We at Your Health Forum have sung the praises of black beans in the past. They and other legumes are a wonderful source of iron, protein, and essential amino acids that can be hard to find in plant-based diets.
If you don’t have the time to make black beans or want to experiment with other legumes, lentils are a great alternative! They are as nutritious as black beans but do not require long soaking periods before cooking, therefore much faster to prepare. There are also many types of lentils that all have slightly different textures and flavors to experiment with.
The ones featured in this recipe are yellow, split lentils which cook quickly and can easily be found in bulk at grocery stores. They make a hearty addition to any salad, adding a nutty flavor and texture as well as a boost of protein to all that good fiber you’re already getting from the greens!
Unfortunately, this not-so-perfect chef fell into the common trap of mushy lentils. Mushy lentils can result from too much water or cooking them at a high temperature for too long. They still tasted delicious and creamy with our salad, but if you want more crunchy lentils that you can actually mix into your salad, make sure to start at a rapid simmer and then turn the heat to low while the lentils cook the rest of the way through.
Here, we used two cups of lentils for four servings and seasoned it with salt to taste at the end of cooking.
While our lentils were cooking, we prepared a simple, chopped salad of available greens. We used chopped Napa cabbage, spinach, and tomatoes in ours.
Once the lentils were done and seasoned, we spooned them onto our bed of salad greens with some (optional) tahini dressing. Delicious, plant-based, and low carb!