I don’t know about you, but when I’m craving something sweet, cool and filling, I rarely think of a lentil salad. Okay I never think of a lentil salad.
This is a super easy salad and perfect for this hot weather. I’ve really been consuming quite a bit more raw food lately. Tons and tons of fruit seems to be just what my body wants right now. Because I have been trying to keep my diet 80% raw (this week it has been 100%) I have to be very conscious of my low protein consumption. Instead of just mixing a scoop of pea protein powder, I wanted to keep it a bit more whole, so that is when lentils came to mind.
They’re high in protein and packed with a ton of other health boosting benefits like insoluble fiber, which contributes to it being a low glycemic food. From this you then get another added benefit of it being great for stabilizing blood sugar. These tiny little legumes are loaded with manganese, which aid the body in absorbing free radicals and in turn will lead to disease prevention. Last but not least, they are low in calorie and contain very little fat.
Of coarse I wanted this to be a cold salad and strawberries seemed to be the obvious addition. They’re in season and pretty cheap, so I had a ton in my fridge.
Next the nuts. Some like adding almonds to theirs salad, but I try to avoid them at all cost for one reason, they are loaded with omega-6’s. These specific fatty acids lead to inflammation in the body which is breeding ground for disease. Walnuts on the other hand have a good amount of omega 3’s which have the opposite effect and create a balanced internal environment instead.
The dressing I contemplated making some sort of stevia concoction, but decided to go for pure maple syrup instead. Number one it’s the perfect complement to these ingredients and number two, it’s considered a super-food. This is not to be confused with your cheap super market maple syrup, but the Pure (preferably grade B) usually found at your local health food store. The amazing health benefits it provides are numerous and quite unbelievable. One interesting thing about this syrup, is that it contains compounds that aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which not only makes it safe for diabetics but a healing food as well.
2 cups strawberries
1 cup cooked lentils, cooled
2 Tbls maple syrup
1/2 lemon juiced
handful of basil
2 Tbls chopped red onions
3/4 cup whole walnuts- then chopped to sprinkle on salad
pepper to taste
Crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Cook lentils according to package directions and then cool in fridge. Mix maple syrup and lemon juice together and pour over cooled lentils. Top with strawberries, red onions, basil and pepper. Add walnuts last. I use goat cheese only if I’m craving it, otherwise I leave it out to keep it a cleaner dish.
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions you may have.