Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lemony Lentil Spinach Salad


Hi friends! Long time no see...yes I know! I have been MIA for a little while.  Let me first just say thank you so much to everyone who has sent me such sweet emails asking how I was doing and checking in on me! Those emails really kept me going! So thank you thank you thank you all!
Basically, to make a long complicated story short, I have been working on this ...


 which led to severe morning sickness for roughly 23 weeks, and left me in complete survival mode, eating the blandest things I could, and cooking anything delicious was just not going to happen. I could not even handle the smell of food. Thankfully, I am feeling so much better now, and the kitchen and I have rekindled our romance, :D  Again, thank you to my sweet readers who sent me those uplifting emails!  This will be the hubby and I's 4th little bambino (yes, its a boy!). I will keep you all updated on the baby details for those that care! 

OK, now back to the food! The oh so amazing, makes you feel like a superhuman kind of meal I have for you today! Its so full of all kinds of nutrition! The veggies are left raw, and paired with warm protein packed lentils, satisfying brown rice, and a fresh lemony almond dressing. This is some seriously good stuff, and you can trust me on that, because I am actually chowing down on the plate I photographed above for lunch. And it is tasting so delish!  I hope you all enjoy!


Lemony Lentil Spinach Salad
Will serve about 6, or make for some killer good leftovers!


All ingredients needed for the recipe:
1 cup of dried lentils (measured uncooked)
1 cup short grain brown rice (measured uncooked)
2 large yellow onions
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 large tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
1 English cucumber
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 pear, or 1 crisp apple
2 lemons
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. raw unsalted almond butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
Spinach
about 1/4 cup slivered almonds
zest of 1 lemon


Step 1: Cook the lentils. Rinse lentils, place in a pot and cover with just enough water to cover the lentils (the ratio is about 2 parts water to 1 part lentils. DO NOT SALT.  Bring the lentils up to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer anywhere from 20 min. up to 45 minutes. Lentils can vary in cooking time. Depending on how soft you like them just taste along the way and it is really up to you how soft you want them to be. I like mine softer so I cook them close to 35 minutes. Once they are finished cooking, drain any extra water and season them with a little salt and pepper.

Step 2: Cook the rice. Rinse your brown rice, and cook either in a rice cooker or a pot according to directions on package. Let the rice cook at the same time the lentils are cooking.

Step 3: Caramelized onions: slice 2 large yellow onions. Place in a pan with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and let them slow cook for another 40-45 minutes, until very sweet tasting and soft. I just made these right after I put the lentils and rice on to cook and let them cook for the same amount of time.

Step 4: Prepare the raw veggies with herbs: dice up your 2 tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 1 English cucumber (some of the seeds scraped out), 1 pear or crisp apple, and 1/2 cup Italian parsley. Don't be afraid to throw the pear/apple in there! It adds just a slight touch of sweet to the whole dish that makes it so delicious! Mix the veggies and set aside.



Step 5: Lemony almond dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons (save the lemons for the zest at the end of the recipe, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 c. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. raw unsalted almond butter, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You want this dressing to almost be to vinegary and tart on its own. because it will be much more mild when added to the rice and lentils.

Step 6: Assemble the salad:  layer on a plate fresh baby spinach, a small dollop of rice and lentils, then a little drizzle of the dressing (a few tsp.). Next pile on the raw veggies, slivered almonds and some lemon zest on the top. Add another drizzle of dressing, mix up and enjoy!

32 comments:

  1. Morgan! What wonderful news! Great to see you back again. The food looks amazing too!

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  2. So glad you are feeling better. Congratulations on the growing baby boy! And so excited for this amazing salad!

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    1. Thanks Karen! Let me know if you try the salad! It was really REALLY good! :D

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  3. Congratulations on the bambino! And your salad looks awesome. You can't go wrong with lentils, brown rice, and fresh veggies.

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    1. Hey Claire! I totally agree! Brown rice, lentil, and veggies are staples for me! Thanks for stopping in to say hi!

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  4. Glad to have you back! So sorry to hear about your morning sickness, not fun :( This salad, as always, looks awesome. Congrats on another baby!

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    1. Thanks Alex! You so appreciate feeling good and normal again after being sick like that! On top of it, I had no computer for about a month, and had to buy a new desktop (which I am loving so much after having a laptop for so long!) and couldn't really blog surf , so I have been missing your recipes as well! Gonna go catch up on them and check them out today! :)

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  5. Congrats Morgan! I know how it is for sure!

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    1. Thanks girl! Its all worth it though, right?! P.s. your little one is ADORABLE!!!! So precious!

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  6. What TREAT to open up my google reader and see a new post from YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    First off--you're adorable. I love you. And I need you in my life.

    LOVE the bump, the earrings, the jacket--you are the cutest pregnant woman! And number 4!! You look incredible!!!!!

    Next, that salad is right up my alley. Hearty, fresh and looks delicious! A great addition to share for my 10 day challenge! yey!!! I love the dressing idea. I never though to use almond butter in a dressing--sounds amazing!

    <3

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    1. No no, I need YOU! You just have that spirit and energy that makes me so happy!!!! You are my favoratest and the BESTEST!
      I KNOW your down with the big earrings! Ha ha! I think I wear the biggest ones of anyone else I know. I gotta represent, gotta keep it fresh, right! I know, baby bump makes me look especially fresh and awesome! LOL Dont you love the anlge my daughter took this at? Im the headless woman. :D
      BTW, I am So excited for your challenge! Its just so uplifiting and motivating and I think you should bring it back every year! <3 <3 <3

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  7. Your salad looks amazing Morgan:) I look forward to making it. I am so glad you are feeling better-HUGS!!!

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    1. Thanks!! You know I LOVE all your recipes! My faves!

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  8. This sounds amazing! I'm so glad to see you're back--been checking your blog daily, along with your mom's! I'm glad to hear you're o.k. Congratulations!

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    1. Awe, thank you so much!! That just put a smile on my face! :D

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  9. Hey Morgan!

    Glad to hear you are feeling better! How exciting, 2 girls 2 boys! I have my 4th growing in my belly too! We are the opposite, 2 boys 2 girls! Love the recipe! Can't wait to give it a try!!! Congratulations!

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    1. CONGRATS!!! So exciting! Hope your pregnancy is going well and your not too sick!!

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  10. Catherine DoerflerMarch 2, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    Hope the rest of your pregnancy is a piece of cake! Sooo missed your recipes!

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    1. Me too! haha ANd thank you so much! I have lots of fun things planned ahead for the recipes and blog so thank you for checking back with me and sticking with me through my sick time and bump in the road!

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  11. This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it:)

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    1. Just come hang out with me and I will make it FOR you!!

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  13. Congratulations on the "Little-One"!!! So nice to see that ... Nice to have one of your recipes again, I will share it again on FaceBook. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much! We are really excited to meet this little one! And thanks for stopping in and sharing the recipe!

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  14. So nice to see you back and so happy for you! Congratulations on number 4! The salad looks super yummy, glad to see you back in the kitchen and posting recipes again! :-)

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    1. Thanks!! I am so happy to be feeling somewhat normal again! :D I have been missing all my foodie blog buddies for sure and excited to see what your cooking up over in your kitchen!

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  15. I'm glad you're back as well. Very clean and refreshing looking salad.

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    1. Hey Hey chica! Thank so much for stopping in over her! I have missed your little daily posting while I have been on hiatus! Your right, it was definitely a nice refreshing salad, which is just what I am needing after months of super bland cracker overdose! haha

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  16. Hi, Morgan! Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know I made this recipe this past weekend, and instead of having it over greens, I made wraps using collard green leaves! I spread a little home-made hummus on the leaves, then put some of the lentil salad and vegatables in, and a little of the dressing, and rolled them up like burritos! They are fabulous! Makes a great, filling lunch. Thanks for such a great recipe! So glad you're back!

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    1. Yuuuuuum Terry!! Yours sounds even better than mine! I am a total wrap lover and sandwich lover! Great idea! I love to hear how people take a recipe of mine and then kind of make it their own!! Thank you for the warm welcome back! I too am so happy to be back and feeling better! This pregnancy kind of worked me! LOL Have a great day!

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  17. Congratulations for the baby !@ post - the salad is looking super fresh, super healthy & super tempting !

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