One of the best ways to enjoy a healthy lunch is in the form of a salad. Not the iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing sort of salad, but a nutrient dense salad that contains many vitamins, minerals and enzymes. This salad uses fresh vegetables and cooked lentils. When cooking lentils, make sure to soak them before you cook them. They contain phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. In nature, phytic acid exists so that the lentils are protected until the proper conditions allow them to sprout, grow and reproduce again. Not only do they contain enzyme inhibitors that block the absorption of minerals, the phytic acid can be a great strain on the human digestive system. Once soaked, the phytic acid is deactivated and released into the water. Rinse the lentils well after. The enzymes and minerals in the food are now readily available for absorption into our bodies.
When making salads, it’s best to have a lot of vegetables on hand so that they’re easy to make. Also have some herbs and oils in the cupboard which can be quickly turned into a homemade salad dressing. Buy lentils ahead of time so that they’re available when you need them. There are many varieties – red, green and brown. Experiment with all of the different flavours and see which ones you enjoy most.
Rainbow Lentil Salad
2 cups dried brown lentils
2 red peppers, diced
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 carrots, grated
1 raw beet, grated
1 celery, chopped
1/2 cup green beans, lightly steamed then cooled
2 green onions or 1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
3/4 cup broccoli, lightly steamed then cooled
Fresh coriander (coriander) for garnish
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
Whisk all ingredients together. Add more of any ingredient if desired.
Soak lentils overnight. Rinse well in the morning. Cook lentils with 4 cups water or stock, scraping off “scum”. Once lentils are cooked, drain and cool. Chop and grate the vegetables. Toss all ingredients. Serve on a bed of baby greens or on its own.