Quinoa and Lentil Salad
This is a refreshing and colorful salad, great for summer BBQs. Since you won't be throwing any rib steaks on the fire, you can serve this with grilled portobello mushrooms and zucchini slices.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dried)
- 1 cup cooked and chilled green lentils (make sure if you are using dried lentils that you soak and cook them thoroughly, otherwise they contain anti-nutrients.)
- 1 cup diced sweet pepper (red is the prettiest)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 3-4 juicy limes
- 1 chili pepper
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1-2 tsp dried cumin
- 1 tsp brown sugar
Juice the limes. Mince the chili pepper and let it soak in the lime juice while you prepare everything else.
Quinoa can be prepared the same way as rice, adding 2 cups of water per cup of dried quinoa. It takes less time to cook than most varieties of rice, however. Once it is cooked, let it cool down in the fridge before mixing in other ingredients.
Mix the lentils, cilantro, and diced red pepper into the cooled quinoa. Pour the lime juice through a fine strainer to extract the pieces of chili pepper. Discard these. Mix together the lime juice, minced garlic, olive oil, cumin, and brown sugar. Stir this dressing into the salad. Add salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Unlike lettuce salads which wilt and must be dressed immediately prior to serving, lentil and grain based salads improve by soaking in the dressing overnight in the fridge.
You can feel free to experiment by adding chopped green onions, adjusting the spiciness level, or whatever you feel like. Enjoy!