For many years, I’ve made a tomato, onion and lentil salad. Recently, I experimented with using carrots and tofu in a lentil salad, with a citrus dressing and feel it’s a success worth sharing.
Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare. They readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavours from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value. I use baby carrots for their intense flavour and because they cook quickly.
· Lentils are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they help manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
· Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of minerals, B-vitamins, and protein, with virtually no fat.
CARROT LENTIL & TOFU WARM SALAD
V, GF, SF
7 baby carrots, halved lengthways
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 x 400 gram cans lentils, rinsed & drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ orange, juiced
2 handfuls baby spinach
200 grams tofu
pumpkin seeds to serve
Citrus & cider dressing
zest ½ orange
½ orange, juiced
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Blanch the baby carrots in a saucepan of boiling water until just tender. Drain and plunge into iced water, remove and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat 2 tablepoons olive oil and rice malt syrup in a large frypan on a high heat. Add baby carrots and cook on each side until golden. Remove and set aside, covered to keep warm. Clean the frypan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil on a high heat. Add lentils, garlic, cinnamon, thyme and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the orange juice and cook to slightly reduce for about 30 seconds. Mash the tofu on a plate.
Place baby spinach on a serving platter, and make two layers of baby carrots, lentil mixture and tofu. Drizzle half the dressing and scatter with pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.