Minty Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

The world's leading lentil producer? Canada. Yeah, Canada.

The world’s leading lentil producer? Canada. Yeah, Canada.

The first time I had lentils was in college when a good friend of mine, Bonnie, made them while we were vacationing on a shoestring. She made an amazing soup and I was hooked. They’re tasty, cheap, filling, and good for you. Full of protein and fiber with zero fat. A no-brainer, right?

But, as I found when I gorged myself on several bowls of my own lentil stew, there are consequences to lentil love. Once you eat them the lentils and all their fiber put up a fight. And folks, things can get gassy. Really gassy (Though I maintain that nothing tops the amount of methane produced from eating two FiberOne bars in one day).

But eat lentils anyway- it’s a good life decision! Strategies I’ve incorporated into my lentil consumption include:

  • 1. Eating them for lunch only so by the time I’m paying the consequences I’m by myself with nobody to offend.
  • 2. Eating them and chasing them with probiotic yogurt.
  • 3. Eating them and standing downwind.

The first step in all of these is eating them, and for that you could try this minty lentil salad.

For the Dressing:

  • 1 TBsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 TBsp Vinegar (I like cider or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1 package pre-cooked lentils (Or cook 1 Cup of dry lentils from scratch)
  • 1/2 C fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 C parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 C raw spinach (It wilts into the salad)
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes
  • 2 oz goat cheese, very cold and crumbled
  • 1/2 C pitted olives, chopped (optional)

1.)  Separate the pre-cooked lentils  (they tend to be vacuum-packed into a big clump, crumble them so they’re all separated). Add the olives, mint, parsley, tomatoes, and spinach.

2.)  For the dressing, whisk the wine vinegar with the shallot and garlic. Add the sugar, salt, and pepper, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

3.)  Toss the dressing into the salad and mix well. Add the crumbled goat cheese on top (but don’t toss in- it makes the salad look milky and weird) and refrigerate for an hour. Try adding red pepper flakes and siracha and making it spicy! Serves 4

Calories: 135  – Fat : 9 grams –  Carbs: 10 grams – Fiber: 4.3 grams – Protein: 7.5 grams

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