Black Lentil Salad
Lentils are legumes, an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. There are many kinds of lentils – green, brown, yellow, and red being the most popular. They are high in fiber, low in fat and calories – a complex carbohydrate. They are made up of 25% protein which makes them a great meat replacement.
Furthermore, lentils contain a broad range of beneficial plant compounds called phytochemicals, many of which protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes
This dish is made from black lentils also called beluga as they are small, black, and look like caviar. Easy to make, they hold their shape, therefore they are perfect for salads. This is a salad that will be a regular in my meal planning. Great for lunch or dinner!
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Black Lentil Salad
- 1 cup Black lentils, cooked
- 3 cups Vegetable broth Organic, low sodium
- ½ pint Cherry tomatoes Sliced in quarters
- 1 small Yellow sweet onion
- 1 medium Cucumber Peeled, sliced lengthwise and widthwise into small half-inch pieces.
- 1 Bell pepper, orange or red
- 1 -2 Apple, sage plant-based sausage FieldRoast brand
Walnut Balsamic Dressing
- ¼ cup Roasted walnut oil Avocado oil can be used, or omit altogether
- ½ cup Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp Pure maple syrup May replace with monk fruit sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Ground pepper
- 1 tsp Fresh thyme Optional
- Cook black lentils as directed on the package (15-20 minutes), using the vegetable broth to cook the lentils to add flavor. (Helpful tip: Make extra and use for other dishes throughout the week.)
- Prepare all vegetables and place in a large salad bowl.
Prepare the dressing
- Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium to high speed.
- Mix all ingredients along with half of the dressing. Add more as desired.
Melissa’s Modifications:The great thing about lentils is they do not need to be soaked, cutting a lot of prep time. Black lentils hold their shape nicely and do not get mushy as often happens with green or red lentils. Other vegetables such as chopped broccoli, French beans, or even chopped asparagus may be added to enhance the salad. The walnut balsamic dressing can be used sparingly as I found it rich, but I always go light on the dressing. You can reduce the calories and fat by omitting the walnut oil altogether, using the remaining ingredients to make a very flavorful dressing. Deleting the walnut oil, the nutritional values reduce the calories and the fat: 1 Serving- 187 vs 317 Calories; 2.9g vs 16.9 Fat.
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