Refreshing Lentil Salad

What a weekend! I have no idea what gave me the spark the create this recipe on such a windy, cold day for the D.C. area but here it is! We decided to go on a hike this past weekend at Sugar Loaf Mountain and what a good idea it was. I don’t know if you find similar effects, but whenever Devin and I hit the trails in nature—we find ourselves again. I feel so connected to myself and everyone when I am in nature; it is astounding. I like to think of it as free-therapy. There are so many studies that show how much healthier people become mentally by taking a walk outside in nature every day or at least hiking once a week. I do not deny those results because I guarantee you that I am a living, breathing, walking example.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my three main pillars: career, family, and friends. My situation last year was very rough mentally, and after about six months of healing I’ve been able to grow into a spot now where I don’t feel as anxious and more connected with my emotions. I’ve also been reflecting on my weaknesses and just learning to accept them and keep improving my mentality towards them. It isn’t an overnight fix, but I definitely know I am in a much better place than I was before. I just need to realize that I’m in this race for MYSELF. It’s my own happiness and if someone or something doesn’t make me happy, then I can actually be O.K. with just giving it space!

This photo really sums it up a lot for me (I just wanted to add my dog and this tomato *with a sunhat* to go alongside it too):

I hope to continue on my path towards living with and for nature! It really is a great purpose to serve for myself. I hope you are continuing on your path towards happiness! Enjoy and be FREE!

The Ingredients

  • 1 cup of any-type of lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 2 TB fresh or dried parsley
  • dash of cayenne
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 mini bell peppers
  • 2 sprigs green onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 lemon wedges (or more depending on taste)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Some Tips-and-Not

Where do I begin with the knowledge of lentils? You can do your own research on this topic, but I am fairly positive that eating lentils has some of the smallest amounts of impact on the carbon footprint. It also uses low amounts of pesticides and has a tremendous amount of protein, fiber, and health benefits. These are all things I heard from a friend in college that ate lentils everyday. Seriously.

This recipe makes a great side-dish or refreshing lunch. I love to take this to work and eating it with a bed of arugula. The use of green onion is great for adding that onion taste, but not overbearing where you might have stinky breath otherwise. It is light, a good balance of herbs, and is great for vegetarian/vegan lovers!

The Directions

  1. In a small pot, combine lentils, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, and cayenne with enough water that covers the mixture by at least 2 inches. Bring it to light simmer and cook until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cut up the tomato, carrots, kale, bell peppers, green onion, and garlic into small, minced pieces.
    IMG_2841
  3. Squeeze the lemon and mix together generously.
    IMG_2842
  4. Add the olive oil over the top and let it sit in the fridge.
    IMG_2844
  5. While the vegetable mixture is cooling, drain the lentils, removing the bay leaves, and mix in the hot lentils with the cool vegetables.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, allow to cool to your desire, and enjoy!
    IMG_2852

Live long, cook well, and be happy! 🙂

 

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