Flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and a family of ducks have laid an egg on the pool deck…Spring is here!
The arrival of sunny days often prompts us to begin cooking and eating lighter, veggie-centered meals. At the gym we joke around that now is the time of year to get our “summer bodies” ready for shorts, tank tops, and those dreaded bathing suits. While you and I know that a lean, beach-ready body comes as the result of a consistently wholesome diet and regular exercise, it never hurts to crank up our motivation and focus as summer days approach.
It’s not often that I include legumes in my recipes, as you probably noticed, but every once in a while I’ll craft a recipe that is enhanced in flavor and nutrition by this addition. I made this recipe when my mother-in-law was coming over for dinner — she often uses lentils in her salads and so I was inspired to make a dish she would really enjoy.
The flavors in this salad are much like that of tabbouleh, with ample parsley, tomatoes and cucumbers taking center stage. Instead of bulgur, as in traditional tabbouleh, this salad is filled in with soft, multi-colored quinoa. My previous recipe for Grain-Free Tabbouleh included shredded jicama in place of the bulgur, a technique which you could also use here in place of the quinoa.
This salad would make a wonderful addition to Easter brunch or dinner. Enjoy!
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 can (15 oz) lentils, drained and rinsed
2 cups Cherry Tomato, quartered then measured
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped then measured
2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
2 English cucumbers, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a medium pot combine the quinoa and broth and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cover and reduce to low heat. After 20 minutes remove the pot from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, parsley, onion, cucumbers, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving and store in leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Enjoy!