Happy Meatless Monday and I hope you had a great Father’s Day yesterday. Are any fathers reading my blog?!:) Our Father’s Day was an amazing day, like many Sundays, filled with me making breakfast + dinner and a mall + Walmart haul. Very special, right?! My kids are blessed to have an amazing father who makes every weekend special and who has got everything he needs. So, we really didn’t celebrate because our whole life is one big huge party. I’m serious, what not to like if you can afford a house and shopping at Costco?! And you control the mind. All we need is health which is up to us, to a certain extent.
I’ll be honest, all those pictures with kids + fathers now and back then make me sad. I don’t want my kids to grow up and Alex get older. Just being honest. So, let’s work out like crazies and eat healthy! We also don’t like birthdays and never had fathers growing up. Can’t really understand what it’s like to have a father. But I swear we are quite happy people day by day. We celebrate life and count our blessings every day, no need for special occasions.
Now, onto my Moroccan lentil salad. Father was not the only thing missing from my childhood. He was joined by the vegetables that were absent in many Slavic cuisines. We didn’t have California or Mexico growing cucumbers and tomatoes all year round. I grew up in a family where meal is not considered a meal without meat. My mom still thinks that way. Quick fact: today only 5% of Americans eat recommended daily dose of vegetables. Just stop and think about it for a second. Scary, right?! I honestly don’t expect many re-pins of this salad. Let’s face it, it’s not cheese or cheesecake. Double scary, right?!
I made this healthy lentil salad a few weeks ago on a hot day. Just didn’t get the time to post. It is a complete meal that doesn’t make your kitchen hot. You can use leftover or frozen lentils as well. I love to cook grains and legumes in large batches and freeze. For the last 3 months, I have incorporated A LOT of vegetables and complex carbs from the whole foods (I posted a list below the recipe), and have noticed A BIG difference in my body. My body got leaner overall, especially around stomach area – my biggest problem.
I love lentils! Even when cooked with water, they taste like they were prepared with chicken broth. Anyone else?! That’s how much flavour this legume contains. Not to mention the impeccable nutritional value: fiber, complex carbs and protein. Lentils make flavourful lentil casserole with mushrooms, easy weeknight green lentil curry and set-n-forget chicken lentil soup.
Paired with cool cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, crunchy bell pepper and drizzled with refreshing coconut milk + Moroccan spices dressing, you couldn’t have asked for more delicious one meal salad. Now, I’m not going to lie – my kids did not eat this Moroccan lentil salad, so don’t feel bad if yours don’t. But you, enjoy! P.S. I made my kids whole wheat pasta with butter. All organic. They would eat it every day if allowed.
- 3/4 cup lentils, dry (2 cups cooked)
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 long English cucumber, seeded & chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Lemon/lime for garnish
- 1/3 cup light coconut milk, canned
- 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- Cook lentils as per package directions. My method: In a small pot, combine 3/4 cup lentils with 1 + 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 17 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Lentils should be cooked al dente.
- In a small bowl, whisk together Dressing ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add Salad ingredients, pour prepared Dressing over and gently mix to combine. Serve cold or warm, with whole wheat pita and a lime/lemon wedge on a side.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving = 1 cup:
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 448.5 mg
Total Carbs: 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.8 g
Protein: 6.8 g
WW Points+: 3
Other simple vegetable dishes we have been enjoying lately, that helped me and Alex to drop body fat (paired with daily exercise):
Grilled Cauliflower with Smoked Paprika