Someday I’m going to write a book called 101 Ways to Make Tacos because tacos are what we have for dinner. Seriously. Every. Single. Night.
Okay, maybe not every single night, but certainly most weeknights. At this point, my partner has basically stopped asking what’s for dinner because it’s obvious: beans and something else that’s going to go inside of corn tortillas. Any questions?
Someday I’m also going to write a book called 101 Ways to Make A Salad because salads are what I have for lunch practically every single weekday.
The key to making a good salad is this: it has to have a good protein source (I usually opt for beans or lentils), a variety of vegetables with complimentary flavors and textures, and a good dressing. For most salads, I usually dress the leaves in a little plain balsamic vinegar, but the classic balsamic vinegar and olive oil mix is fabulous for almost any salad.
And if you eat an oil-free diet, subbing avocado in for oil is a fabulous way to still enjoy a creamy dressing. This sweet and tangy mango salad dressing and this jalapeno avocado lime dressing are great oil-free options.
My personal challenge to enjoying salads is that I don’t typically crave raw veggies because Seattle is cold most of the year. However, I can get around this by roasting vegetables and adding them (while still warm) to a bed of cold greens. This salad is my newest favorite and it’s a fabulous meal during these cold, drizzly days of spring.
- 1 cup French lentils
- 2 cups water
- Freshly-ground sea salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, cut into matchsticks
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red onion, sliced into rings
- 4 cups arugula
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Fresh dill for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the French lentils and water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 25 minutes, until lentils are tender and cooked, but not mushy. Add sea salt to taste (if desired) and set aside.
- While lentils are cooking, toss fennel, carrots, and onion with coconut oil and lay flat on baking sheet. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes, turning at least once, until onions are sweet and carrots are tender.
- Divide the arugula among four plates, and top with the roasted vegetables and lentils.
- Mix olive oil, sherry vinegar, orange juice, and black pepper together and drizzle over salads. Garnish with dill, if desired.