Italian Lentil Chopped Salad has it all with fresh veggies and lentils that are packed with protein! Spring has sprung and it’s time to start anew with leading a healthy lifestyle and simplifying food choices.
So winter in my books is officially over! I’ve put away my coats, boots and now decluttering by cleaning out my refrigerator so it’s not so scary when I look inside. Out with the old and in with the new. I want to stock it with some healthier choices that are quick to make and so much better for us. Eating a loaded veggie salad with a great source of protein is exactly what my body is craving.
This Italian Lentil Chopped Salad recipe fits that healthy eating plan perfectly.
Eat it now and your body will thank you later!
Growing up my mom made lentil soup quite often. As a child, I never thought if it was actually good for me – I just ate what was served and that was that. Moms are wise like that! I’ve recently discovered that lentils are a great source of fiber, protein and minerals along with being heart smart, low in fat and so easy to cook. They make a great substitute for rice, quinoa or farro – let your imagination be your guide. Jazz up a current recipe – you will be left feeling full, satisfied and not being bored with the same old recipes.
Dry lentils can be stored in your pantry for up to a year and cooked lentils can be kept in your refrigerator for a week. Did you also know that cooked lentils can be frozen in pre-set amounts so all you need to do is take them out for your next recipe? They will keep for three months this way. This week I made about two cups, kept them in the refrigerator and throughout the week added a scoop to my salads. How easy it that?
Lentils in their dry form are perfect little circles (called a pulse crop since the outside covering is edible) and plump up nicely when cooked. When I made this recipe, I placed the warm lentils in a bit of the salad dressing to keep them moist while preparing the salad and to absorb some of the flavor right away. I felt it was a good call! Remember a little salad dressing goes a long too.
Learn more about lentils and why they are a great power food to have on hand.
Make yourself this healthy dinner recipe and enjoy your Italian lentil chopped salad!
Healthy Italian Lentil Chopped Salad
Spring has sprung and it's time to start anew with leading a healthy lifestyle and simplifying food choices.
- 3 cups green lettuce (romaine or similar)
- 1/2 cup dry lentils
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
- 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup marinated artichokes
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 3 pepperoncinis sliced
- 1/4 sliced roasted red peppers
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the lentils by first rinsing them
- Place water and lentils in pot and bring to boil; cover and simmer until done (about 15-20 minutes - keep checking after 15 minutes as you don't want them mushy)
- Rinse and toss with about 1 tablespoon lemon vinaigrette (make per below while lentils are cooking)
- In a small food processor add the olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, mustard, lemon zest, vinegar and honey; mix well and season with S&P to taste
- In a medium bowl add all salad ingredients and toss with a bit of vinaigrette; add lentils and toss gently
- Divide on two plates and enjoy
- Feel free to adjust fixings to your liking