This lentil and vegetable quinoa salad can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature. It is quick and easy to make a large quantity of this delicious dish which can be used as a main dish or side dish.
Because it is incredibly tasty at any temperature, it is ideal to take on a picnic or to a potluck. You can easily vary the ingredients according to your preferences and what you have on hand.
Lentil and Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Try this topped with a poached egg for a variation that is out of this world.
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced (they used red onion- I chose to use sweet Vidalia simply out of preference)
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 small eggplant (I used a graffiti eggplant to add colour), diced
1 small zucchini, diced
salt and pepper to taste if desired (no pepper because the feta cheese I’m using has cracked black pepper in it and I find that the cheese is salty enough for me)
lentils (they used 2 cans, each 19 oz but this really increased the sodium content – so I’m using dried lentils that I cook myself) – about 4 cups cooked lentils
quinoa – I found a President’s Choice Bulgur and Quinoa Blend at the store that sounded delicious so I decided to try it – about 2 1/2 cups cooked
juice of half to one whole lemon to brighten up the flavour
The recipe called for the PC Mediterranean Vinaigrette but they were sold out. So that day they substituted the PC Zesty Italian Vinaigrette. I’m using the same one except in the Blue Menu Fat Free version. This also brought the sodium content down by quite a bit. I used about 3/4 cup
about 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
feta cheese for topping the salad – I used Kraft Feta with Sundried Tomatoes and Cracked Peppercorns – I put about a tablespoon or two on each serving
Other vegetables you could add that are really good in this: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, peas
Cook the lentils and the Bulgur/Quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat up the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onions, carrots, and celery for about 5 minutes. Add in the eggplant and zucchini and cook for an additional 3 minutes until tender-crisp. Stir in the lentils and bulgur/quinoa and remove from heat. Stir in the vinaigrette, lemon juice, and parsley. Top with feta cheese and serve.
Makes 8 servings: Approximate nutritional values per serving – 310calories, fat 8 g, sodium 300 mg, carbohydrate 50 g. fibre 9 g, protein 15 g
Lentils are a good source of iron and fiber – with the blend I used, the bulgur and quinoa would boost that even more.
If you want to add some meat to this, I find that sausages are a good option. I really enjoyed adding chunks of turkey sausage to it. Adding meat to the legumes (lentils) helps you absorb more of the iron. The vitamin C in the vegetables helps with that as well.