lentil, beet & goat cheese salad

I’ve been making great little “bento box” lunches lately. It’s worth mentioning that I don’t have a real bento box. It’s a gladware plastic container.

But it serves the same purpose and I’m kind of obsessed with these lunches. The biggest portion is reserved for vegetables – usually grape tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers or green beans; the small portion is for seaweed salad (I know, such a random Costco purchase); and the medium is for a lentil salad. And then I’ll add a chicken sausage or hard-boiled eggs on the side. Sometimes I keep it simple and toss the lentils with green onions, an easy dressing and some quinoa. And sometimes things get a little fancier.

Like beets, goat cheese and shallots fancier. I can’t take the credit for the idea, it came from a cafe near my office (clementine) but it is a delicious mix of slightly sweet + savory. In this particular lentil salad, beets are diced as finely as possible and tossed with lentils, shallots, goat cheese and a mustardy vinaigrette.

Side note: lentils are my favorite bean of all time. Please say you love them as much as I do!

This salad makes the perfect side dish (and could totally work as a main salad too) for lunches or dinners and if you buy pre-cooked lentils and beets, it comes together quickly! Because I tend to make rather involved packed lunches, I usually take any shortcuts I can get. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we have!

Lentil, Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: salad side gluten-free high fiber high protein kosher vegetarian beans cheese fall

 

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 16 oz (about 3 cups) cooked lentils
  • 8 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) beets, diced as small as possible
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • optional: sliced green onion for garnish

Instructions

Soak sliced shallots in cold water for at least 10 minutes. (To make them a little less potent.)

Whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard and salt & pepper. Toss with salad.

Toss together with remaining ingredients.

Top with crumbled goat cheese and garnish with green onion.

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simple kale salad

I have a love/hate relationship with kale salads. Typically when I get them at restaurants (most notably All Hail Kale (with tempeh!) at Veggie Grill) I love them. I could eat them for days. Then when I go home and try to create an equally delicious kale salad at home, it never stacks up.

Yes, I realize my problems could be worse.

But I want to make a healthy kale salad at home. One that is both delicious, satisfying and not boring. And not too much work.

This is it. Thinly sliced kale is massaged with olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar and salt and tossed with shredded cabbage and carrots, toasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and feta cheese. It has all of the textures and flavors that make restaurant salads so good and you can easily make it a main meal by adding some chicken, tempeh, diced avocado, etc. Truly a superfood salad!

 

Simple Kale Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: raw salad gluten-free high fiber low-carb kosher nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegetarian kale

 

Ingredients (2 main salads)

  • 8 cups thinly sliced kale (any variety or mix)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil, vinegar and salt over kale.

Lightly massage. Set aside for 20 minutes to a day or two.

Toss with cabbage and carrots.

Top with remaining ingredients and serve.

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Side note: I showed Richie how to “massage kale” last night and he was not impressed. :)

summer harvest salad with grilled chicken {trader joe’s copycat}

I don’t buy salads from Trader Joe’s on a regular basis, but every once in a while, when they look particularly good and fresh, I’ll grab a few for a convenient lunch.  A few weeks ago I tried one that I loved.

Today I’m here to recreate the Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken. This is a perfect salad for summer, as it takes advantage of summer produce and is nice and light- perfect for summer lunches or dinners. Salad greens are topped with green beans, corn, hard boiled egg, white cheddar cheese and some freshly grilled chicken, all dressed with a creamy dijon dressing. YUM!

Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll raise your eyebrow at the white cheddar cheese. On a salad?! I’ll take my cheddar with summer sausage and crackers please…but on this salad, it totally works so don’t be too nervous.

And now I’m obsessed with corn…

 

 

Summer Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: grill entree salad gluten-free high protein chicken summer

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Salad

  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • 12 oz hericots verts, lightly steamed
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted corn
  • 2 oz white cheddar cheese
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

For the Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • salt, pepper

Instructions

For the Salad

Grill chicken until cooked and roughly chop.

Start building salads by topping romaine with green beans, corn, chicken, hard boiled eggs, cheddar and green onions.

Drizzle with dressing.

For the Dressing

Blend together all ingredients until smooth.

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simple bean salads

I’m really into bean salads right now. Once I realized how truly simple – yet satisfying – they could be…let’s just say I’m sorry it took me so long.

I like to keep it really basic: no fancy home-made dressings, no crazy chopping of vegetables, just beans + herbs + olive oil + spices and maybe some cheese if it works. I love the complex bean salads, with more flavor, lots of tiny vegetables and delicious dressings, but simple bean salads deserve their place in the world too! This salad has been a lunch staple lately and in my effort to keep lunch-cooking/prep to a minimum, it’s been perfect.

Other Simple Bean Salad ideas:

  • garbanzos + parsley + feta
  • black beans + cilantro + queso fresco
  • garbanzos + mint + feta
  • white beans + chopped arugula + parmesan
  • lentils + red pepper + goat cheese
  • garbanzos + sun-dried tomatoes + parmesan
  • black beans + avocado + cilantro (a splash of oj would be great in this one!)

Am I missing any bean salad staples? Share your favorites below!