Mexican Lentil Salad

mexican lentil salad Today’s recipe I took straight from one of my favorite blogs – Kalyn’s Kitchen. The only difference is that I recommend making the lentil salad topping in one large batch so you can easily take it to work for the week and assemble it with some refreshing cold, crispy Romaine lettuce. It’s rich chili spices mixed with the sourness of the lime juice makes it perfect for summer!

MEXICAN LENTIL SALAD
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, cooked in 6 cups salted water
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 can (6 oz. drained weight) black olives, cut in half
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1-2 avocados, diced
1 cup pickled banana peppers or pepperoncinis
Juice from 2 fresh-squeezed limes
6 cups chopped Romaine lettuce, washed and dried
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 package of taco seasoning
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Put lentils, 6 cups water, and a little salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When the water boils, reduce to a low simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils well. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the chopped red onion and saute for a few minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Then add the taco seasoning and saute about 2 minutes more. Add the lentils and vegetable stock and simmer until the liquid has all evaporated. Turn off the heat and let the lentils cool. When cooled, add sliced olives, tomatoes, green onions, avocado and toss with extra lime juice. Served fresh over chopped lettuce, or bring lettuce to work separately and enjoy this tasty dish all week long!

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Greek Israeli Couscous

greek couscous One of my biggest challenges in the kitchen is preparing easy, healthy lunches on the weekend that can be kept in the fridge for a few days without tasting like Saturday’s leftovers. This week, I found myself hooked on Israeli couscous. Mostly because it was on sale for $3.99, but also because of it’s hearty texture and ability to soak up any flavor while marinating in the fridge. I combined it with a Greek taverna salad and three days later it still tasted delicious! And as a nice little perk, I used some of these purchased ingredients to make healthy toddler snacks without having to blow my grocery budget! Asher particularly loves black olives and grape tomatoes. Love when my grown-up meals can double as toddler food!

GREEK ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD

1 cup Israeli couscous, uncooked
1 persian cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
3 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly into moonshapes
1 pint of grape tomates,sliced in half
1/2 cup of feta cheese with mediterranean herbs
1 can of sliced black olives
1 cup whole pepperoncinis

Dressing:
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons vinegar from pepperoncini jar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Boil 1 1/3 cup water in small pot. Add Israeli couscous and turn down to simmer with lid on for 8-10 minutes. Fluff with fork and remove from heat to cool. Chop and prep your vegetables. Add cooled couscous and salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Let marinate in refrigerator at least one hour. Should be served room temperature or cold. This dish can easily be made vegan without the feta cheese.