WARM LENTIL & ROASTED TOMATO SALAD

I have just made the most delicious winter salad imaginable. I’ve literally just finished eating it, and wanted to share it with you right away. I get a bit tired of regular lettuce salads, particularly in the winter when at lunchtime, I want something a little more hearty – so this is a perfect winter lunch. You can make it a day ahead and take it in a reusable container to work. It also keeps well – for up to 3 days covered, in the fridge.

All the spicy tastes and different creamy textures work so beautifully in this dish, which would also make for a really impressive appetizer – obviously served on small salad plates.

Go ahead and give this a go, as I’m quite convinced you’ll enjoy it as much as I just have!

 

2 cups cherry tomatoes (try to find organic)

1 large red onion, peeled and cut into chunks

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp sea salt

2 cups green lentils

3 cups of water

1/2 cup good olive oil

1tbsp red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

1 tsp honey

Salt and Pepper to taste

4tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

1/4 tsp chiptole paste (I make my past by blasting a can of Chipotle Chilis in Adobo Sauce in my blender. You can find this at the ethnic section in large grocery stores, and once you’ve made your puree, it will keep in an airtight container in your fridge for months).

1 ripe avocado (optional).

 

Serves 4

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F

Place the tomatoes and onions on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. It’s best to use your hands here to massage in the oil (great for your cuticles!). Sprinkle with cumin and salt and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until everything is nicely brown and slightly shriveled.

Place the lentils and the water in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 25 minutes and then drain off any excess water. All them to begin to cool.

Meanwhile whisk up the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, parsley/cilantro,  honey and seasoning.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 tsp of chipotle paste into your creme fraiche or sour cream.

When the veggies have finished roasting, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.

Spoon the lentils onto a platter and gently mix in the onions. Top with the tomatoes, taking care not to mix them in – as you don’t want everything to become mushy. Dress the salad and then drizzle your Chipotle Cream over the top.

If you want to, add slices of ripe avocado.

CRUNCY MEDITERRANEAN WRAP

I’m always experimenting with very-quick-to-prepare (often haven’t got time to even wash a lettuce,) tasty lunches for myself. This has become a favorite because it takes five minutes to put together. You bite through the soft flour tortilla into the creamy avocado and then healthy crunchy broccoli slaw. A perfect veggie/vegan lunch for any day of the week.

The Wrap
Serves 2

2 large organic flour tortillas
1 cup of marinated bell peppers, cut into strips (you should be able to find them in a jar at your local grocery store.)

1 bag of broccoli slaw (you can find organic broccoli slaw at Trader Joe’s market – it you don’t live near a T.J.’s just use regular undressed slaw.)

1/2 ripe, but firm avocado

Creamy Hummus Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
2tbsp garbanzo beans
1tsp tahini
1 clove garlic
1tbsp lemon juice
1tsp parsley, chopped or 1/2tsp dried parsley
Salt & cracked pepper to taste

If not fresh today, gently warm the tortillas and then fill each with the a handful of slaw, followed by the strips of peppers. Arrange the avocado slices on top and drizzle generously with the dressing. Wrap tightly and serve with a side of the dressing for dipping and some crunch chips.

I love the Beanfields Chips – Rice & Bean Chips, as they’re spicy and just….ummmm!