Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chopped Lentil Salad

Between the two of us, P and I have traveled to New Zealand, Mexico, New Mexico, Texas, California, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming in the last six weeks. (Mostly for work.) From this information alone, you can probably guess that we 1) are very fortunate to have fantastic jobs and 2) haven't been eating all that well. We're finally back together and though there are upcoming trips to Idaho, Missouri, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, and who knows where else, for now we are getting back to eating together and eating well. Using what we had on hand the other night, I came up with this fantastic, filling salad. 

I have used some self-constraint and titled this post "chopped lentil salad". But if no one on the internet cared about long titles, I would call this what it really is: "Chopped Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Avocados, Spinach, Red Onion, Bacon and a Smoky-Lemony Hummus Dressing." Yesss.  

Make this however large or small you need it to be. I don't like chopped salads that feel like you are mainly eating bacon or eggs or whatever. For that reason I was heavy-handed with the spinach, tomatoes, and lentils, but as always you should make this to suit your personal preferences.  

Salad Components
Chopped fresh tomatoes (I used 1/2 container of baby heirlooms from Trader Joes and some of P's garden tomatoes)
Chopped avocado (1 small avo for us)
Chopped spinach (many large handfuls chopped into tiny pieces)
Lentils (I used about 1 cup of the pre-prepared container of lentils available at Trader Joes. A nod to "convenience", also known as "laziness and lack of planning".)
Chopped red onion (just a bit)
Cooked and chopped bacon (about 4 slices)
Thinly grated Parmesan cheese

Dressing Components
Several tablespoons hummus (plain or whatever kind you like)
Juice of one lemon
Smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
Splash of olive oil

Dressing salad with hummus is super easy and another way to sneak in some protein. I also rubbed the lentils down with some additional lemon juice, smoked paprika, and olive oil.

Considerations for food ethics and allergies: Gluten free, but please check your hummus ingredients just in case. You could omit the bacon and this would still be delicious and vegetarian. If you are vegan or dairy free, omit the cheese and you're good to go!

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