Monday, February 18, 2013

Curried Lentil Salad

I created this Curried Lentil Salad thirteen years ago for an article I wrote for Vegetarian Journal.  I didn't use the recipe for this cookbook or my newer book.  Instead,  I used the exact blend of spices to make a soup.  Sure I had the spice blend, but I wondered if I still had the exact recipe for the salad.

I looked for it and found something even better:  the exact Vegetarian Journal  that the recipe came from.  And although cranberry season is gone, Crazy about Cranberries, in the same issue brought back good food memories.

For the salad, I changed the original recipe a bit because I wanted to emphasize immune building foods  like the dark leafy greens.  These have been reported to contain chemical compounds that help regulate immune cells.

And garlic has been shown to have compounds that give us more protection from viruses and can even help our resistance to cancer.

And walnuts--a great plant source of Omega 3-fatty acids with their anti-inflammatory properties.  The article from Men's Health announced: "Eat walnuts to look younger."

I don't know how that applies to dogs with lots of skin who already look old.

I wrote my current version of my recipe below, but here is the original recipe:

It's helpful to gather the salad ingredients before making it.

I added shiitake mushrooms to the mix.  Shiitakes not only contribute an intriguing texture, these mushrooms are well known for their unique healing properties and are a good plant source of iron.

After everything is gathered, measured or cut and ready to go, don't forget skimp on the high quality oil.   Even my assistant agrees, this is a great Spanish olive oil and a perfect compliment to the lime juice in the dressing.

Curried Lentil Salad
(Serve 4)
This salad uses precooked rice, so be sure to have cooked rice on hand. Serve this salad as a main dish one day and a side dish the next.  It also makes a great filling for roll up sandwiches.

1 cup French lentils
3 cups water
1 or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, small dice
5 or 6 medium shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced
1 teaspoon each: coriander, turmeric, cumin and chili powder
1/4 teaspoon each: cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne or chipotle chile powder
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 1/2 cups carrots, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 2 or 3 limes
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup toasted walnuts 

Rinse lentils.  In a medium saucepan, bring water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  Do not overcook.

Meanwhile heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil, red pepper and shiitake mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft.  Add coriander, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves.

When lentils are done, combine mushrooms, brown rice, grated carrots and raisins.  Mix gently.  

Combine line juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Mix in with lentils and rice.  Stir in parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with walnuts.


Joan said...

I recently saw a sprouted lentil salad recipe! I'm sprouting lentils as we 'speak' and now I'm thinking your's is a great recipe to add my sprouted lentils to! Thanks

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hey Joan--let me know how that turns out, it sounds delicious!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
Tell Finn to stay out of my salad, I don't want to share, this could be my whole meal. I love the rice and nuts, Yum! Hope you have a fabulous week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Funny, he's a little devilish sometimes when I try to take pictures of him with food.

Miz Helen said...

Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your weekend and your new Red Plate.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

So sweet Helen--love the feature! I get my best ideas every Thursday when I visit your site!