Indy Power: Lovely lentils
The vegetarian stalwart is perfect for lunchtime salads.
Sweet Potato & Lentil Herb Salad
This salad is so easy but has lots going on. The quick pickled onions add loads of zing to the herby lentils and sticky sweet potatoes.
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Serves 6. Gluten-free & vegan
For the sweet potatoes:
3 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
For the lentils:
250g brown lentils
1 red onion
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Slice the sweet potatoes into rectangles. Spread them out on a roasting tray, drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about 35 minutes until tender and starting to get sticky.
3. Add the lentils to a pot of boiling water, making sure the water generously covers them. Simmer for about 25 minutes until a little tender. Drain.
4. While they're simmering, use a mandolin or carefully slice the onions into very thin discs. In a large bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, minced garlic and a nice pinch of sea salt and pepper. Stir in the onions and set them aside to pickle.
5. Let the sweet potatoes cool for about 10 mins. Finely chop the herbs.
6. Add the lentils, herbs and sweet potatoes to the bowl with the dressing and onions and toss.
7. Season with salt and pepper and an extra drizzle of vinegar and oil.
Speaking of delicious veggie lunches, I've found my latest weekend obsession - the onion bhaji wrap from the Tikka Hut stall at Dun Laoghaire Market on Sundays. I'd wonder if it was pregnancy cravings that have me thinking about it all week, except that everyone else who's tried it seems to be just as obsessed. It was my sister-in-law who persuaded me to deviate from my regular falafel a few weeks ago and I've been converting friends and family all month. It's simple, a giant crisp onion bhaji all wrapped up with two kinds of crunchy slaw and sriracha - not necessarily revolutionary, but seriously crave-worthy. Trust me.
On the dry
This is one recipe where I think dried lentils are a must. I'm always a big advocate of tinned lentils and beans and all the ease that comes with them. I use them in most of my other recipes. But there are times when texture is really important and, generally speaking, when I'm serving lentils cold, I think dried ones are necessary. They hold their shape much better and you can control how tender you want them to be. The extra 30 minutes is worth it and you can do this ahead of time. Taste them every few minutes towards the end, you want them tender enough that they're easy on your digestion, but with enough bite.
Lunch boxed off
This is such a good recipe for prepping ahead for weekday lunches, as it’s not overly saucy and there are no greens to wilt. Pair it with another salad or some creamy hummus.