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Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa

CARROT LENTIL & TOFU WARM SALAD

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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.

 

Health benefits:

·       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. 

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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.

Enjoy!