If you’ve been considering starting meal prep or even just like the idea of making something healthy ahead of time for the week then look no further than this lentil salad! Lentils are an incredible source of protein (18 grams per cooked cup) and nutrients, they contain high levels of soluble fiber, which may help to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, and they are a great source of magnesium and folate. They are also easier to digest than beans, making them a great alternate source of plant based protein!
1 1/2 cups dry green or brown lentils (or 4 1/2 cups pre-cooked lentils)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
2 small garlic cloves , minced
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Black pepper , to taste
1 english cucumber, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks , diced
1 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
Arugula , for serving (optional)
To cook the lentils, combine 1 1/2 cups of dry lentils with 4 1/2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan that is large enough for the lentils to triple in size as they cook. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, but still firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. (Skip this step if you are buying canned lentils as they are already cooked!)
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper, mix well to combine.
When the lentils are tender, drain any excess liquid and rinse the cooked lentils under cold water to stop the cooking process and help them cool down faster. (Also skip this step if you are using pre-cooked lentils!)
While the lentils cool, dice the cucumber, onion, bell pepper, and celery. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to combine. Add in the cooled lentils, and toss once more.
Add in the raisins and sliced almonds, if desired, then serve right away or place the salad in separate airtight containers, portioned out for each day, in the fridge. Serve chilled, over a bed of arugula, if desired.
Recipe and photo courtesy of: Detoxinista