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Try This Protein-Rich Lentil Salad Recipe

It's a vegetarian-friendly dish that's also packed with fiber, folate, and healthy fat—making it a great super-food side or a perfectly filling meal on its own.

When it comes to plant-based protein sources, lentils come packing, serving up a respectable 18 grams per cooked cup. But what do you even begin to do with them, beyond your go-to soup?

Try this Lentil Salad Recipe from GRK Fresh, a fast-casual Greek restaurant in New York City. Now, we're not going to lie, those little legumes can be a pain to prep because of their lengthy cook time. But we honestly think their disease-fighting folate and filling fiber make them well worth it.

Plus, if you seriously have absolutely zero time to let them simmer on the stove? You can pick up the pre-cooked ones at Trader Joes, or even sub in canned lentils. (Just make sure you rinse the canned ones first to get rid of any excess sodium.)

LENTIL SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Greek olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 oz. chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils, washed and picked over
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 loaf barley bread, cut in crouton-sized squares and toasted OR 2 cups large croutons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup fresh leafy herbs (mix of parsley, basil and scallions)

Instructions:

  1. Coat a sauté pan with Greek olive oil. Add onion and garlic; cook until soft and translucent. Now add the bouillon and bring to a boil. Add lentils and water, then reduce heat if needed to bring to a simmer. Let simmer for an hour, checking every 10-15 minutes and stirring, adding a little water if needed.
  2. When liquid is absorbed, season lentils with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Allow to chill until serving.
  3. When ready to serve, toss lentils, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, and herbs with dressing (recipe below). Place croutons in bottom of each bowl and top with dressed salad.

Serves: 4

To Make Dressing: Blend the following ingredients until thoroughly mixed: ½ cup balsamic vinegar; 1 cup olive oil; 1 oz Greek oregano; salt to taste; 3 tbsp honey.

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