Lentil & Avocado Crunch Salad

My absolute favorite green has been (and possibly always will be) arugula, but sometimes the fine, delicate rocket leaves are just too wimpy next to heavier ingredients like lentils and dried fruit. Some salads need a strong crunch–enter cruciferous, crunchy veggies! I was inspired by a salad mix named Cruciferous Crunch at Trader Joe’s, but chopped up my own veggies at home to have more to eat all week long (not to mention it’s cheaper!). I go through phases with my salad preferences and lately it’s been all about the dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, and avocado. I also love making my own dressings, and this Avocado Mustard Dressing can easily go on salads, chicken, or even heated with lentils for a dinner side.

What really rocks this salad and makes it more than just boring weeds on a plate are the lentils. You may or may not know that lentils belong to a group of the legume family called pulses, and it just so happens that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses! Pulses, and lentils specifically, are packed full of fiber and protein, which keep you fuller for longer and take a salad from a side dish to the main event. Lentils have a long history in Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia and have even been found in archaeological sites dating back to the Bronze Age. Lentils’ versatility and their long shelf life have given them the reputation as a staple for travelers, as they keep during long journeys abroad. I used to only think of lentils as a part of soups or stews, but they can easily replace your meat-based protein in salads for Meatless Monday.

Lentil & Avocado Crunch Salad

what you’ll need

Salad

  • Chopped crunchy veggies (kale, brussels sprouts, radish, etc)
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Avocado Mustard Dressing

(Makes 6+ servings, make and save for your week’s meals.)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice one orange
  • Juice one lemon
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste

what you’ll do

  1. Plate crunchy veggies, then add lentils, seeds, and dried fruit.
  2. Dressing: Combine all ingredients in food processor or hand mixer, and churn until smooth.
  3. Drizzle dressing and enjoy!

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