Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spinach Lentil Beet Salad

I know, I know.  It's October.  It's Fall.  It's time for pumpkin everything and soups.  I couldn't agree more that this is a highly inappropriate time for salad posts.  Forgive me, but since I haven't had the chance to blog in awhile, I didn't want to forget to add this one.  It's a keeper.
This recipe arrived in my inbox from Sugar Free Mom.  I read the recipe and it intrigued me because I never thought to combine these ingredients in a salad so I decided to give it a try.  It was delicious!  I've made it many, many times and it's the perfect lunch or light dinner as the lentils help fill you up.  Plus, it's so pretty to look at!
I also loved reading this recipe because I found out about two new items at Trader Joe's.  Pre-cooked/packaged lentils and beets. Personally, I have no problem making lentils so I made those myself.  I had some beets my mom canned for me, but I love them and they WILL get eaten so I decided to give the beets at Trader Joe's a try.  They were delicious and much easier than cooking them.  It's not that cooking beets is particularly difficult, but it is messy!  These are ready to pull from the package and slice and it's as easy as that.  Highly recommended if you have a Trader Joe's by you, but if not, go to the effort to boil and slice your own.  Beets are totally worth it!

These are both found in the refrigerated section.  If you haven't had lentils, what are you waiting for?  It's a delicious legume full of protein.
Spinach Lentil Beet Salad
Salad Ingredients
2 cups fresh spinach
¼ cup cooked lentils
2 small fresh beets, steamed, peeled, quartered or sliced
½ cup sliced orange or red bell pepper
½ cup cherry or sunburst tomatoes, sliced
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
Balsamic Dressing Ingredients
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon minced garlic
pepper to taste
Add spinach to a serving bowl or plate.
Top with cooled lentils and the rest of the ingredients.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Pour over salad. Serves 1.