Makes 4 large servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30-40 minutes
1.25 cups dry lentils
Water or vegetable broth
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh herbs (mix of cilantro, mint, and green onion)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (or black sesame seeds)
1 ounce fresh goat cheese, to garnish
1 teaspoon dried sumac
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic toum (Lebanese garlic sauce)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook the lentils like pasta, in simmering water or vegetable broth until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, chop tomato, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Place into a large bowl with the sesame seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sumac, cumin, salt, and garlic toum. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Season with black pepper to taste.
To the bowl of tomato, cucumber, and herbs add the lentils and dressing. Toss to coat. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and enjoy!
Nutrition for ¼ of recipe: 350 Calories, 14g Total Fat (2.5g Saturated), 320mg Sodium, 44g Carbohydrates, 8g Dietary Fiber, 3g Sugar (0 grams added), 18g Protein
Sumac is a beautiful, red Middle Eastern herb that has a citrusy, lightly floral taste. It’s delicious in dry rubs, dressings, and is a component of the popular spice blend “Za’atar.”
Garlic toum is a strong garlic sauce very commonly used in Lebanese cooking. It can be made at home with just garlic, lemon, salt, and oil or purchased at Harmons delicatessen in a jar made by local to Salt Lake company Laziz. It’s a great way to add garlic flavor food without having to chop it fresh every time!
Finally, this recipe is very versatile! Instead of lentils, you could use an equal amount of quinoa or pearl couscous to make a grain side. You can also modify the herbs used if you have any particular favorites. Parsley or basil would also be delicious in this. And if you don’t enjoy goat cheese, feta (or not cheese at all) would be equally lovely.
Quick Strawberry Salad
Makes 4 servings
In April, American strawberries are in season. I love eating fresh strawberries just as they are, but adding a simple sauce really dresses them up and makes them fit for a light dessert or luxurious breakfast yogurt topper. These amounts are guidelines. I usually eyeball the ingredients.
4 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered if very large
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
Pinch of salt
Toss all ingredients together. Let macerate for 10 minutes if possible. Enjoy!
This recipe is very versatile as well. You could easily substitute basil or cilantro for the mint or lemon juice or vinegar for the lime juice.
Macerate just means letting the strawberries sit in the sauce. They will start to soften as the honey and salt pull out their natural juice.
Nutrition for ¼ of recipe: 70 Calories, 0.5g Total Fat (0g Saturated), 60mg Sodium, 18g Carbohydrates, 4g Dietary Fiber, 12g Sugar (4 grams added), 1g Protein
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