Lentils make a hearty alternative to meat in veggie burgers, soups and salads like this one. Legumes like lentils are rich in fiber, protein, iron and folate. Plus they’re a low-calorie option if your resolution this year is to watch your weight. This recipe can be ready in less than 30 minutes with relatively no prep so you can eat well even on a busy weeknight.
Makes 12 servings (about 1/2 cup per serving). Per Serving: 220 calories, 11 g fat, 23 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 370 mg sodium. Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes
- 2 cups dried green or brown lentils
- 1 medium red onion (diced)
- 1/4 cup capers (diced if large)
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 1 medium cucumber (chopped)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Rinse lentils and drain. Place in a pot and cover with about 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes (lentils should still be slightly al dente).
While the lentils are cooking, make the vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together (or shaking in a jar with a tight-fitting lid).
When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process.
Add lentils to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Mix in the onion and capers.
Add arugula, cucumber, walnuts and feta just before serving.
Sonja Goedkoop, MSPH, RD, is the lead registered dietitian at Zesty, Inc. She is passionate about helping others improve their health through diet and physical activity and believes eating nutritious food should be easy and taste great. You can follow her on Twitter @SonjaGoedkoopRD.