Chilled Lentil Salad

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Most people do not eat many lentils, but they’re a great food to try and incorporate into your diet more often. Technically legumes, they are high in protein (especially great for vegetarians), and have a multitude of vitamins like magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin B.  They’re also good to lower cholesterol, but perhaps the best part is that these little guys are extremely filling which isn’t always the case with healthy foods.

I’ve been trying to eat lentils more often, and this week’s recipe is my first stab at a chilled lentil salad. I used to think that lentils were hard to cook, and generally stayed away from them. After reading up a bit, I realized I was wrong – they’re just about as easy to cook as rice. Some might think lentils can get a bit bland, but that’s why I’ve added some kick with Serrano peppers for this recipe. The onions throughout help to add a bit of crunch, and the spinach is just plain tasty. This is a great to-go lunch or side dish for dinner.

photo incorporates tomatoes which aren’t in this recipe, but feel free to add them in! (via the grub daily)

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Dried Green Lentils

6 Cups of Hot Water

5 Cups of Spinach

3 Serrano Peppers

1 Red Onion

½ Tbsp Cumin Seeds

½ Tbsp Minced Ginger

2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil

Directions:

Pour dried lentils into a strainer and pick over for any bad looking bits.

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Rinse a few times, mixing around with your hand to be sure every piece gets rinsed well.

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Throw into a pot, with 6 cups of hot water, and let cook for about 25-30 minutes.

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Slice onion and peppers, mince ginger, and throw into a saucepan with grapeseed oil to sauté.

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While that is sautéing mix cumin seeds into your lentils, and then begin to stir in spinach. You’ll have to stir it in bit by bit as bulky spinach moistens and wilts, creating space to add more.

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Once onions begin to appear transparent, mix everything in the sauce pan into your lentils. Let sit until they reach room temperature, and then stick them in the fridge to chill overnight.

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Okay, it’s not the prettiest food out there, but it sure is delicious – and good for you!

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Comments

Anonymous -October 2, 2011, 9:42AM

Yay for lentils! Just wanted to note, that red lentils only take 10 minutes to cook, much faster than the other varieties.

Anonymous -October 2, 2011, 10:33PM

I’m on a gluten free diet and I use lentils in breakfast meals. I just cook some lentils, lay fried eggs over it and top with freshly sliced avocado, shredded cheese, and salsa, so amazing!!! Oh and bacon is a nice addition if you eat meat

Misha -October 2, 2011, 10:40PM

Ooh sweet, I’ve been trying to figure out how to try to get lentils on my menu and now I have to try this out! Thanks!

Michelle -October 3, 2011, 11:56AM

Wow I will definitely try this. Thanks for posting!!! I love lentils.

Anonymous -October 4, 2011, 9:38PM

its in the fridge as we speak! i wish i didnt have to wait overnight to try it!! im so impatient!

chelsea -October 13, 2011, 1:33PM

this looks super yummy – especially on a cold winter night

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