The new year has begun, people make resolutions, to eat healthy, start clean and fresh, a new beginning, a new chapter. New hopes, aspirations, goals and milestones to achieve! People are motivated to eat healthy, eat well, make lifestyle changes, include more vegetables and fruits in their diet etc. It is always hard to keep up though. The key is to make healthy food , appetizing, flavorful and delicious. One way to make food appetizing, and delicious is with spices, and herbs which give so much flavor to food making it attractive to the palate!
I am vegetarian, and I do try to incorporate a lot of vegetables in my diet, but one of my goals this year is to get in more proteins in my diet as well. It is hard for a vegetarian to do so and one way to get more protein is through lentils and beans. Beans tend to increase flatulence, so I do prefer lentils. Lentils by themselves are sort of bland – let’s face it! It always makes it tastier when you incorporate spices with lentils. Also, once made, the taste of the dish gets better with time!
Here’s a Simple Winter Lentil Salad that I made using lentils along with all the fresh produce currently available at the farmer’s market like cara oranges, red onions, baby kale, butternut squash, herbs like cilantro, parsley and mint! The buttersquash is cut into strips, tossed in a bunch of spices like cardamom, smoked paprika, ancho chile powder, salt and pepper, olive oil and roasted in the oven for about half an hour at 420 degrees. I love the flavor of this roasted squash! I could just eat it as is!
I mix all the ingredients, with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and hazelnuts. The best part is the drizzle of the herbed yogurt sauce on the top which is made using greek yogurt, sour cream, herbs, garlic and lime juice! Drizzle it on the top of the salad and you have this awesome, healthy, delicious, nutritious, flavorful, fulfilling salad ! and I can guarantee, you will make it again!
Simple and Warm Winter Lentil Salad
- ? ? Lentils (what type… brown?) (there are no cooking instructions for the lentils I assumed they originally used tinned lentils.)
- 3 ? Oranges (peeled, sliced and quartered)
- 1 ? Red onion (peeled, quartered and finely sliced)
- 1 ? Butternut squash (cut into fine strips (1/2 cm))
- 1 tsp? Cilantro
- 1 ? Cardamom (crushed?)
- 1 tsp? Smoked parika ((which variety))
- 1/2 tsp Ancho chile powder
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- 1 bunch? Baby kale (torn or cut into 2cm pieces)
- ? ? Hazel Nuts ((pieces/halves?))
- ? ? Red wine vinegar
- ? ? Olive Salt (could we use garlic salt)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Herb Yogurt Sauce
- ? ? Greek yogurt
- ? ? Sour cream
- ? ? garlic (… crushed?)
- ? ? Lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas mark 7.
- Meanwhile cut the squash into fine strips (1/2 cm). Place the strips in a baking dish, add the cardamom, parprika and chili. Drizzle the olive oil over and mix well to ensure that all the squash is covered by the spices and oil. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
- Once cooked, remove from oven and simple add all the other ingredients: lentils, baby kale, orange pieces, onion pieces, hazelnut pieces, red wine vinegar, olive salt, a splash of extra olive oil and fold together ensuring not to mash the squash. Season to taste.
- Let the salad cool a bit while you make the herb yogurt sauce.
Herb yogurt sauce
- Simply mix the Greek yogurt, sour cream, herbs(which??), garlic and lime juice together.
- Serve by drizzling the sauce over the warm salad. Enjoy!