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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quick Warm Lentil Salad

Eating healthy doesn't need to be expensive, it just takes creativity. My cupboard is filled with dried beans, lentils, barley, quinoa and other goodies that are really quite cheap.  I try to plan out my meals to some extent, it helps keep me on track and saves me money so I'm not forced to eat at crappy, expensive little lunch spots. Plus all of these options give you great protein and fiber.

Making a big pot of beans/lentils/barley on Sunday nights gives me a base for a few days from which to make daily salads, quick soups and stews, sandwich stuffing or spreads and even breakfast casseroles.

This week it was lentils.  Coming home after a full day at work and then full night of volleyball it was 9pm and I was hungry.  The precooked lentils gave me a chance to make a really quick, really good light meal.

I liked this so stew-like lentil salad much I made it the next morning and topped it with an egg for protein after my workout.  Yum! Try it for a dinner, or as a side or even as a brunch option.  It's Fat and Happy because it's cheap, it's easy and it's good for you. 

Tip and Techniques: When you cook your pot of beans/lentils/quinoa, add in some flavor - some onions, garlic, pepper, thyme or sage to give your base some seasoning. 

Warm Lentil Salad

1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup small diced carrots
1 large garlic clove, minced finely

2 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls Dijon mustard
1 Tbl lime
1/4 cup water
2 cups lentils, cooked

1 roma tomato, diced
handful of parsley, chopped
1egg (optional)

Begin by sauteeing the onion in olive oil for about 2 minutes; add the chopped carrot and sautee another 3-5 minutes - the carrots should begin to soften.  Add in the garlic and sautee for another minute.

Now add in the soy sauce, mustard and lime - allow that to sizzle in the pan.  Add the water and the cooked lentils, toss lightly to combine.  Let that sit and simmer for a 2-5 minutes to reduce the sauce and warm the lentils.

Top with the chopped tomato and the parsley.  Serve while warm.  Top with a fried egg if desired.

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