Citrus Lentil Salad

Citrus Lentil Salad Recipe

Lentils might be the most underrated food, for the American diet, that is. You’ll find lentils in diets across the globe, but not often in the United States. I wonder why that is since they are so cheap and healthy to boot. It’s crazy how a third world country could eat healthier than a rich and powerful western nation. I guess there’s always hope and I’m thankful I’ve been exposed to proper nutrition to make a decision about my diet and improve my life overall. With a cheap food like lentils, it’s amazing that people choose non-nutritious foods that just toxify the body.

I’ve made soups with lentils before but never really thought to use them in as a primary ingredient in side dishes or salads, until recently. Now I’ve opened up my menu of lunches and dinners considerably. In fact, this new staple cheap food of mine, when paired up with brown rice, the make a perfect protein (which is defined as a food with all nine essential amino acids) and these things are pretty versatile. Some of my absolute favorite lentil recipes come from this site and I’m sure I’ll be posting more as I explore with lentils.

There are tons of different types of lentils, according to Wikipedia:

  • Brown/Spanish Pardina
  • French Green/Puy lentils (Dark speckled blue-green)
  • Green
  • Black/Beluga
  • Yellow/Tan Lentils (Red inside)
  • Red Chief (Decorticated yellow lentils)
  • Eston Green (Small green)
  • Richlea (Medium green)
  • Laird (Large green)
  • Petite Golden (Decorticated lentils)
  • Masoor (Brown-skinned lentils which are red inside)
  • Petite Crimson/Red (Decorticated masoor lentils)
  • Macachiados (Big Mexican yellow lentils)

The recipe below combines the clashing flavors of oranges and red onion for a perfect dissonance on top of the Indian Garam Masala seasoning and hearty lentils. It’s great as a side dish or as a larger portion for a full lunch.

Citrus Lentil Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of dried lentils (any color)
  • 2 small mandarin oranges, segmented, seeded and membrane removed
  • 1/2 small red onion, julienned
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a fresh jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/8 Cup of olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon (or lime)
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Lentil Salad Directions

  1. Prepare the lentils as directed on the package (use chicken or vegetable stock in the water for additional flavor).
  2. Toss lentils in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients until well coated and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend evenly.

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