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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Warm Lentil and Shallot Salad With Fresh Spinach

This is an old recipe of mine that I came across this week in my craving for lentils. Yes, now that the weather's cooling down, warming up lentils is a lovely fall or winter meal idea. It's an easy-to-digest dinner idea and will have you feeling very light at the end of the meal. Try my dessert suggestion for a full, winter-loving evening and meal.
I like lentils for a lot of reasons. They are full of iron and fiber. They "accompany" a wide variety of ingredients from meats to vegetables to tofu. They cream up nicely in soups and add heartiness to stews. But one way to really enjoy them is warm with shallots and balsamic vinegar. As a salad, they are délicieux!
Make sure your lentils are hot when you add them to your salad. Toss well. This will help "soften" the spinach and make it nicer to eat. If you are having a low energy day, serve this dish in large bowls. On bowl dish dinner nights, I serve everything in bowls. It's just one-stop-dining-clean-up. Instead of using plates, the bowl is used. There is something very comforting about bowl-meals as opposed to plates. Try it for a nice change during the cooler winter months.
For dessert try this: peel and slice some bananas, serve over ice cream of choice (or warmed banana bread if you have some on hand), drizzle with some hot chocolate sauce. Curl up with blanket and your chéri, chéri, in front of good movie and re-energize!
Warm Lentil and Shallot Salad with Fresh Spinach
· 1 cup, uncooked lentils (approximately 3 cups cooked) or leftover lentils that you have on hand
· ½ cup shallots, finely chopped
· 1 tomato, chopped
· 2 cups escarole lettuce or fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
· 4 Tablespoons olive oil
· 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
· (optional) ½ cup of crumbled goat cheese or chopped tofu
· salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare lentils according to package directions. (If using leftover lentils, heat in microwave until warm.)
2. While lentils are cooking wash lettuce/spinach and pat dry. Tear into bite-size pieces.
3. In serving bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
4. Chop shallots and tomato. Add to oil mixture and toss.
5. Add lettuce to bowl but do not toss.
6. When lentils are cooked or warmed (approximately 20 minutes), drain and add to salad. Toss well to break down lettuce.
7. Top with chopped tofu or crumbled goat cheese.
Serve warm or room temperature.
"Anne Dessens is the editor/founder of Anne Dessens.com the success website through personal development through diet, exercise, self-improvement and journaling. Improve your diet and get great free recipes with these French-style originals: http://www.annedessens.com/recipes.html - When Anne's not writing, she enjoys creating exiciting meals from her French country home kitchen to serve her family and friends.
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