Warm Sprouted Lentil Salad



 This time of year I crave the comfort of warm nourishing food. A green salad, as much as I love those, doesn't satisfy my hunger when it's ten degrees below outside. If you are like me, this is a perfect dish to try.
 I call this dish a salad , just because it's not only delicious warm , but it's also great cold the next day. You can call it a side dish if you want. Either way, it's delicious!

This warm salad requires some preparation ahead of time. You need to sprout the lentils. It's a very easy process and it doesn't require a lot of effort on your side. I purchased a couple of 1/2 gallon sprouting jars from my local health food store. I use them to soak and sprout my grains and legumes, to make them more nutritious, and remove any anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid. I normally soak one and a half cups of dried lentils in water overnight. The next morning I drain the water and rinse them well. Then I lay the jar on its side and make sure the lentils are evenly spread. I leave them on the kitchen counter and rinse them with clean water every 12 hours. It takes about 36 to 48 hours for the lentils to sprout. Don't forget to rinse them since the top layer will dry out and they will start to mold. After the sprouts reach about a milimeter long, a little less is ok too, I rinse them again and boil them until the lentils are soft. Once the lentils are soaked and sprouted, their cooking time is drastically reduced , so watch not to overcook them.

Here is what the lentils look like after you've finished prepping them:


 See, sprouting doesn't have to be scary!
 One and a half cup of dry lentils will yield close to 5 cups cooked lentils. It's a lot, but I use it for other meal later in the week and it keeps well in the fridge. A quick lentil soup or a lentil tabbouleh, it's all up to your imagination. But now, let me tell you about this delicious Warm Sprouted Lentil Salad!

Ingredients:
(makes 4 servings)

  • 2 cups cooked sprouted lentils
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice; I used orange)
  • 1/3 of a medium sized cauliflower
  • 1/2 of a small red onion (other onion or shallots can be used as well)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • a handful of parsley
  • apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider to taste*
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ghee and olive oil
* Fire Cider is apple cider vinegar, infused with onion, garlic, ginger, horseradish root and cayenne pepper. It is called Master Tonic by some and helps boost the immune system. It has great anti-viral and anti- bacterial properties and is great to keep around during cold and flu season. I make a batch in the fall and use it in dressings and soups all winter to keep our bodies strong.

I used a tablespoon of ghee to saute my veggies. First add the onions and saute until they start to caramelize:



 Add the bell pepper :



Add the garlic:



Add the cauliflower:


When you cook the pepper and cauliflower , you want them to remain firm but not completely raw. I chopped the cauliflower florets into smaller pieces to make sure they will "touch" the heat of the pan evenly. I didn't want to soften them too much or have any "cooked" marks seared on them, in order to keep with the"salad" , not a side dish, idea.

 Add the lentils when the veggies are done and cook for a couple of minutes. Let the flavors mingle. I had cooked my lentils the day before and this allowed them to warm up.

Finally, add your seasonings! I love the taste of the Fire Cider and I use it in many dressings during the winter. It's just another wonderful way to keep our immune systems strong by using our food as medicine. I am sure lemon juice will work great , if you don't like the pungent taste of apple cider vinegar.  I also add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and the rest of the seasoning to taste.

Pull the pan away from the heat. Stir in a handful of chopped parsley and let the salad rest for a couple of minutes. The lentils will soak up all the delicious flavors and juices.

We enjoyed our Warm Sprouted Lentil Salad with some beautiful grass-fed beef roast, cooked in the crockpot and home made purple kraut. Delicious!


What healthy and delicious masterpieces are you making in your kitchen?

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