Ironically, it was not all that long ago that eating vegetarian was viewed as a risky behavior. Today we are well aware of how plant-based foods are healing agents. Whether you douse this salad with extra vinegar or greens, it is filled with gut healthy, delicious, satisfying ingredients. Lentils can be prepared dry or “from scratch,” but there are so many speedier options out there - why dirty another pot? Trader Joe’s are fully cooked and vacuum-packed in a pouch to keeps them fresh and delicious.
1 cup steamed lentils
3 bell peppers, any color combo
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable broth, low sodium
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
optional garnish: fresh mint or basil leaves
Place lentils in large bowl and set aside.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers skin side up on a baking sheet. Broil on top oven rack until charred, about 5–10 minutes — keep checking! Remove from oven and place in brown paper bag to cool and loosen skin, for about 10 minutes. Remove from bag, peel and discard skins. Cut into small strips.
Add peppers, balsamic vinegar through spinach leaves into bowl with lentils. Toss well. Cover and chill in refrigerator for about 1-2 hours. Toss again, top with goat cheese, lightly toss and serve. Spice it up with additional pepper or other spices like coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with fresh mint or basil leaves. Makes 4 1-cup servings.
THE REBELLIOUS RD
As a longtime promoter of healthy cooking and eating, Amy's focus is on plant-based eating, with a rebellious twist - that she and no one, needs to be perfect.