Lentils aren’t given nearly enough credit. These protein-packed ingredients are extremely versatile and can be used in salads to take a break from a leafy version, and they also do a great job of filling you up. They are high in fiber, aid digestion and they’ve also proven to assist in a good night’s sleep. Here’s our list of five super healthy lentil salads from different corners of the globe.
1. Creamy mung-bean lentil salad
Indians love their mung-beans as do the French, and who doesn’t love a bit of creaminess? Don’t worry though, just because something is creamy doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy and this salad sure is. You will need:
- Boiled and dried mung-bean lentil
- Feta (which adds the creaminess)
- Cucumber, diced
- Red or yellow bell pepper, diced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Dill, chopped
- Olive oil, for dressing
- Salt, as you like it!
Mix all and enjoy! You can have this as a main dish, side dish or top it on some rice, preferably brown.
2. Italian salad
Surprise, surprise! The Italians do eat something other than pizza and pasta. The Kalamata olives in this salad add a very Mediterranean touch to it, which we really enjoy. To make this delicious bowl of wonder food, you will need:
- Beluga lentils (black lentils), two cups boiled and rinsed
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 6 green onions, finely chopped
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1⁄4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted or otherwise
- Lemon juice, olive oil, mint and salt for dressing
Mix well and enjoy in front of a large painting of a beautiful Florence street!
3. Tunisian lentil salad
Tunisia isn’t a destination for food on most people’s list but it has a great cuisine and in fact, it has many similarities to North Indian food. Their spice cabinet could be mistaken for an Indian one and they even have their own version of a biryani! For now, though, here’s a salad from this North African country. You will need:
- Pink lentils, 2 cups boiled and dried
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- One half green pepper, diced
- One half red onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped as you like
- 1 small chilli, deseeded and chopped
- A pinch of lemon zest
- Oil cured black olives
- Cilantro, chopped
- Olive oil, lemon juice and salt, for dressing
Mix and enjoy with a crusty baguette! We hope this will be the first of many Tunisian dishes you devour!
4. Three bean salad
Our every trip to Nandos includes a three bean salad on the side, sometimes even main, if cravings are high. It goes with everything, chicken, sandwich or even roasted vegetables. This recipe is based on our favorite bean salad. You will need:
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can kidney beans
- A bunch of green beans (the vegetable), cut in half 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup of cider vinegar
- Olive oil, honey, mustard, salt, garlic powder and paprika for dressing
Mix and eat up!
5. Black bean and corn salad
A Mexican household classic, this salad is like whisky it gets better with time. So you might be better off making it a day in advance. You will need:
- 1 can of black beans
- 2 cups of frozen corn kernels
- We like our version with avocado, so 1 avocado sliced or chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1⁄2 red onion, chopped
- A pinch of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of hot sauce, if you can handle it!
- 1 lime, juiced
- Olive oil and salt for dressing
Mix and have it with a cheesy quesadilla!
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