So this recipe is actually inspired by a bowl I had at The Little Beet in NYC earlier this month! They have absolutely amazing options for building your bowl or salad, and the flavors do not disappoint! I’ve never really been a fan of beets, but for some I was feelin’ the Lentil Beet Salad they had on display. And Welp… now I can’t stop eating beets!

Beets are definitely going to be incorporated into my weekly meal plans for now on! They have TONS of nutrients and health benefits.

Lentil Beet Salad, A Different Bite, Lakeland Florida, Healthy

3 Major Health Benefits of Beets

  • Naturally High in Disease Fighting Nutrients – Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients like Betalains. Betalains help form glutathione… Which helps you detox..
  • DETOX – The compound glutathione is essential for detoxification writing the liver and other organs. Glutathione neutralizes toxins and make them water-soluble, which allows you excrete them through the urine
  • Enhanced Athletic Performance and Recovery –  Beets naturally contain nitrates which can have positive effects on athletic performance by reducing energy demand during moderate-intensity exercise, enhancing muscle work during fatiguing intermittent submaximal contractions, and improved repeated sprint performance. (1)

 

Lentil Beet Salad, A Different Bite, Lakeland Florida, Healthy

Preparing Beets

It’s important to note that beets are delicate and overcooking can lead to oxidation of their nutrients.  So, with that being said, it’s important that beets are cooked properly. The easiest way to prepare beets (in my opinion), is to wrap them in aluminum foil and roast them for about 45 mins at 375F. The beets will be earthy, sweet, and tender after roasting. You can roast them ahead of time (which is what I did…), and they will keep for several days. You can also freeze them for added nutrients to smoothies and juices.

Preparing Lentils

Normally I don’t soak my lentils, but I was doing some research… and I read that salt-brining your lentils help keep the hull of the lentil intact instead of bursting. So I put it to the test… and sure enough it worked! Before finalizing this recipe, I tried bringing the lentils for the minimum 2 hours and then did a second batch for a the suggested maximum of 48 hours. Both time frames work just fine. I think brining and roasting ahead of time, makes the recipe come together a lot quicker and wayyyyy more convenient. It cuts the time down to 35-40 mins the day of.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of French Puy Lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 3-4 medium beets, scrubbed, roasted, and chopped
  • 2/3 cup of minced parsley
  •  4 cups of water  + 1.5 – 2 tsp of Kosher Salt (For Brining Lentils)
  • 6 cups of liquid  – 3 cups of beef broth + 3 cups of water (OR  6 cups of water + 2-3 beef bouillon cubes)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pepitas (Totally optional, but they add a nice crunch to the salad)
 Vinaigrette :
  • 6 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/4 tsp of ground mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp of group cumin seed
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Brine Lentils for a minimum of 2-3 hours – To brine, soak lentils in 4 cups of water and 1 – 2 tsp of salt.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic in coconut oil,  until onions are translucent and tende.r
  3. Add lentils and cook for about a 1 min, stirring often.
  4. Add six cups of liquid
  5. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender
  6. Strain lentils, and place in bowl with roasted beets, pepitas, and parsley.
  7. Whisk dressing ingredients until uniform.  Dress the lentil beet salad and mix.
  8. Can be served at room temperature, or cold.

Lentil Beet Salad, A Different Bite, Lakeland Florida, Healthy

So if you guys follow me on Instagram (@adifferentbite)  you’ll know that I posted about this salad last week. I made another typical salad bowls with mixed baby greens, baked (wild caught) salmon, and this amazing salad.

Happy Friday!

Drea

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