Lentils have recently experienced a surge in popularity, particularly in vegan dishes. With all the “lentil hoopla,” you would think they’re the newest superfood discovered in the Brazilian rainforest. The truth is, lentils are one of the most ancient food sources on record. These legumes have been around since pre-Biblical times. It’s also not the first time they’ve been recognized as a healthy meatless protein source. In the U.S. during World War II, they became a popular protein substitute in the midst of wartime rationing when meat was more difficult to come by. They’ve been a food staple in the Middle East and Mediterranean for centuries, but they weren’t always so highly regarded. During Classical times wealthy Greeks turned their nose up at lentils, deeming them a “poor man’s food.” Hippocrates, always ahead of his time, recognized their many health benefits and prescribed lentils to his patients that suffered from liver ailments. We now know that the high amounts of choline found in lentils help to improve liver function by aiding in filtering toxins from out of the bloodstream.
This recipe is my own version of a salad I enjoy at a local smoothie cafe. It’s super simple but very filling, and I find it quite tasty. Together with a green smoothie, it makes a very nice light lunch. I know this may make me sound like a health nut, but during times of overindulgence, it’s nice to have a something light that also tastes great. Sometimes the simple things are the most satisfying. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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- 2 cups green or brown lentils
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6-7 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
You will also need
- saucepan, colander, mixing bowls
- Boil lentils in 6 cups of water, then simmer for about 15 minutes until tender but not overly soft. Drain lentils, then rinse with cold water. Drain well in the colander.
- Place lentils in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and cayenne. Pour the dressing over the lentils and add fresh chopped parsley to the bowl. Stir all ingredients together with a fork until the lentils are evenly coated with dressing and the parsley is dispersed throughout.
- Refrigerate in a covered container for about 30 minutes, or until chilled. Serve. Will last 4-6 days in the refrigerator in a sealed airtight container.