Avocado Lentil Salad

As I’ve already mentioned, I really like Michael Pollan’s philosophy on food and eating, and have been trying to make changes in my life to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”  The “eat food” part I’m in good shape with, as you can probably tell by my blog!  But “not too much”, well, that’s a bit of a struggle.  Most of the first year of the munchkin’s life was spent nursing and pushing a stroller around Manhattan, which basically meant I could eat as much as I wanted and STILL lose the babyweight!  Unfortunately that’s starting to catch up with me, so I’ve had to set some guidelines for myself – 3 meals a day + 2 small snacks, no eating the munchkin’s leftovers (a tough one since I feed her such yummy food!), no seconds, and a very small dessert (e.g., a few bites of good dark chocolate).  It’s been a week, and so far so good!

The “mostly plants” part is a bit of a challenge, too.  Grains and potatoes are easy, but eating vegetables and legumes is not something that comes naturally to me, and I’ve had to work very hard over the last few years to even remember to include vegetables in my meal planning (thank you hubby for the reminders!).  But I’m even more committed now, which means I’m always on the lookout for hardy meals that don’t include meat.  Lentils are really high in protein and fiber, so they make a great meat replacement.  I’ve already shared my lentil soup recipe, but another way I’ve found to enjoy lentils is as a salad.  I first tried this recipe from Food Network, which came out delicious (I will share my modifications another time!).

It turns out Weelicious has a couple of lentil salads, too – one of them includes avocado, which sounded really yummy to me, so I decided to give it a try.  The main change I made was to add pistachios because there were nuts in the Food Network recipe, and I really liked the combination.  The result?  Big hit, especially with hubby who called it one of his favorites!  The creaminess of the avocado with the lemony dressing really worked well, and what a great way to eat so many healthy foods!

The only thing I struggle with is how to eat this as a main course – I served it with a green salad (using the other half of a lemon to make a quick vinaigrette) and some grainy bread, but I’d love to hear any other suggestions you might have!

 

 

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Avocado Lentil Salad
adapted from Weelicious

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (this was the amount in an 8 ounce package of pre-coooked black beluga lentils from Trader Joe’s)
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch squares (this is most easily done if you cut the avocado while still in the skin, and then scoop out with a spoon)
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Place all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss to combine.  Serve!

Makes 2-4 servings, depending on what you’re serving it with and if my hubby is present

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