July equals summer so let’s share a summer lentil salad which will be a perfect side dish to your BBQ or even delicious by its own for the vegetarian and vegan people among you. This side dish is so nutritious and healthy.
Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are the perfect vegetable to eat in the summer in salads. You can find green, red and brown lentils on the market.
Below are a few benefits of lentils listed to convince you to put lentils into your regular diet.
1. Protein: of all nuts and vegetables, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Lentils are a great substitute for meat.
2. Weight loss: lentils are low in calories and contain no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 220 calories and most of all it will leave you feeling full and satisfied after your meal.
3. Energy: lentils increase slow-burning energy due to their fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.
4. Digestion: fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders.
5. Heart Health: several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease.
– Boiled lentils
– 1/2 bell pepper (paprika)
– 1/4 cucumber
– 1 tomato
– some half sundried tomatoes (in oil)
– 1/2 lemon juice
– some basil (used about 20 leaves)
– some cilantro (coriander)
– olive oil
– pepper, salt, Cajun pepper, cinnamon, cumin
To boil lentils, use three cups of liquid for each cup of lentils. Lentils placed in already boiling water will be easier to digest than those that were brought to a boil with the water. When the water returns to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer and cover. Green lentils usually take 30 minutes, while red ones require 20 minutes.
1. Slice the cucumber, bell pepper, tomato into cubes. Slice the sundried tomatoes and shop the cilantro and basil as shown below. Spring onions would be a great asset in this recipe but I decided not to use it as my guest doesn’t like the taste of raw onion.
2. Put the lentils, sliced vegetables, lemon juice and the herbs in a big bowl. Add a tablespoon of cumin, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of Cajun pepper, some salt and pepper. Stir all these ingredients all together.
The only advice that I can give you is to add the spices as you desire. As for example we are used to spicy food, I used more Cajun pepper than indicated.
3. Your side dish is ready to serve.
You can accompany this side dish with some potatoes (cold potatoes added to the lentil mixture) and vegan nut burger. The possibilities to accompany this dish are endless.
One more tip I can give you, cook a big amount of lentil (for example 1 kg) and store it in the freezer in small boxes. This will make it easier to consume lentils more than once a week.
Enjoy and stay blessed food lovers.