Life has been crazy lately. Let’s call it the end of school year madness. Field trips, end of year parties, preschool graduation, Kindergarten graduation, add in swim team practices and you have madness!
Jack and Ewan are on the swim team this summer for the first time and practices started a few weeks ago. This means picking up Jack at the bus, rushing home for a quick snack and rushing off to the gym. It also means not getting home until just before 6PM. So what about dinner?!
If all goes well I do all my prep work earlier in the day and just need to heat things up when we get home. Or better yet, I make a salad like this Mediterranean lentil salad. Make it in the early afternoon, throw it in the fridge and you are good to go.
It is a nice alternative to pasta salad. It is gluten free, vegetarian and could be vegan if you skip the feta cheese. This is chock full of fiber, protein, veggies. How can something so good for you taste so good?! Perfect for packed lunches, picnics or a quick dinner on a busy day if prepared ahead. It is good as a meal by itself or could be a side dish as well.
This is just a recipe, it is not written in stone. Customize it and make it your way. Like olives, go ahead and add them in. Add cilantro or another herb, whatever tomato you like, the options are endless! I used dried chick peas and cooked them. A can would work just as easily.
I anticipate making this a lot during the summer, especially once my own tomatoes and cucumbers are ready in the garden, hopefully in a week or less. This will be perfect for packing on swim meet nights, we’ll have those twice a week starting next week! I hope you enjoy as much as we did, despite Jack’s aversion to tomatoes and Sean’s desire to pick out the cucumbers first!
Mediterranean Lentil Salad
1 1/2 c. dried lentils (green or brown work well, NOT red)
1 1/2 c. chick peas
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 c. basil, chopped
7 oz. feta cheese, chopped
3 sun dried tomatoes, chopped finely
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste (I used garlic and basil sea salt)
Place the lentils in a pot and cover with water to about two inches above the lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain any excess water and allow to cool slightly.
Combine the lentils, chick peas, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, basil and feta in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a jar (or small bowl and whisk) combine the sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well. The salad can be served at room temp or chilled.
Yields 6-8 servings