Lentil Salad with Root Vegetables, Arugula, and Feta

Apparently for no reason whatsoever, I have spent most of my life thinking that I don’t really like lentils. I’ve literally eaten one lentil dish ever that I really liked. And I only ever had it one time. But for some other unknown reason, I recently decided I need to make some. So based on some random memory of a dish I saw somewhere, I put this salad together, and guess what… it’s so unbelievably delicious I could bathe in it. Okay, that’s weird. But I could eat it every day, easily.

On top of its wonderful taste, it’s also super healthy and hearty, so absurdly simple to make, and pretty! And my kid gobbled it up! For real! Must be magic. Don’t you want some? Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED 
* 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
* 1 small red onion, chopped
* 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks
* olive oil
* salt
* ground black peppwr
* 1 1/2C lentils (uncooked)
* 3oz crumbled feta cheese
* a few handfuls arugula
* balsamic vinegar

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Add the chopped carrots, red onion, and sweet potatoes to a baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons or so). Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

While the root veggies are in the oven, add the lentils to a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until the lentils are tender but don’t let them get mushy. Drain and pour onto a serving dish.

Too the cooked lentils with the roasted vegetables. Add the crumbled feta and arugula, another drizzle of olive oil, and about 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Mix carefully to combine. Serve warm or allow to cool completely. 

This salad is a great side dish or, portioned correctly, a meal on its own. But I topped mine with a piece of chicken schnitzel and it. was. perfect. 

Let me know what you think. Did I turn you into a lentil fan, too??

Summer Salad with Grilled Peaches, Grilled Chicken, and Burrata

This dinner salad is basically summer on a plate. It’s full of light and fresh goodness and hits all the best flavors and sensations of the season: sweet, bright, tangy, acidic, ripe, and GRILLED! Plus, I throw in a bonus perfect simple honey balsamic vinaigrette! Here you go. 

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 bag butter lettuce
* 1/2 an English cucumber, cut into chunks
* handful of sunburst tomatoes (the little golden cherry-sized ones), quartered
* 1 avocado, cut into chunks
* 1C corn kernels (approximately 2 ears), roasted or grilled
* 1lb chicken, grilled and sliced
* 3 large peaches, grilled and cut into chunks
* 1 ball burrata cheese
* 1T olive oil
* 3T white balsamic vinegar
* 1T honey
* salt
* pepper

WHAT TO DO
Place the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, and corn in a large salad bowl.

Grill and slice the chicken and peaches.

Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the salad bowl and toss well to combine.

To serve, pile a few large scoops of the salad on a plate and top with sliced chicken and peaches. Finish with a big chunk of creamy cold burrata cheese, close your eyes, and enjoy!

Big Kitchen Sink Greek Salad with Chicken

This was another of those happy accidents. No time to plan dinner, no time to shop, quick scan of the available ingredients (including some staples strategically always kept on-hand), and quick creative thinking led to a healthy, fresh, easy, delicious, complete dinner on a busy weeknight. I’m going to give you the recipe for THIS salad specifically, but note that the idea is pretty flexible – have a few solid foundational go-tos in your freezer and pantry, and a little of this plus a little of that can turn into dinner. The veggies and the proteins are modifiable – just use what you have! Or make this one. But get ready – “kitchen sink” is pretty accurate. I put a TON of stuff in this salad. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
* 1 ripe avocado, cubed
* 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
* ~4oz hard salami, sliced into small chunks
* 3-4T pitted kalamata olives, sliced (or ant other kind of pitted olives)
* 7-8 of these simple Roasted Sweet Peppers, sliced into small pieces
* crumbled feta cheese
* 1lb chicken breast, sliced into thin, small pieces
* olive oil
* lemon pepper
* garlic salt
* Greek seasoning
* juice of 1/2 a lemon

WHAT TO DO
Add the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, salami, olives, roasted peppers, and feta cheese in a large salad bowl, and set aside.

Place the pieces of chicken breast in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle, to taste, with lemon pepper, garlic salt, and Greek seasoning. Toss to coat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook until cooked through – just a minute or two per side. Remove from heat and add to the salad bowl. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil (about a tablespoon at most) and the lemon juice and toss carefully to combine.

bigsalad