Barring some extremely boring vegetable broths I made when I tried following the 5:2 diet for a while (I lasted 5 weeks and only lost 2lb… and fast days were a nightmare, I have been banned from trying it again, apparently I am not very nice to be around when I’m starving, shocker.), this quinoa, lentil, kale and feta salad has to be the healthiest meal I have ever cooked. But unlike the vegetable broth it is actually, genuinely delicious! This is definitely due in part to the fact that it contains cheese, everything is better with cheese; but it is also loaded with green vegetables and provides lots of protein in the form of lentils and quinoa (and salmon), all of which also happen to be very tasty. Seasoned with lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, paired with the feta and the fact that I cooked the quinoa in vegetable stock, it is an extremely flavourful and more-ish salad that is also very very good for you; and because it is high in protein it is also actually filling! Something that I struggle with when it comes to lots of healthy meals is actually feeling full and satisfied afterwards (I’m looking at you courgetti), no problems with this meal though, and I enjoy eating it!
It is very simple to prepare, though not the quickest meal, as the lentils take a while to cook, and it does use several pans, but you can have the whole dish ready in about an hour or so. Make sure that you cook the lentils and quinoa until they are just tender so that they retain a bit of texture and don’t become mushy. I steamed the vegetables but they would also be nice stir fried if you prefer; and you can vary them depending on what you have – broad beans or edamame would work well in place of the green beans, and roasted peppers and/or butternut squash would be really delicious. I like to serve the salad with some grilled salmon, but I think it would also be good with chicken (maybe? dunno, pescatarian here, just guessing) or as a side at a barbecue; I also find that it is best served warm rather than piping hot or cold, but that is just a personal preference.
Quinoa, Lentil, Kale And Feta Salad With Salmon
- 110 g (4oz) dried green lentils
- 145 g (3/4 cup) quinoa
- 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
- 150 g (5oz) broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 150 g (5oz) chopped curly kale
- 120 g (4.5oz) green beans, chopped
- 4 spring onions finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- handful finely chopped fresh parsley
- 200 g (7oz) feta cheese
- salt and pepper
- 4 salmon fillets
Rinse the lentils then place them in a saucepan, cover with plenty of cold water then bring up to the boil; boil rapidly for 10 minutes then turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes or so, until tender but not mushy. Drain well then tip into a large bowl and set aside.
Rinse the quinoa and place it in a pan with the vegetable stock, bring up to the boil then turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until all the water has evaporated. Remove from the heat and leave to stand (covered) for a further 10 minutes, until tender. Tip into the bowl with the lentils.
Place the broccoli, kale and green beans in a pan with a splash of water, bring up to the boil, cover and steam for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Drain well and add to the bowl along with the spring onions.
Add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and seasoning to the bowl, toss everything together well then crumble in the feta and mix again.
Fry the salmon fillets for a couple of minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Serve with the warm salad.
I am sharing this with Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, Fiesta Friday hosted by The Brook Cook and Little Sweet Baker, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday and Friday Features