I consider this a perfect year-round dish.
In the cold winter months, the warm lentils and quinoa, along with the spices, make for a comforting dish.
Once summer hits, I love this as a cold salad!
This is also one of those meals that keeps you full for a very long time, as it combines heart-healthy fats, soluble fiber, and protein.
Don’t be let the long steps fool you; this is a very simple recipe. The lentils and dressing can both be prepared while the quinoa cooks.
By the way, if you don’t have a food processor (or don’t feel like taking it out, using it, and cleaning it), you can always replace the dressing with some fresh avocado slices. Even if you don’t have avocados handy, the lentil and quinoa combination in itself is delicious!
YIELDS: 4 servings (1 cup quinoa + 1 cup lentils + 2 TBSP dressing)
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
INGREDIENTS (Spiced Lentils):
2 TBSP olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t curry powder
1/3 t salt
1/4 t paprika
1/8 t black pepper
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed (any color; if you can find sprouted dried lentils, even better!)
3 cups water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
INGREDIENTS (Avocado Dressing):
1 large avocado, pitted
2 t lime juice
1 garlic clove
2 t ginger
1/4 t salt
1/4 c water
In a small pot, combine quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer until all water evaporates.
Fluff quinoa with fork.
INSTRUCTIONS (Spiced Lentils):
In a large pot, heat olive oil. Once sufficiently hot, add onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic.
Stir frequently over the course of 2 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add spices. Stir frequently for 2 more minutes.
Add lentils and water, stir and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring two or three times.
Turn off stovetop, uncover, add lemon juice, and stir one more time.
INSTRUCTIONS (Avocado dressing):
Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until evenly combined.
NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving):
2.5 grams saturated fat
450 milligrams sodium
15 grams fiber
18 grams protein
Excellent Source of: Folate, manganese, monounsaturated fats, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K
Good Source of: Iron, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc