Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Power Up: Quinoa and Lentil Salad

Power up your days with this vegetarian salad made with lentils and quinoa! It's may be low in fat but it's high in flavor!


This is seriously my first quinoa recipe, like for real. I know this is a healthy food blog, but even I was skeptical on quinoa for a while. I mean even the name quinoa, pronounced keeen-waaaah it just comes off as persnickety and pretentious.... right?! Oh I'm sorry it not quinoa, it's keeen-wah. Excuse me fancy pants!


But I got around to finally trying it... kind of liked it. But then I cooked it the right way, toasting and then cooking in vegetable broth- Game changer. I will also tell you my mom always made rice with water and a pat of butter, also boring... I was raised like that. But hot damn what a difference this makes.

Not just that but hello- I am sure everyone and their sister has told you... quinoa is the shit. So healthy for you and, you know what, it totally is! Not only is this a whole grain, it packs a protein and fiber punch! Then to further add to that I added in a blend of lentils. It's a little party in your intestines... but damn this will keep you full for a WHILE!

I also have been reading a couple vegetarian blogs for a while now and I have been amazed at the options for protein in the plant based world. So while animal proteins have saturated fat, there is none of that here! This is perfect for a meatless monday, as a side, or for me I loved this atop a bed of lettuce for lunch.

Also hello gluten free eaters- rejoice in this amazing protein packed salad! You can enjoy all you want since this baby is also gluten free!


What you need

1 cup lentil mix (I used a multicolor lentil blend, I like colors)
1 cup tri color quinoa
3 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced

Dressing

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup basil leaves.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

How to make it
1- Rinse quinoa, drain, and toast in pan on medium high heat with a little extra virgin olive oil in the pan.
2- Once quinoa is fragrant and is slightly darker in color add in 2 cups of vegetable broth.
3- Cook lentils in 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth on medium heat. I added less broth so they would cook less and have a little more bite.
4- Once quinoa and lentil are cooked let them cook to room temperature.
5- Toss in diced onion and bell pepper.
6- Prepare dressing by pulsing in a food processor or blender.
7- Pour over the top, mix in and refrigerate salad before salad.


Nutritional Info 

7 points plus on Weight Watchers, 0 if you're on Simply Filling!