I have had a few requests lately for a nice healthy lunch that is quick to put together, will last a long time and is mighty tasty. For myself, I normally make a nice veggie salad or I’ll have leftovers from the night before, but this week I thought I would make a big batch of lentil salad that will give me energy, taste good and best of last me throughout the week.
This is my Cucumber and Tomato Lentil Salad, and let me tell you this salad is pretty amazing! It’s hearty, good chilled or at room temperature and seems to be a big hit in my office, even with girls who are afraid to try lentils. It’s also a snap to put together. This is what I call one of my Trader Joe’s cheater salads. It’s made with TJ’s steamed lentils, english cucumber, tomatoes, celery, scallions and balsamic dressing.
One day at TJ’s they were sampling the Steamed Lentils and honestly I was a little afraid, but to my surprise I liked them. They kind of reminded me of black beans. So I decided to buy them and give them a go. Well the package sat in my refrigerator for months, yes months, but don’t let that alarm you, this stuff lasts for a long time. It comes cooked and vacuumed sealed. When I opened the package I was a little worried it wasn’t going to turn out, since it was all stuck together in a big lentil glob. I just took my fork and broke away the lentils and presto they were like new again. Have you ever tried TJ’s Steamed Lentils? They are located in the produce section of the store.
Lentils in general are pretty good for you, especially for women. They contain 20% of your iron, which is heck of good and is awesome for women who are slightly anemic. They also contain no fat, 8 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein in just a 1/2 cup serving, plus they are only 120 calories. Not to bad for this little bean. Since I didn’t want just lentils for lunch, I added my veggies and my favorite Fat Free Balsamic dressing from Trader Joe’s. I love the dressing! I wanted to give you a money saving tip, while I was thinking of it. Do you ever buy a bunch of scallions and never use them all? Then they rot or you throw them out? Don’t do that! I bought some scallions from TJ’s and they started to yellow, so I cut them down to just to just before the white of the bulb and placed them in a glass of water and set on my windowsill in the kitchen. Within a couple of weeks the scallions grew like crazy. I use what I needed, cut them back down and again the scallions grew. If I keep up at this rate, I’ll never have to buy scallions again. But what ever you do, don’t plant them in your garden. They will go crazy and your whole back yard will end up smelling like onions, not pleasant. This is what the scallions looked like when I cut them back and this is what they looked like in a little over a week.
Pretty Cool!! I have been using the same scallions for over a month now. They are perfect for adding to salads or other dishes. I like to add them as a pretty garnish.
I have to tell you, I do love this salad and I can’t believe I like lentils. Besides the TJ’s sampling this is the first time I ever had them. I did buy a bag of red lentils, but haven’t used them, now I am excited too!! He he I feel like I blabbed on enough, so let me give you the recipe!
- Serves: 4½ Cups
- Serving size: Serves 4 at 1 heaping cup each
- 2½ cups steamed lentils, already cooked (I used Trader Joe's)
- ½ cup english cucumber, diced small
- 1 plum tomatoes, seeded, diced small
- 1 medum stalk celery, diced small
- ¼ cup scallions, diced small
- 3 tbsp fat free balsamic dressing (your favorite)
- In a bowl add all the ingredients, mix together. Refrigerate before serving for best flavor. Note: If your using Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils, I microwaved them for 20 seconds to get the chill out of it. It's not necessary to do.
Well my Friends, my Husband has been hinting around for dinner for a while now, so it’s time to get going!
Have a lovely day!