With the arrival of the sunshine this weekend, I was inspired to make my lentil and summer vegetable salad. This is a really tasty dish and a complete crowd pleaser. Veggies and meat eaters alike love this dish and are always asking me for the recipe. Lentils are great for us plant eaters as they provide protein, iron and B vitamins. They are high in fibre so that, along with the protein content, makes them great for weight loss as they keep us fuller for longer. They are really inexpensive making them a great addition to a family cupboard and for those on a budget. I love this dish in the summer time when peppers and courgettes are in season and at their most delicious.
3 red peppers
3 yellow peppers
1 red onion
1 red chilli
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium sized carrots
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
3 cups of green lentils
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Pepper and salt to season
Cut your peppers into quarters, length ways and place on a baking tray, skin side up. Place in the oven at gas mark 5/190 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes or until the skin of the peppers has blackened. You will need to keep an eye on this as sometimes this can happen quicker than other times.
Cut the courgettes into bite sized pieces and toss in a tablespoon of melted coconut oil with some salt and pepper and place in a roasting dish in the over with the peppers for about 30 minutes until the courgettes start to brown.
Meanwhile, finely chop the red onion, carrot and red chilli. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the red onion and cook for about three minutes. Then add the minced garlic, carrot and red chili and cook gently for about five minutes and then remove from the heat and set aside.
When the peppers and courgettes are done, remove them from the oven. Peel the blackened skin from the peppers and discard the skin. You will be left with beautiful sweet soft roasted peppers. Chop these into strips length ways. Set aside the courgettes and peppers to cool.
Prepare the lentils by rinsing them well and then adding them to a pot, covering them with water and bringing them to the boil. Allow them to boil away for about 15 minutes. The water should almost entirely evaporate. Just keep an eye on the water to make sure the lentils don't absorb all of the water before fully cooked. If they do, just add a little more water. When cooked, drain any excess water from the lentils. If using pre-cooked lentils you just need to follow the instructions on the packet as to whether you need to rinse them prior to adding them to your salad.
Mix the lentils, courgette, peppers, and the onion, garlic, carrot and chilli mixture together in a bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, drizzle the olive oil over the lentil salad along with the juice of one lime. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture a little to make sure the flavours are well combined and then it is ready to serve.