Upgraded Pita Jungle Lentil Fattoush Salad
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Traditionally, Fattoush is a salad that combines mixed greens, vegetables such as tomatoes, radishes, etc, with toasted or even fried pieces of pita bread. While the traditional version of a Fattoush salad is most certainly delicious, I try to avoid excess oils and refined carbohydrates when possible. So this is my upgraded version of a LENTIL Fattoush salad that I once ordered at Pita Jungle. Upgraded because my version includes avocado and a fun blend of Mediterranean spices.
If you are not currently including lentils in your diet, you should totally give it a try! Just 1 cup of lentils has 230 calories, 16 grams of fiber, and 18 grams of protein making this plant-based source of protein an all-star if you are trying to reduce your meat consumption!
As if that wasn't enough to convince you to add lentils to your diet, the glycemic index (a measure of how quickly a food will raise blood sugar) is incredibly low (28 to be exact) making it an excellent choice for weight loss, blood sugar maintenance, and energy balance. Just for reference, a slice of whole grain bread has a glycemic index (GI) of 51.
This recipe is a simple and DELICIOUS way to introduce lentils to your diet or if you are already consuming them this recipe will help add a bit of variety to your current diet!
The lentils will be easier to digest and will also cook faster if you soak them for at least 4 hours. I prefer to soak lentils overnight as this will often time result in sprouting which makes the lentils even more digestible!
1 massive or 2 moderate sized salads (great for leftovers!)
1 C dry lentils (I used brown but you can use green or red)
2 bay leafs
2 C spinach
2 C mixed greens
2 C chopped romaine
2 Campari tomatoes diced
1 C cucumber, julienned
1 avocado, sliced and cubed
2 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground sumac
salt and pepper to taste
2 T fresh mint, chopped
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
After soaking the lentils for at least four hours, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the Bay leaves.
Add the lentils to the boiling water and reduce to a simmer.
Allow lentils to cook for 15-25 minutes (usually closer to 15) or until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender but not mushy.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the lettuce, greens, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado in a large bowl and mix to combine.
In a small bowl or personal blender combine the oil, vinegar, and spices and blend (or whisk) until a vinegarette is formed.
Top greens/vegetable salad with the lentils and add the vinegarette as desired.
Add a touch of salt and pepper and enjoy!