I don’t know about you all, but I may have overdone it over Thanksgiving weekend. I ditched almost all of my food philosophy rules and practically dove into a pile of mashed potatoes (along with all the rest of the holiday spread). I’m not ashamed, and I don’t feel that guilty. Mostly, I feel tired, heavy, and irritable, which means it’s time to harness my willpower and start giving my body the wholesome and nutritious food it craves and deserves. Enter in this beet, delicata, and lentil salad. It is the perfect meal to get you back on track and feeling healthy again. This salad is nourishing and satisfying, with protein from the lentils, anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties from the beets, and plenty of vitamins (K, A, and C) from the spinach. Besides that, it’s super easy to make and holds together well so you can take it for lunch for the next few days. It would be great topped with a little goat or blue cheese.
For some reason, I haven’t cooked lentils in months. Honestly, I kind of forget about them. But when I was thinking of something to add heartiness and protein to this salad, lentils were the first thing that came to mind. They are low in calories, and are virtually fat free, making them a great option if you are trying to clean up your diet. Lentils contain high levels of dietary fiber, both the soluble and insoluble kind. Eating foods rich in fiber will help stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, and maintain digestive health. Lentils are a wonderful source of iron, helping to increase your energy and metabolism by transporting oxygen throughout your body, as well as folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. And like other legumes, lentils are a significant source of protein, which is important if you are on vegetarian or vegan diet. I used brown lentils in this recipe, but you could sub in de puy or green lentils.
- 1 small delicata squash, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch crescents
- 3 beets, peeled and cut into small pieces (I used red and golden beets here)
- olive oil and salt and pepper
- 1 cup cooked and cooled lentils
- 2 large handfuls spinach
- 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 Tsbp red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash and beets with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until tender. If your beets are too big, they will take longer to cook than the delicata squash, so try to cut them into little cubes. When done, remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a mason jar and shake it until the oil and vinegar have emulsified. In a large bowl, add the spinach, lentils, roasted veggies, pumkin seeds and red onion. Drizzle in half of the dressing and gently toss to combine. Add more dressing if desired, top with goat cheese crumbles if using. Serve at room temperature.