Recipe for Lentil Salad
Side Dish for Social Gatherings
Summer is the time for picnics, barbeques, and family gatherings. It's a time when groups gather together to share outdoor recreation and traditional home style cooking. A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are in season and plentiful. This is a great time to get in shape, drop a few unwanted pounds, and eat a little healthier. A cool fresh lentil salad is great healthy recipe to share with others at your next get-together, pack for lunch at the office, or add as a simple side dish for family meals.
Lentils are low in fat and high in folate, protein, iron and fiber. They are also known to help lower cholesterol and help stabilize blood sugar levels. For a vegan diet, lentils are a great source of a protein supplement. They fill you up and give you energy so you won't feel the need to grab an unnecessary snack just to fight that afternoon fatigue.
Healthy Alternative to Pasta Salad
Recipe and Instructions:
1 cup dry lentils
1/2 to 1 chopped red bell pepper
1/2 to 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1 chopped cucumber
1 8 oz. can chopped black olives
1 Tbsp. crushed fresh garlic
Fresh basil chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
garlic salt and sea salt
In large pot, add 1 tsp. sea salt or garlic salt to 3-4 cups of hot water. Add lentils and simmer approx. 15-20 minutes. Do not over cook. Lentils should be slightly hard. Drain lentils and rinse with cold water. Toss in olive oil and chill for 1 hr. Add peppers, onion, cucumber, black olives, garlic, olive oil, fresh basil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with garlic salt to desired taste.
Suggestions: This is a salad that can use different variations of vegetables and spices based on preference and available ingredients. You may want to try adding carrots, broccoli, fresh jalapeno and / or fresh tomatoes. Substitute lemon juice with balsamic vinegar or add fresh cilantro or oregano.