Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #134: Lentil Salad

By Sara Patino, University of Minnesota — TEP Dietetic Intern on rotation with Open Arms of MN
Lentils were always one of my favorite foods growing up. My family is from Colombia where beans and legumes are staples. My parents moved to the U.S. about 23 years ago and have been experimenting with their recipes ever since. Back in Colombia, lentils are usually cooked into a soup typically containing potatoes, carrots, and chicken. But my family was ready to try out a new way of preparing them that would make it easier to eat lentils during the summer months. This is when my dad decided to make them into a salad that would be quick, easy, and could serve as lunch for the majority of the work week.

Not only do lentils hold a special place in my heart, but they also help my heart stay strong and healthy. Lentils are high in fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, prevent constipation, and lower cholesterol.

Below is a recipe that will provide you with awesome health benefits and satisfy your taste buds!

Photos courtesy: Sara Patino

Lentil Salad

(Serves 3 if main dish, 5 if side dish)

Ingredients:

1 cup French lentils
2 1/2 cups of low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup barley
2 cups water
1/2 brown rice
Sea salt
Vegetables [(all are optional and may be replaced by any vegetable of your choosing: peas, corn (I used Peruvian corn), carrots (shredded length wise), cucumber (diced into small squares, etc.)]
1 bunch parsley
6 chopped kalamata olives
1/2 large red onion diced into squares
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. grated fresh turmeric

Directions:

1. Cook the French lentils in the vegetable stock until the stock has completely evaporated.
2. Cook the barley and brown rice in the water with a pinch of sea salt until the water has completely evaporated.
3. While completing #1, steam the vegetables of your choosing. In this salad, the vegetables that were steamed were the peas and corn.
4. Chop the bunch parsley and the kalamata olives, shred the carrots and dice the cucumbers and onions.
5. Mix the lentils, brown rice, and barley together with the steamed vegetables and set aside. Mix the parsley, kalamata olives, carrots, onions and cucumbers in a separate bowl.
6. To the bowl containing the parsley add the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a dash of both sea salt and pepper, and the turmeric. Mix well.
7. Once the lentils, brown rice, and barley cooled, mix both bowls together. Allow the flavors to spread among all the ingredients.

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