Are you tired of seeing boring green salads on every menu? Sometimes I’m still hungry when I order a salad, so I decided to make my salads more satisfying. This Cold Lentil Salad is loaded with healthy ingredients such us spinach and orange slices and I promise it will keep your hunger at bay!
This recipe is what I’d call a super salad because you’re getting food from all food groups:
Lentils: high in protein, fibre and magnesium
Spinach = high in iron
Juicy oranges + lemons = packed with Vitamin C & antioxidants
This cold lentil and spinach salad would be the queen of any salad bar.
Let’s devote a couple lines to our salad’s colours: its brown tones come from the lentils and home roasted hazelnuts which perfectly complement the orange-red tones from the oranges, carrots and the red colour of pomegranate. It’s like looking at a Autumn landscape. Adding lentils in your salads is a great way to include this legume in your diet even during summer months when the last thing you fancy is a hot lentil soup.
Some salads look complicated just because they have some extra grains or ingredients, but actually they are not, you can cook lentils in advance or buy canned lentils instead to speed up the process. Then just combine everything in a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette and the results is miles better than your every day salad. I usually eat this salad for lunch and it gives me plenty of energy to get through the day. I almost forgot, you can make it the night before and also add the vinaigrette to it, then keep refrigerated and our salad leaves will be fresh and crispy for use.
I have also posted the recipe to the citrus vinaigrette below. It gives the leaves a nice acid twist that goes well with the rest of ingredients. You can try it as well with this White Bean Salad with asparagus from the blog.
How did it turn out for you? Leave your comments and any ideas below. I look forward to seeing your pictures on Instagram with the hasgtag #shoothecook! Stick around for the next recipe-salad.
- 1 1/2 cups of brown lentils (sub for other legumes like chickpeas)
- 2-3 carrots, grated
- 1 fresh orange, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 a pomegranate
- 1 1/2 cup of fresh spinach, washed and drained
- 1/3 cup of hazelnuts, roasted
- - Lemon Dressing -
- 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1-2 spring onions, finely sliced
- pinch of salt
- Toast the hazelnuts in a non-stick skillet over a medium heat until golden brown.
- Whisk the oil, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl, then add the diced spring onions to the vinaigrette and beat until well combined.
- In a big bowl, place the spinach to one side, then the lentils and finally add the other ingredients gradually as shown in the photos. You can add more or less of your favourite ingredients.
- Top the salad with the pomegranate seeds and drizzle the dressing over the salad.
- This salad can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days in a good food container.
- * Use your preferred choice of lentils. I prefer brown lentils for salads because they retain their firm texture when cooked.
- * Have you run out of hazelnuts? Add some almonds or peanuts instead, both go well with lentils.