Yesterday was one of those “getting shit done” days – a visit to the bike shop, a bit of garden maintenance, returning a chicken that I had been babysitting for a friend, a visit to the produce store. It hit that point in the afternoon where we were both a bit hungry and briefly considered getting chips or something fast from a takeaway place, but in the name of having just gone to the farmers market the day before and not wanting to eat takeout while our vegetables languished in the fridge, we decided to make something fast instead.
I never used to be a salad fan – in fact I was a confirmed fan of carby stodgy foods – but over the last few years I have become a lot friendlier towards them, to the point of craving them and eating them as meals on their own. It started with a rocket and parmesan salad that sucked me in with the salty flakes of parmesan and finally gave me a taste for bitter salad greens that I had previously avoided, and progressed as my garden experiments led me to grow multiple varieties of lettuce, sorrel, spinach, mizuna, chicory, and of course my beloved kale. Turns out I just never really liked iceberg lettuce, or the poor excuses for lettuce/cucumber/tomato type salads I’d eaten in the past, and proper good salads were actually really delicious!
In the colder months I really like salads with some kind of grain or protein element, and I’ve been making a few grain based salads of late, or dishes like the Macro Dragon Bowl that revolve around a cooked grain with some vegies, some kind of protein, and a sauce. I decided to keep riffing on that theme and made a lentil and vegetable salad. I used tinned lentils for the sake of making a quick lunch, but if you like this kind of dish it would be well worth cooking some extra lentils and keeping them in the freezer so you can throw this together quickly and easily.
1 tin brown lentils (or 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils)
1 carrot, grated
1 beetroot, grated
1 cucumber, quartered and chopped into pieces
4-5 leaves purple cabbage, sliced thinly
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 cups mixed salad greens – lettuce, sorrel, baby spinach, rocket
2 tbsp flaxseed oil
1 capful apple cider vinegar
a good shake of smoked sea salt
Drain the lentils and rinse well. Quarter a cucumber and chop into pieces, grate a beetroot and a carrot, and toss together with the lentils in a salad bowl. Place cabbage leaves on top of one another, roll into a bundle, and slice thinly. Rinse and dry salad greens and chop roughly. Toss together with the lentils and grated vegetables. Pour over the flaxseed oil and apple cider vinegar, add a good shake of smoked sea salt or flaked sea salt to taste, and top with slices of avocado.