Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

My all time favourite way of preparing vegetables is roasting them.  Depending on the vegetable, it could be a short or long process.  This salad includes roasted asparagus and grape tomatoes which really don’t take long at all.  Hence, a perfect weeknight meal.  If you follow Love and Lentils, you’ve probably realized my appreciation for simplicity, and I think that is seen in my meals as well.  Although this is so simple with few ingredients, the flavours are delicious together, and the best part is, you’ll have this on the dinner table in 25 minutes.  We had our bean salad with vegan smoked apple sage sausages by Field Roast (side note; best vegan sausages ever).  Not a single weird ingredient and absolutely delicious.  So, it was a lazy(ish) Monday…but it tasted amazing.

Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 2 small 398 ml cans organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • kosher sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Place asparagus and grape tomatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground pepper overtop.

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  • Place asparagus and tomatoes in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, or until asparagus is slightly tender and browned.
  • Prepare your vinaigrette by combining olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt and pepper.  Mix with a fork to combine.
  • Chop the asparagus into 2″ long spears and combine in a large bowl with beans and tomatoes.  Top with vinaigrette and mix gently to combine.
  • Serve with grilled lemon wedges (I did this using a pan on the stove).
  • Enjoy!

Mediterranean Style Bean Salad

Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

So, what better way to kick off post #1 on my newly named blog, Love and Lentils, than with featuring, of course, lentils?!  This one is a fan favourite around here, as the flavours and textures in this salad go so well together.  It’s packed with protein (Jen, this one’s for you), and it was thoroughly enjoyed by the wee one.  Although it’s absolutely freezing in Montreal with close to -40ºC temperatures, I fancy the day that I will pack this along for a summer bike ride picnic.  A girl can dream, right?  At least 90 days to go…..

The ingredient list may look long at first sight, but rest assured that it’s mostly spices which I’m sure you have in your pantry and which make this salad irresistible and addictive!  I whipped this salad up in less than 30 minutes, and had leftovers for lunches and even dinner.

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Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Rinse lentils well and drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check on the lentils after 15 minutes and if they are al dente, they are ready.  You do not want overcooked, mushy lentils.
  • While the lentils are simmering, make the vinaigrette by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine.
  • When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop them from continuing to cook.
  • Place lentils in a large serving bowl.  Add onion, spinach, capers, pine nuts and cranberries and toss with dressing.
  • Serve and enjoy!  Leftovers can stay in the fridge for up to three days.

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Black Bean + Kale Soup

It doesn’t get much simpler, or healthier for that matter, than this veggie loaded soup.  It’s one of those soups that I (pretty much) guarantee you have all the ingredients for in your pantry and fridge.  My little guy also loved it, although I did have to pull out the kale from his bowl.  The only way he eats kale (for now) is when I make him chips.  I saw a recent poll on facebook where we were asked if we truly like kale or do we feel it’s just a fad?  I personally love it, it’s so versatile, tasty, and you can’t deny the health benefits.  It is also fantastic in this soup alongside the plump black beans.

Black Bean + Kale Soup Recipe

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans organic black beans
  • 1/2 a bunch kale, washed, stems removed and discarded, and torn into pieces
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)

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Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.   Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, and cook for 10 minutes.  The carrot should be slightly softened now.
  • Add vegetable stock, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium-low, add kale, and let simmer for approx. 20 minutes, or until carrots and celery are tender.
  • Taste; add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and tabasco (optional).

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