I’ve always been interested in nutrition, but recently I started a year-long nutrition course that has me thoroughly engrossed in all things health related. Because of my newfound knowledge, I’ve admittedly been a little too critical of my husband’s McDonald’s and Coca-Cola loving ways. I finally realized my nagging wasn’t going to do anyone any good, so I decided to let it go and “lead by example”.
Fast-forward to this weekend when out of the blue, Jon told me that we should probably start eating vegetarian meals every other day. Say whattt?!? My meat-loving husband was telling me to cook less meat? Not possible.
It turns out, during his late night Netflix documentary viewing, he came across Forks Over Knives. I’d already made him watch Fed Up with me, but I guess this one just resonated with him better (probably because there was less smack talk about his beloved soda). He told me all about how our society eats so much more dairy and protein than we did twenty years ago, how it is increasing heart disease, how the meat industry is ruining our environment, etc. So, that meant that we needed to cut back our intake in order to be healthier and help the environment.
Now I have someone brainstorming the weekly meal plan with me. Who woulda thunk it? I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m rolling with it for now. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll even start eating vegetables…on purpose.
First up on our vegetarian menu is this summer lentil salad; inspired by my man, Jamie Oliver. Get chopping your veggies and herbs into bite sized pieces.
Throw in your cooked lentils and combine it all together with some lemon zest, juice, and olive oil.
Eat it as-is or spoon it on top of your favorite grain for an easy and tasty vegetarian meal.
Vegetarian ain’t so bad after all!
- 2 cups // 400g dried green lentils
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced into ½ inch // 1cm pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into ½ inch // 1cm pieces
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup // 150 mL extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- zest and juice from one medium lemon
- 1 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the lentils and take out any bad ones. Place lentils, bay leaf, and whole garlic cloves in a medium saucepan. Cover the lentils with at least an inch (2.5cm) of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Drain the lentils and let them cool to room temperature.
- In a separate bowl, combine the bell peppers, tomatoes, herbs, onion, olive oil, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Add in the cooled lentils and stir it all together. Sprinkle sumac on top. Serve as is, or on top of your favorite whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa, or bulgur.