General News, Health & Fitness

Quinoa, Lentil & Arugula Salad (Low-fat)

Quinoa, Lentil & Arugula Salad (Low-fat)

Your new go to salad when you’re not too sure what you want for dinner at night, or if you need a make ahead lunch for a work or school day. A tip I want to share with you is that you can actually make double or triple the amounts of quinoa and lentils and freeze the extra. They honestly don’t take long to make at all, but I have found that at times a frozen stash comes in handy. Plus, when you thaw them, you can add them to practically anything, and season them differently each time. These two ingredients are extremely versatile. I have even seen them in breakfasts, sweets, baked goods and breads, etc.

Want more recipes? Visit me at my blog, Sweet Simple Vegan!

Quinoa / Did you know that it is actually a seed? But even though not technically a grain, it is still considered a “whole grain” food. There are several varieties of quinoa {red, black, and white}, and you can sometimes buy a “mixed” bag at the market, which gets you a mixture of the varying nutrient values in each. White is the most popular and commonly found variety found in stores. It is gluten-free, low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein, containing all of the essential amino acids that we need. Click here for more recipes with quinoa.

Lentils / Nutty and earthy in flavor, lentils are a great addition of nutrition into your diet. There are several varieties of lentils {green, red and brown}, with brown being the most commonly used. Lentils are low in cholesterol, are good source of protein, folate, and iron, and promote digestive health with their fiber content. Enjoy them in soups, salad, spreads, dips for vegetables, or even baked into sweet or savory goodies.

Arugula / Also known as Salad Rocket, arugula and its peppery-kick are the perfect flavor to fulfill that “umph” I am sometimes missing in my meals. Arugula is a rich source of phytochemicals, a great source of folic acid and Vitamins A and C, and is one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin K. Arugula is great both raw and cooked. Plop it atop {vegan} pizzas, mix it into your salads, create an arugula pesto with it, or even add it into your next soup.

Quinoa, Lentil & Arugula Salad (Low-fat)

Arugula is not always available to me when I go to the market, and some days I just ain’t in that Arugula kind of mood, so I add other greens to make up for it. It’s always deeeclious, so feel free to play around with any greens you feel like using.

A note on the oil: I actually made half of this recipes with oil, and half without (for myself). My parents aren’t accustomed to oil-free cooking just yet, but they try to eat oil in minimal amounts, so I decreased the oil amount but still kept some in for them. We all tried both recipes and I can assure you that they were pleasantly surprised that oil was not needed! I kept it in just in case you wish to use it, so feel free to make this recipe however you’d like.

If cooking your own quinoa and lentils intimidates you,  I have seen pre-cooked lentils and quinoa at some markets (in the LA area, at least). At Trader Joe’s they always have precooked lentils and at Costco they always have precooked quinoa. The lentils at Trader Joe’s, however, do have seasoning and salt pre-added, so just keep that in mind. The ingredient list on the Costco quinoa, however, is nothing but quinoa and water.

Print
Quinoa, Lentil & Arugula Salad (Low-fat)
Author: Jasmine Briones / Sweet Simple Vegan
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups quinoa + 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup green lentils + 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 3 oz arugula
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tbs olive oil OR water
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup orange bell pepper, diced
  • 15 grape tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Healthy green salt substitute or desiredsalt
Instructions
Dressing
  1. Vigorously stir together the lemon, vinegar, pepper, garlic and oil/water. Try and do this first so that you can set it aside as the garlic infuses into the liquid.
Quinoa*
  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear. Drain, transfer to a pot with your liquid of choice and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, cover reduce heat to a simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork.
Lentils*
  1. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Rinse the lentils in a fine sieve and drain. Transfer to a pot with your liquid of choice, cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. If necessary, drain the lentils once cooked before adding it into the salad.
Assembly
  1. Combine all of the ingredients and toss. Add fresh black pepper and salt to taste.
Notes
I suggest cooking the quinoa and lentils at the same time to cut down the cooking time.
Keep in mind that the lentils will double or triple in volume during cooking.

Looking for more deliciously simple vegan recipes? Check out my Lunch & Dinner Ebook! It has 22 easy {gluten-free, salt-free and low-fat} recipes to help you create healthier habits and take charge of your life. They say 21 days makes a habit, right? It’s all up to you. Check out the ebook here!