Spiced Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad with Arugula & Walnuts.

One of the complete-meal salads I served at Osheaga music festival and YUL eat festival this past summer! A nutritionally balanced whole food plant-based dish, that offers protein-packed lentils, vitamin/mineral-rich vegetables (including leafy greens!) and heart-healthy unsaturated fats – in the form of walnuts and tahini. I boosted the flavor and healthfulness of this salad by adding spices – a wonderful way to jazz up your usual roasted vegetables!

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash, 1 medium
  • Cauliflower, 1 medium
  • Fennel, 1 medium
  • Red onion, 1 medium
  • Dry Puy Lentils, 4 cups cooked (cook up the whole bag! great for future meals – easy to freeze)
  • Arugula, 1 standard commercial bag/box
  • Flatleaf Parsley, washed and roughly chopped
  • Walnuts, 1/2 cup (If you’re allergic to walnuts, use toasted pumpkin seeds!)
  • Olive oil, 3 tbsp
  • Maple syrup, 2 tbsp
  • Curry powder (2 tbsp), Cumin powder (1 tsp), Chili powder (2 tbsp), Smoked paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

Note: Add pomegranate seeds for a burst of sweet brightness, if you’re down for the extra step!

Creamy Tahini Dressing:
  • Tahini, 1/4th cup
  • Lemon juice from 1 large lemon
  • Olive oil, 2 tbsp
  • Maple syrup, 2 tbsp
  • Sumac, 1 tbsp (Often available at supermarkets, or Middle-eastern shops, and spice stores)
  • Garlic, 2 cloves (If you have a sensitive gut, use roasted garlic vs. raw)
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Alternatively, you can make it a lighter dressing, by swapping the tahini for more olive oil!
  2. Rinse lentils well and cook them in a large pot, adding enough water to cover the lentils by about 4-inches. Bring to a boil, covered, and reduce to low – simmering for 20-minutes. Add salt and pepper once the lentils are tender, but still holding their shape. Spread the lentils over a baking sheet/serving plate to cool – and stop them from cooking from the residual steam.
  3. Chop the cauliflower, fennel, red onion, and butternut squash, into similar-sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix the veggies with the curry powder, cumin powder, chili powder, smoked paprika , salt, black pepper, olive oil and maple syrup. Toss well to ensure the veg are even coated.
  4. Roast the seasoned veggies on a baking sheet (or two), for 30-minutes at 400, until golden and tender. Flip them after 20 minutes, to ensure even browning.
  5. Toast the walnuts for a few minutes in a dry skillet, over med/high heat, until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the arugula, chopped parsley, roasted vegetables, and lentils. Plate up, top with toasted walnuts, and dressing. Enjoy!

Nutrition Tips:

  • Lentils are packed with protein, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, potassium, and fiber.
  • Walnuts are a great source of Omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Arugula and parsley are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber – like all leafy greens!
  • Cauliflower is a source of vitamins C, K, B vitamins, potassium, fiber, and anti-cancer antioxidants!
  • Butternut squash is packed with vitamins A, C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and fiber.
  • Fennel is rich in potassium, vitamin C, fiber – and contains some iron, calcium, and B vitamins.

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