It’s that time of year again isn’t it? When we all start wondering why our jeans are just a little too tight, feeling that post-holiday letdown, and seeing the ads for gym memberships, weights and exercise outfits. Everyone is ready to get fit, get lean, and start eating healthy, myself included.
I learned a long time ago to stop buying those gym memberships (I know myself all too well) but I do know how to eat healthy when I want to. For me that includes lots of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. A great start includes adding salads like this to the meal planning. They are tasty and filling and can do double duty as either a Meatless Monday main course, or side dish. For more salads like this check out a few other Simple Sunday Salad recipes.
If you’re not familiar with French green lentils you can read more about them here. I like them because when cooked they hold their shape better than regular lentils (which tend to get mushy) so they are better for salads. They’re also loaded with protein which will help you feel full longer. Feel free to substitute other grains for the brown rice in the salad, like quinoa, rye, barley, or wheat berries.
French Green Lentil, Brown Rice, Tomato and Feta Salad
Recipe for French Green Lentil and Brown Rice Salad with Tomatoes and Feta. Can easily be made vegetarian or vegan.
Prep Time15 minutesmins
Cook Time45 minutesmins
Total Time1 hourhr
Keyword: lentils, salad, healthy
1cupFrench green lentilsuncooked, rinsed
2rice cups brown rice (uncooked)
1/2large yellow oniondiced small
2cupschicken stock or vegetable stock
2stalks celerydiced small
1/2bunch fresh Italianflat leaf parsley, destemed and chopped
1/2redor yellow bell pepper
2ozextra virgin olive oil
1ozwhite wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Cook the brown rice in a rice cooker or stove top in a pot. When done, spread on a sheet pan to cool.
Cook the lentils while the brown rice is cooking. Heat a medium sized sauce pot and add the tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and saute until soft, but not colored. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
Add the rinsed lentils, stir, add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce to low. Cook the lentils until tender, about 40 minutes. Most of the liquid should have evaporated. Spread on a sheet pan to cool.
Dice the celery, bell pepper, and tomato and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop the parsley and add to the bowl. Add the cooled lentils and rice to the bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each to start). Pour over the salad and gently mix. Fold in the crumbled cheese.
The lentils yield 2 cups cooked and the brown rice yields 3 cups cooked, so if you already have the items cooked, those are the amounts you can start with in the salad.If you want to make the dish vegetarian, substitute water or vegetable stock for the chicken stock when cooking the lentils. If you want to make the recipe vegan, leave out the cheese.