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Lemony Lentil and Quinoa Salad

You know that wierd, irrational fear we all get if we eat too much of a good thing we might hate it one day? Sometimes I discover an amazing juice or a raw bar I love and then the instinct hits me, if I eat it too much I’ll get sick of it. Why do we only feel this way with healthy foods? No one ever seems concerned about getting sick of Oreos.

Quinoa has been my go-to lunch staple for a long time and rarely does a week go by I don’t have it at least once or twice. Of course, this fear is lurking behind every bite. With all the benefits of this superfood, it wouldn’t be the item to never eat again.

Last week, I made this salad and it completely erased that fear. It was a perfect reminder about the different ways to make quinoa are limitless. I would have never paired quinoa with lentils- in my kitchen those two items have always acted separately. But I loved the combo and the other elements were insanely delicious.

The flavors of this dish are so outstanding one could truly never get sick of them. I think I could eat this dish daily and still crave it again the next day.

I hope you make this dish and enjoy it as much as I do. And I hope it erases that fear- the body craves what it needs and it could never stop needing this nutrient-packed dish.

Benefits:

Quinoa

Protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, lysine

Lowers cholesterol, aids energy metabolism, supports blood sugar control, improves brain energy, antioxidant

Lentils

Protein, fiber, folate, manganese, tryptophan, iron, copper

Lower cholesterol, support heart health, support digestive health, increase energy, aid in weight loss, anti-aging

Garlic

Protein, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, calcium, zinc

Supports heart health, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibiotic, reduces cholesterol

Cucumber

B Vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium

Supports joint health, aids in digestion, controls blood pressure, fight cancer

Tomato

Vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium, thiamin, niacin, magnesium

Regulates blood pressure, protects against high cholesterol & heart disease

Parsley

Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin K, amino acids, Vitamin A

Supports heart health, antioxidants, strengthens immune system, produces collagen

Mint

Manganese, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, copper, calcium

Anti-cancer, supports respiratory system, nausea remedy, supports digestion, clears skin, cleanses blood

 

Lemony Lentil and Quinoa Salad
From The Longevity Kitchen

Serves 6

Ingredients:
½ cup organic dried lentils
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
pinch of ground cinnamon
sea salt
1 ¾ cup water
1 cup white quinoa, rinsed well in cold water and drained
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 small English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup diced tomato or halved cherry tomatoes
2 T crumbled organic goat’s milk feta cheese (optional)

Directions:
Put the lentils, 1 clove of garlic, the bay leaf, cinnamon and ¼ tsp of salt in a saucepan and add water and cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease heat to to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain well, spritz with a bit of the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, put the water, the remaining clove of garlic and ¼ tsp in a separate saucepan and bring just to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa. Decrease the heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and discard the garlic. Add the cumin and coriander and fluff with a fork until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.
Put the lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the quinoa, along with the lentils, mint and parsley and fluff with a fork until well combined. Chill for at least 2 hours.
Add the cucumbers and tomatoes and fluff with a fork to combine. Taste for seasoning: add salt or a squeeze of lemon juice as needed. Sprinkle with feta before serving.