Lentil beans are the poor man’s feast. We always have a bag on hand for emergencies. Fast. Cheap. Tasty. Better yet, healthy and low-fat. Also, they are filling.
I grew up on lentil soup or some variation of bean soup. This is a lentil salad, meaning it is not liquidy and can be a chameleon like hummus.
If you need healthy brown bag lunches and are tired of PB ‘n J, try this Moroccan Lentil Salad. Sounds like a commercial, but I’m serious. Cook it on Monday and it’ll give you between 3 and 4 different lunches, depending on how much you want to eat. Put it on top of salad, fantastic. Inside a wrap-mmm good. As a side dish next to fish- you’ve got your protein for a year. You get the idea.
Printable Recipe:Moroccan Lentil Salad
We’ll start with green lentils, though in reality they look brown. Food has a lot of misnomers. Ever heard of red cabbage? It’s really purple. Red onions too, really purple and white. Maybe the powerful person who called green lentils green thought green was a better color than brown. Who knows, but we must oblige.
Bay Leaf? NO!
But lentils are soooo plain, what about some other flavor?
Just you wait…
Bring it up to a boil and then lower it to simmer. This will cook for about 30 minutes.
Now we’re going to make the secret: Morrocan dressing. It’s got a hint of cumin, a little pirouette from lime juice, color from turmeric, and ginger and garlic pizzazz. Pizzazz I tell you.
Whisk it all together in a small prep bowl. Enter the greens from stage left. We have cilantro, mint, and zucchini. Notice the green theme? Another reason these lentils should be green lentils. That there is my second zucchini from the garden and I have a gazillion more about to avalanche into the house in the next 2-3 weeks, so I got to stay on top of it and try to add them EVERYWHERE. Well, except my morning coffee. Don’t want to taint that moment of bliss.
The last 7-10 minutes of cooking the lentils, I slide in the chopped zucchini for good measure. The lentils should be done in 30 minutes or so. You want them to keep their shape, but you also want them well…cooked. Over 30 minutes is fine, under no way. I’d say 40-45 minutes max, just in case you forget about it. And no, that doesn’t mean I forgot about the lentils either, but thanks for thinking of it.
Put lentils and cooked zucchini into a medium sized bowl. There shouldn’t be any liquid. If there is, you may need to drain them first. Pour over the fragrant dressing, take a whiff, and mix. Also add some fresh chopped mint. Oh goodness, that smells so good. Sometimes I wish you could just scratch and sniff the computer screen.I was going all healthy so I put a heaping 1/2 cup of the lentils on top of mixed salad greens, then sprinkled on fresh chopped cilantro and shredded carrot.Buen Provecho!