Monday, June 8, 2009

Reader Recipe: High-Fiber, Easy Lentil Salad Can be Your Next Meal or Side Dish

Lentils are a power food because they're packed with nutrition - high in fiber, protein, iron, and folic acid. This Lentil, Beet, and Snow Pea Salad is a good balance of flavors with the sweetness of the beets (I used golden beets), the earthy flavor of the lentils, and the crunch from the snow peas. The feta adds a salty punch. One main dish serving of this salad has 15g of fiber and 27g of protein to keep you satisfied.

You can buy cooked lentils and beets in the produce section of grocery stores like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. My friend, Anissa, gave this recipe that she created and now her friends and family request this dish all the time! She suggests experimenting with different oils like sesame. I made it for lunches this week and brought some in for my friend at work. She loved it!

In my version, I experimented by adding crushed garlic and Dijon mustard in the dressing. If you add mustard, skip the salt in the salad. You can also try adding a bit of honey to the oil and vinegar and chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, or oregano.

Lentil, Beet, and Snow Pea Salad with Feta (Serves 6 for side dish; 4 for main dish) by Anissa Khalid


  • 1/2 pound snow peas
  • 1 (17-ounce) package steamed lentils (Trader Joe's or Whole Foods)
  • 1 pouch cooked beets (Trader Joe's) or 1 lb fresh, roasted (see my post)
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (try the Italian seasoned feta)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions (optional)


  • Blanch snow peas (can do ahead). Wash and trim snow peas. Add water to saucepan and bring to a boil. When water is boiling, add snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and run under cold water bath in a strainer and set aside. Keep in the refrigerator, for later, if needed. Cut snow peas into ½ inch pieces or leave them whole. Cut beets in bite-size pieces.
  • In a medium bowl add vegetables and lentils, then mix. Add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and feta.
  • Taste salad for seasoning. You may make adjustments to the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper you should be set. Don't taste without the feta because it is salty!

Nutritional details:

A lunch portion of this salad is 350 calories, 9g (mainly from olive oil), 47g carbs, 16g sugar, 15g fiber, 17g protein, 67g chol, 1,257mg sodium. *This has a lot of sodium so to balance, eat reduced sodium the rest of the day.

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