Quinoa and Lentil Salad

This is a protein packed quinoa and lentil salad.  There’s a triple punch of protein by using quinoa, lentils and walnuts.  It’s a pretty salad as well – with the contrasting red and white of the tomatoes and feta popping against the quinoa and lentils.  To keep the feta as whole cubes (rather than all crumbled up in the salad) I tossed it gently with the tomatoes and half of the dressing and let it sit to intensify the flavors while the quinoa and lentils were cooking.  Once the quinoa and lentils are ready you’ll toss everything gently together.  It was super easy to put together and holds up really well the next day.

Since the lentils take a little longer to cook then the quinoa – start the lentils first.  Once they are going, start cooking the quinoa.  While both the lentils and quinoa are cooking, chop and toss the tomatoes and feta with a little red onion, parsley and red wine vinaigrette.  They will happily marinate as the quinoa and lentils are cooking. The quinoa will finish ahead of the lentils, which gives you time to turn the quinoa out on to a baking sheet to cool as the lentils finish cooking.

Quinoa-and-Lentil-Salad

A couple of notes:

You’ll need two bowls.  One to combine the tomatoes, feta, red onion, parsley and 1/2 of the dressing.  Toss the mixture very gently so that the feta doesn’t crumble in to a lot of little pieces.  The second (larger) bowl will be used to toss the quinoa, lentils, walnuts and second half of the dressing together.  Once you’ve tossed the dressing with the quinoa and lentils, gently add in the tomato and feta mixture.  You want to keep the feta from breaking up.

I cut my feta and tomatoes in to fairly large pieces – trying to keep them both the same size.  You can chop them up smaller or use crumbled feta but I like the way the large pieces stood out from the rest of the salad.

I used french lentils which are smaller in shape but this recipe will work well with whatever lentils you have.  I kept the mixture to be about 2 to 1 of quinoa to lentils but if you really like lentils then add more lentils and less quinoa – this salad is flexible.

Quinoa needs to be rinsed before you cook it. Rinse in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter coating.

To prevent quinoa from being mushy – turn out the quinoa on to a baking sheet to cool once it’s finished cooking.  If there’s still water in the bottom of the pan once the cooking time is up, drain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and then turn it out on to the baking sheet.   Cooling it on a baking sheet will leave the quinoa delicate and fluffy.

Coming up this week:

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a super yummy wrap. So check back tomorrow or use the sign up feature and I’ll email the recipe to you directly.

Quinoa and Lentil Salad
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Serves: 2 to 4
A protein packed quinoa and lentil salad with walnuts, tomatoes and feta cheese.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of uncooked lentils
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 2 tbs red onion - minced
  • 2 tbs parsley - minced
  • 1 large handful of walnuts
  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook lentils as per the package instructions.
  2. Once the lentils are started, cook the quinoa as per the package instructions. Add one cube of bouillon to the water before cooking.
  3. While lentils and quinoa are cooking, dice tomatoes and feta in to equal size cubes. Add tomatoes and feta to a bowl.
  4. Mince red onion and parsley and add to the tomato and feta mixture.
  5. Make dressing - whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and pepper.
  6. Pour half of the dressing over the tomato and feta mixture. Toss gently to combine - let marinate until quinoa and lentils are ready.
  7. When the quinoa is done - spread on a baking sheet to cool.
  8. When lentils are done, let cool slightly and then combine with quinoa in a a large bowl.
  9. Pour remaining dressing over quinoa and lentil mixture. Add walnuts and toss to combine.
  10. Gently add the tomato and feta mixture to the quinoa and lentil mixture and toss (gently) to combine.

 

If you like quinoa salads why not give these a try as well:

Quinoa and Roasted Broccoli and Arugula Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 

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