Summer is upon us and I have been ask share the recipe for a standard “go to” salad that I have been making for a few years now. I believe I found it in a magazine while at my Mother-in-Law’s for dinner… I have since tweaked it to my preferred taste buds. Bo… this one’s for you!
I thought I would include a few little health tidbits, for you to appreciate what this recipe has to offer and why I rave about it:
This Greek Lentil Salad is a great source of fibre, iron, manganese and folate (aka Vitamin B9 or folic acid). Folic acid is needed for the proper development of the human body. It’s also water-soluble, which means the body does not store it – so we need to consume folic acid everyday to ensure we have proper amounts of it. Lentils are also very high in fibre and have more protein than almost any plant source.
Vitamin B9 is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. Lentils are one of the best food sources of slowly-digested carbohydrates and resistant starch. This means the starch that lentils contain, slowly convert to glucose and the starch does not get digested in the small intestine. Eating foods in “high resistant starch” improves your colon health and promotes healthy bowel flora. Eating more lentils can also improve glycemic control in diabetics. If you are diabetic, than you may want to go with dried lentils and boil them, as canned lentils tend to have a higher glycemic index.
The overall goodness of this salad is tremendous. I haven’t even touched on the health benefits of olive oil and lemon juice (but that’s for another post). This salad is not just delicious… it’s a win-win for your body. As we say in Polish, “Smacznego!”
GREEK LENTIL SALAD
Serves 10 (1 kg)
1 – 19 oz can (540 ml) lentils, rinsed and drained
½ cup (125 ml) calamata olives (or pitted black olives)
½ cup (125 ml) red onion, chopped
1 ½ cup (375 ml) grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup (125 ml) yellow peppers, chopped
1 cup (500 ml) cucumbers, chopped
¼ cup (50 ml) feta cheese, crumbled or chopped
¼ cup (50 ml) olive oil
¼ cup (50 ml) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 ml) dried oregano
1. In a large bowl, combine lentils, olives, onion, tomatoes, yellow peppers, cucumber, feta cheese.
2. Whisk oil, lemon juice and oregano together in a separate cup. I like to add a pinch of salt, to taste.
3. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.
4. Can be eaten right away or covered and left in fridge to marinate for 2 hours before serving.
The original recipe said that the salad can be made a day in advance, but I find the vegetable lose that fresh, crisp look about them. Enjoy!