A healthy salad recipe that is vegetarian can be hard to find. Often the protein comes from chicken, beef or fish. Here’s a healthy salad recipe that uses lentils for protein.
Health Benefits of Lentils
If you try this healthy salad recipe, you will enjoy the many health benefits to eating lentils, including:
Lentils are good for you. They’re low in fat, extremely nutrient-dense, and generally inexpensive.
1. They’re full of polyphenols. Polyphenols are active compounds that fight against harmful agents in the body and can help heart health and fight diabetes.
2. They’re high in protein. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein. You’d have to eat a whole can of chickpeas to get that much of the nutrient.
3. They’re a good source of iron. One cup of lentils also has 6.6 milligrams of iron, which is about one-third of what you need for the entire day. Iron is important for keeping oxygen pumping throughout your body.
4. They’re full of fiber. Fiber is important for digestive health and healthy weight maintenance. One cup of lentils has 15.6 grams of it, which is actually almost four times as much as a cup of raw kale.
5. Lentils are good for your bones. When it comes to bone health, dairy products tend to get the spotlight, but lentils are a great option too with 38 grams of calcium per cup.
6. They’re a good source of folic acid. Folic acid is an important nutrient to load up on all the time, but it’s especially important when you’re pregnant.
7. They’re high in magnesium. If you have trouble sleeping, are stressed or overworked, your body could benefit from regular consumption of magnesium. Lentils are a great source at 71 mg per cup of cooked lentils.
Healthy Salad Recipe: Crunchy Lentil Salad
Ingredients (serves 4)
• 1 tsp. lemon zest
• 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp. Dijon or whole-grain mustard
• 2 Tbs. minced red onion or shallot
• 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ tsp. kosher salt
• 2 cups cooked firm lentils (try French or black lentils)
• 1 cup sliced celery heart (or radishes, carrots, or bell peppers)
• ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts (or any nuts you like)
• ¼ cup shaved Manchego, parmesan, or another hard cheese
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, onion, oil, and salt.
2. Toss with the lentils, celery, walnuts, and cheese.
Nutrition (per ¾ cup)
• Calories: 260
• Fat: 14 g
• Carbs: 23 g
• Fiber: 9 g
• Protein: 12 g
Tips: No celery? Try radishes, carrots, or bell peppers for crunch. You can modify this flexible salad to suit what’s in your pantry and fridge.
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