Brighten up your meals with our Kale Lentil Salad. Filled with refreshing greens, crunchy pistachios, and savory lentils, this recipe is ideal for days when you just don’t feel like heating up your kitchen. This salad is also perfect for school or work and is a great alternative to other traditional lunch options. Prepare a double batch of lentils to use in other recipes or buy prepared lentils to add to this nourishing salad. Thanks to the high fiber and protein contents, this is a recipe that will satisfy you and your family for hours on end. This salad is also vegan and naturally gluten-free, so this is one recipe that you can feel good about eating!
Nutrient Booster: Tahini
While this salad is amazing on its own, it’s even better when paired with our Lemon Tahini Dressing. As many store-bought salad dressings can be expensive, it may behoove you to try and make your own. Plus, it’s beneficial to make this dressing yourself, as it slashes the added sugars and sodium levels that usually come with a store-bought alternative. In addition, research has found that excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (1), so this homemade option is the way to go!
Not only is this salad dressing all natural and low in sodium, but it also is enriched with tahini, which is made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. Traditionally, this is served as a dip on its own, or incorporated into hummus, as it has a delicate roasted sesame flavor without the sweetness common to many nut and seed butters. While it has a slightly bitter taste, it tastes phenomenal when paired with lemon juice. Plus, the tahini adds a healthy twist on the traditional salad dressing by providing iron, which is crucial to biologic functions, including respiration, energy production, DNA synthesis, and cell proliferation. When we are deficient in iron, we become anemic, which is when the body lacks oxygen due to a reduced amount of red blood cells (2). As a result, a person may be tired and short of breath. So, it’s important to make sure that we are getting adequate iron in our diets, and consuming tahini is a great way to accomplish that.
With that in mind, go ahead and try out this salad dressing–we are sure it will become love at first taste!
Kale Lentil Salad
- 1 cup green lentils, cooked
- 5 cups kale, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onions, sliced
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sorghum syrup, or maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup water, +1 tbsp
In a large bowl place kale, red pepper, pistachios, and red onions and combine well. Mix in the cooked lentils and set aside.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
Add tahini, lemon juice, sorghum syrup, garlic, and salt to a small bowl. Mix well. Add water and whisk until emulsified.
Drizzle lemon tahini dressing on top of the kale salad, and serve.
Serving size: 1 1/3 cups Calories: 300 calories, Fat: 13 grams, Saturated fat: 2 grams, Carbohydrates: 35 grams, Sugar: 7 grams, Sodium: 95 milligrams, Fiber: 15 grams, Protein: 15 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
*Disclosure: Triad to Wellness has provided nutrition communication services to The Sorghum Checkoff. However, we were not compensated for this post. All opinions are our own.
1. Long term effects of dietary sodium reduction on cardiovascular disease outcomes: observational follow-up of the trials of hypertension prevention. The British Medical Journal. http://tinyurl.com/yafnca63 2. Iron-Deficiency Anemia. The New England Journal of Medicine. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1401038