Greek Lentil Salad

Greek Lentil Salad

Being Greek, I guess you can imagine I’ve had my fair share of Greek salads growing up.  I always loved the combination of fresh tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, salty olives and creamy feta.  It’s a staple at my mom’s house even today.  Today I am giving this classic salad a twist, and combining it with lentils.  This boosts the protein content, and makes it a filling meal for lunch or dinner.

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This meal went over really well with my son as well.  It’s funny, he started eating olives as a toddler and I found it a strange liking for a boy his age.  My father is from Kalamata, and he still has family living there, including his brother.  To this day, my family in Greece grows Kalamata olives and ships them to Canada for us.  We are so spoiled, because seriously, I have never tasted better quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.  We love drizzling it on fresh vegetable salads!

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This is a great summer salad that is really simple to whip up.  If you’re really short on time, you can use organic canned lentils instead of dried. It is essential, however, that you use fresh herbs! It gives great flavour to the feta and the rest of the salad.  I used garden oregano here, as my little garden is GROWING! Woohoo!

 You can also easily veganize this salad by either omitting the feta or making a plant-based feta such as this one from Happy Herbivore.

Greek Lentil Salad

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup du Puy lentils
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced then halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved and pitted
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 8 ounces organic feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Strain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, olives, oregano, feta, salt, pepper, and cooled lentils. Top with olive oil. Stir gently to combine.
  3. Place in the refrigerator to chill before serving.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/04/greek-lentil-salad/

Greek Lentil Salad

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Potato & Grilled Corn Salad with Fresh Dill

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Summer is pretty much in full swing in most parts, which means picnics, family bike rides, BBQs, and lots of dinners on the patio.  A popular summer salad which I was never really able to get behind is the traditional potato salad.  I just find it too heavy with mayo and much too creamy for my liking.  I do, however, love the idea of grilled corn, fresh dill and tangy mustard in my potato salad, and that’s just what I did to recreate this classic dish.  IMG_5441-2 We just planted our vegetable and herb garden last weekend.  I get so excited about this every year, digging up the dirt for our baby plants with my husband and nurturing them in the early mornings.  It’s such an amazing thing to do if you have the green space.  I really really do not have a green thumb (as my indoor plants can attest to), and we’ve had success every summer over the last three years.  If I can do it, you can, too. 🙂 This year we planted red and yellow cherry tomatoes, big beef tomatoes, Lebanese cucumbers, jalapeños, purple and red bell peppers, and romaine hearts.  In our herb garden we have chives, basil, thai basil, oregano, cilantro, and fresh dill.  There’s really no better feeling than going right into your backyard to cut fresh herbs at the moment you need them.  So, that’s what I did for this salad, and coming from a potato salad loving hubby, this statement was a big one: “This is the best potato salad I’ve ever had. Totally. The best.” 🙂 vegan potato salad

Potato & Grilled Corn Salad with Fresh Dill

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 organic cobs of corn, husked
  • 2 pounds small white potatoes, washed
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Place corn on grill over medium-high heat. Grill until tender and slightly charred, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, let cool slightly before handling, then cut off kernels using a sharp knife. Place into a large bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and slice in half. Add to the bowl of corn, along with green onions, mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and dill. Toss all to combine well.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/05/30/potato-grilled-corn-salad-with-fresh-dill/

This recipe makes for excellent leftovers, and it’s so easy to whip up to bring along to a lunch or dinner party.  It won’t leave anyone feeling weighed down by heavy mayo, and you can proudly say it’s vegan! If you’re new to Love and Lentils, hello 🙂 and thank you for being here – feel free to join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Thanks so much for reading, sophia   

Recipe Revelations Challenge – Best In Salad Winner!

Weeeeee! I’m so excited.  My day has been made, and it’s thanks to all of you who loved the recipe and voted!  I recently entered the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge, and today I got the amazing news that my Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens won Best in Salad category.  I am elated!  We seriously love this salad in my home, and I am so happy to see so many of you do as well.  

Of course, I want to share a piece of my joy and gift with you, so I am hosting a giveaway!  Woot woot!

Enter below for your chance of winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  This contest is open to everyone, worldwide and ends next Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much everyone, and please, do try this recipe, it’s a winner!

Sophia xx

Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

Mexican Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa & Black Beans

One of our favourite meals to prepare (and eat) are stuffed peppers of many varieties.  They are simple to put together, kids love them, and they freeze really well for leftovers.  Growing up, my mother always made us stuffed peppers and tomatoes, but in those days it was with rice and meat.  When I started eating plant-based, my mother started adapting her recipe to be meat-free, and now it is a staple in her house as well.   Coming from a Greek household,  this is a pretty big feat. 🙂 Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans I love all peppers, so I bought the ones which were priced the best for this recipe.  You can definitely use green, or yellow.  The flavours work really well with either. This is an excellent way to change up the way you eat quinoa, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s super delicious, nutty, and fluffy when baked in the oven.  This time, I cooked the quinoa ahead of time, and tossed all the ingredients together to stuff the peppers with. Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans

Mexican Stuffed Peppers With Quinoa & Black Beans

Yield: Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (19oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced + 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half from stem to tip, seeds and membranes removed

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa well, then pour into a medium saucepan, with 1.5 cups of water and garlic powder. Stir, bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover, simmering for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and scoop into a large bowl.
  2. Add olive oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Stir, continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour into the bowl of quinoa.
  3. Stir all ingredients well to combine.
  4. Pour ¼ cup water to the bottom of a 9 x 13” baking dish. Place your peppers, cut side up into the dish. Divide filling among the peppers. Cover the dish with foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, then continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve peppers warm. You can drizzle them with hot sauce for some extra heat and sprinkle with fresh, chopped cilantro.

Notes

The bell peppers will be soft, but not too soft. If you would like very tender peppers, you can begin by boiling the peppers in a large pot for 5 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.

http://loveandlentils.com/2014/04/23/mexican-stuffed-peppers-with-quinoa-black-beans/
IMG_4549-2 The quinoa along with the black beans, jalapeño , cumin, and cilantro give this dish a very flavorful Mexican feel.  We last visited this beautiful country three years ago.  It was my son’s first time traveling on an airplane, and he also learned to walk in Mexico, so it’s always been a very memorable trip for us!  Not to mention, the food was absolutely incredible, with vibrant and spicy flavours that we still try to replicate at home. Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans This dish is really not too spicy, making it perfect for kids as well.  If you want to turn up the heat, you can add more jalapeño or chili powder.     Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans  

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Quinoa, Kale + Chickpea Bake

One of my girlfriends made a delicious quinoa bake last week, with black beans and delicious Mexican flavours, and since then I’ve been craving making  a hearty baked quinoa dish myself.  Although we eat a lot of quinoa in our home, I don’t usually bake it in the oven, but it’s so filling, puffy and beautifully compliments your vegetable casserole.  

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake 

 The nice thing with this meal, is you don’t need to precook the quinoa, it cooks nicely in the oven with the other ingredients.  But, if you do have leftover cooked quinoa sitting in the fridge, by all means, use it.  Just cut down on the liquid and cooking time, by about half.

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

My son is not so into cooked little grains, like couscous or quinoa, but mixed in with all the other veggies, it was a winner for him, too.  I like when everyone is happy at the dinner table!

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

Quinoa, Kale + Chickpea Bake
Serves 6
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 an onion, diced
  4. 1 red sweet pepper, diced
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  7. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  8. 1 tablespoon dried sage
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  12. juice from 1/2 a lemon
  13. 1 - 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  14. 1 cup quinoa (any colour), rinsed
  15. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash the kale and remove the tough stems. Roughly chop and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, red pepper, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until soft, approx. 5 minutes. Add in the kale, stirring, and cook until it has reduced in size. Stir in diced tomatoes along with the dried oregano, sage, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat up your vegetable stock, either on the stove top, or in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Put the contents of your skillet into an 8″x8″ pan. Add in lemon juice, chickpeas and quinoa along with the hot vegetable stock. Stir gently to combine. Sprinkle nutritional yeast overtop if you are using it. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, give it a stir. Check if quinoa has cooked through and if all liquid has been absorbed. If not, cover with foil and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
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 Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

Quinoa Kale Chickpea Bake

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Thanks for reading. XO

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