Friday, April 12, 2013

Lentil and Chickpea Salad

Sorry for my absence the last few days.  I've had a nasty respiratory infection that literally came out of no where and knocked me out for two days.  I'm feeling better, but talking and breathing are still a bit difficult.  So instead of going on a wonderful mini-vacation with my husband like we were going to do this weekend, we will be spending quality time on the couch with him as my nursemaid.  ;o)  As an irony to this situation, my hubby and I saw the episode of The Big Bang Theory (which we both LOVE) where Sheldon takes care of Amy while she has the flu--HILARIOUS!!!  I ended up having at least five coughing/laughing fits.  If you haven't seen it, please go watch it now!!!

Anyway, I saw the recipe for this salad from the smitten kitchen and knew I had to make it!  Not only did I have almost everything--minus the sage and feta cheese--at home, but the salad sounded DELICIOUS!!!  Plus so very healthy...  I almost asked for the day off to make it.  Thankfully, I restrained myself and waited to share this with my family at a barbeque we had last weekend.  It was a crowd pleaser!

{Good-for-you grains, spices, and oils make this a healthy and nutritous salad!}

{Cooking the lentils}

{Mixing the remaining ingredients together}

{Cooked lentils}

{Toasting sesame seeds}

Lentil and Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
2 cups broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons broth
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 medium (or 1 whole small) red onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
  1. Mix lentils, garlic, sage, 2 cups broth, and 2 tablespoons olive oil together in a saucepan and turn to medium high heat; once the lentils start to simmer, turn the heat down to medium low and gently cook lentils until just tender about 25-35 minutes adding more broth if needed.
  2. Meanwhile mix remaining ingredients except cheese in a bowl.
  3. Cool lentils for about 10 minutes and then mix with the remaining salad.
  4. Chill the salad for about 4 hours up to overnight before serving.
  5. Sprinkle cheese in salad immediately before serving.
I drastically streamlined this recipe.  No offense, but I don't have time to toast all the spices and then grind them into a paste with a mortar and pestle (not that I have the equipment anyway).  I love this cook to death because I have not had a bad recipe from her, but she likes to get a little detailed and silly sometimes. 

After making this in about 30 minutes (I got everything else together while the lentils were cooking), I am thinking about making a few salads once a week like this to eat on throughout the week as a side for crockpot meals.  Hmmmmm....  I'm off to look for some recipes (between naps and over the next few days)!  Unless you have one you want to share!

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