Have you ever seen the nutritional advice “Eat more legumes” and thought, yah, right – and what does that mean exactly? This recipe would be a perfect example of following the advice to eat more legumes. And of course runners want to eat more legumes because they are a good source of protein and healthy carbs (low on the glycemic index), and they contain lots of fibre, antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals. In fact, one serving of green lentil salad gives you 13g protein, 28g complex carbs, 15g fibre, 3.5mg iron (20% of your DV – daily value), 29mg magnesium (15% DV), 2.5mg zinc (15% DV), and 4mcg selenium (6% DV). While both beans and lentils are classified as legumes, lentils differ from beans in that they do not contain sulfur, meaning they won’t cause you to produce gas the same way beans can… Who knew?!! And I haven’t even touched on the amazing anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric and ginger yet…
- 1 cup dry green lentils, cooked in 2 cups water
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ to 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime, juiced (or 1 lemon works well also)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 bunches green onions (~12 stalks), chopped
- 3-4 carrots, coined or shredded
- handful of fresh parsley or cilantro (~½ bunch), finely chopped
- 1 cucumber, diced (optional)
- 1 red pepper, diced (optional)
- Place rinsed lentils in a small saucepan and add water, boil, and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. When tender, remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water. Place in large bowl.
- To make dressing, put the cumin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, lime (or lemon) juice, olive oil and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Place onions, carrots, parsley or cilantro, cucumber and red pepper (if using) in the bowl with the lentils. Toss everything with the dressing.
- Serve immediately or chill and serve cold. Makes a great packed lunch as it does not require heating.
Adapted from Clean, by Alejandro Junger, MD, Harpers 2011, p. 262