I’m so in love with this Mediterranean lentil salad, and I know you will be too. It has so many of my favorite flavors. It’s briny, salt, crunchy, creamy, and so satisfying. As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for ways to add more complete protein into my diet, so this combination of lentils with quinoa makes me (and my body) so happy.
Food is such a funny thing. The older I’ve gotten, the wiser I’ve become with my body and what feels good. I grew up in the midwest eating basically meat and potatoes (I mean, I’m exaggerating, but you get the picture). I don’t think I really started to eat fruits and vegetables until my 20s and it was kind of a shock to my system.
Then sometime around 2014, I became a vegetarian. I never really liked meat, the way it tasted, the idea of it, the way it made me feel. I just thought that’s what I was “supposed” to eat. As time went on I learned more and more about nutrition. Eating whole clean foods and fueling my body in a way that made me feel good, inside and out.
For me, it became less about what I was taking OUT of my diet and more about what I was adding IN. The more veggies, whole grains, fruits, healthy fats, seeds, and nuts I could get….the less room there was for everything else. My plates became more colorful, flavorful, and in my opinion….healthier.
Recipes like this Mediterranean lentil salad are how I truly ENJOY eating. These types of dishes give me all the nutrients I need for the rest of the day, but don’t leave me in a fog.
But let’s be honest, it has to taste good too! And I promise you, this Mediterranean lentil salad is everything you’re craving this spring and more.
Here’s what I love about the salad, what I used, and some ways to change it up…
- I used black lentils, but any lentils would work.
- Any quinoa you have on hand works, but I love this one from Tru Roots.
- The addition of the quick pickled red onions (recipe can be found here) goes a long way here. It adds a briny element. If you’ve never picked your own onions, you are missing out. I use them on EVERYTHING. Amazing on tacos.
- Canned chickpeas work great. But if you have time, there is something amazing about making your own. You can definitely taste the difference and are easier to make than you’d think (I make a big batch every few weeks and then freeze them in small batches)
- When I add cucumbers to salads, I like to scoop out the inside seeds (which makes them less watery). I use a measuring spoon (1/4 tsp spoon works great) as the scoop.
- Pistachios would be great in this. I added them to my leftovers and loved the added crunch.
- Another great Mediterranean bowl I love (without lentils) is this Greek Quinoa Bowl…..sooo yummy
So let’s jump into the recipe now for this Mediterranean lentil salad
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- I cup of cooked black lentils
- ½ cup of sliced cucumbers
- ¼ of cooked garbanzo beans
- 1-2 tbsp of pickled red onion (recipe can be found here)
- A handful of parsley and mint, chopped
- For the dressing
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp of dijon mustard
- 3-4 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup of good quality olive oil
- 1 tbsp of fresh oregano (1/2 tsp if using dried)
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dressing. In a mason jar combine the shallot, garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. With the lid on securely, give it a good shake. Set aside.
- To compose the salad, in a serving bowl of your choice add the quinoa, lentils, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, & onions.
- generously drizzle a few tbsp of the dressing over all the ingredients. Give it a good mix.
- Then on top add a few more pickled onions and a generous sprinkle of parsley and mint.
- Sit down, relax, and enjoy