin salad, and with millet (or buckwheat) burgers, to make a healthy, wholesome and filling lunch.
This salad will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days. So, if you are short of time, make a larger portion to last you for a few days to take to work with you or on a picnic.
Why eat lentils?
Lentils are a pulse – part of the legume family. They are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol, and are high in soluble fibre, which is great for normal bowel function and also helps to relieve constipation. This high soluble fibre also helps to trap carbohydrates, which can start to stabilise blood sugar levels, and it also means that your body can release a slow burning energy. Lentils are high in folate and magnesium, both of which contribute to the health of your heart. Lentils are generally quite easy to cook and can be a great accompaniment to any meal.
When you plan a dish or a meal, combine your lentils with a grain (such as rice or millet) or with nuts or seeds to create a complete biological protein. So add a handful of toasted sesame seeds, or toasted almonds to super-boost our lentil salad if you eat it on its own. Enjoy!