Lentil Salad with Olives, Mint, and Feta


IMG_0211

Hello, my friends! I apologize for the long absence yet again. I hope everybody is having a great summer and is cooking up a storm! I am delighted to tell you that I am starting a brand new job tomorrow. It took me quite a while to find it and I am thrilled about this opportunity! Looking for a job and interviewing was one of the reasons I couldn’t dedicate more time to this blog for such a long time.

The other reason I was MIA was due to the fact that I started tweaking the way I ate to accomodate my new fitness goals. I was already eating healthy but now I am also trying to eat clean most of the time. You may know that eating clean does not require fancy cooking. In a gist, you cook your food very minimally to preserve its nutrients, and you eat healthy fats, carbs, and proteins. I am not being 100% strict about my diet and I do still enjoy some less healthy foods. My ultimate goal is to find a way to eat clean yet not boring.

The following recipe is a perfect example of a healthy and non-boring dish. I saw it on America’s Test Kitchen two days ago and instantly thought it would be a great new way to include another protein into my diet.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils du Puy
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 5 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnishing

Directions:

First, we need to brine our lentils. Put them in a medium bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and cover with 1 quart (4 cups) of warm water (about 110 F). Let the lentils brine on the countertop for one hour. This will make lentil skins more pliable when we begin cooking.

After one hour, preheat the oven to 325 F. Drain the lentils and put them in an oven-proof pan with lid. Add 2 cups of water, 2 cups of chicken stock, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Put the pan in the pre-heated oven and cook for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy.

Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaf and the garlic cloves.

Make a vinaigrette dressing: in a large bowl, combine 5 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and whisk. Add the drained lentils, chopped olives, fresh chopped mint, and minced shallot. Mix all of the ingredients well and season more with salt (and black pepper) if needed.

Transfer the salad into another bowl, top with crumbled feta cheese and garnish with parsley. Serve the salad warm or cold.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Lentil Salad with Olives, Mint, and Feta

  1. Hello friend:) Congrats on the new job – is it in the same industry, and same city? I guess your holiday plans are out of the window.
    Eating clean – is that a bit like raw eating, but a little bit more cooked? I eat clean salad, but other meals are not always clean, they are dirty.

    • Hi Mr Three Cookies!
      Thank you! Yes, the new job is in the same industry (investment management) in Boston. And yes, vacation plans are out the window at this point 😦 I think a vacation will still happen but I don’t know when and where. I so miss Europe… (sigh)
      You can google clean eating to get more details but in essence it is all about eating minimally processed foods . It is not exactly like eating raw – I would never be able to do that!:)
      Hahaha dirty eating – I think you just coined a new term in the dietary world!

      • I just read more about clean eating – its a good concept. I eat clean pretty much all the time. Making soup/burger patty/bread etc at home is clean, buying canned soup/frozen processed partty/certain breads is unclean. Simple and good concept.
        Good luck with day #1 at work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s