This household loves lentils.
I’ve labeled them a Poor Girl’s Gourmet. Because a bag of these babies costs what, a dollar? And they go a long, long way. I like to throw them in stews, in chilis, and my most recent discovery is a nice, cold, hearty salad. They have a wonderful little bite to them, and an Earthy flavor I just can’t get enough of. And they’re filling. So I can bring one of these salads to work and eat it guilt-free, and it’s much more satisfying than a dinky spinach salad (that leaves me gnawing on my skin by the time the work day is over). Or better yet, I mounded a big hunk of this lentil salad atop a bed of spinach.
My discovery with this recipe is that cold lentils are just as good as warm ones. Nom, nom, nom.
- 1 1/3 cups lentils
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 carrots, finely diced (1 cup)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 2 tbsp fresh dill (2 tsp dry)
- 2 tbsp fresh chives (2 tsp dry)
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon (I used 1 tsp dried Italian mixed herbs)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley ( 2 tsp dry)
For Dill Yogurt Dressing:
- 1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt (Fage is my favorite)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar (I used 1 tsp each of white balsamic and red wine vinegar)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and boil for 10 minutes. Then add 2 tsp of salt to the pot and boil the lentils for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until they are softened, but firm and still hold their shape. Drain the lentils and run under cold water until they are cool to the touch.
- Add your diced veggies and herbs to the lentils and toss to combine.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the yogurt dill dressing. Pour over the lentil and veggie mix, and toss to combine. Let the salad stand for 10-15 minutes to give the flavors time to meld. Serve at room temp, or cold the next day. (Great for work lunches!)
My Two Cents: I would go extra heavy on the veggies in this recipe. I actually found there to be a tad too much yogurt dressing, so amping up the veggies will balance it out a little more. If you have other crunchy veggies on hand like broccoli or green beans, add them to the mix — plus they’ll add a nice little pop of color. I also think the addition of some sauteed onions and mushrooms would add a nice flavor to the dish, too. I’m an onion addict, so anything with onion flavor makes my taste buds incredibly happy.
Plus, use fresh herbs. I only had dry on hand, and the dried herbs work just fine. I use them when I’m making spur-of-the-moment dishes (like I did with this one), because keeping fresh herbs on hand is pricey (and, no, sadly I can’t grow my own — I live in a tiny basement apartment with very little natural light!). But if you’re smart and plan ahead, go buy a few bunches o’ herbs
Enjoy this really nutritious meal!