The 2012 Love Your Lentils Tour Cooking Challenge: Lentil Salad with Feta and Herbs

SONY DSCIn my post  Five reasons to put lentils on your plate, I mentioned the 2012 Love Your Lentils Tour  and a fun activity the organizers had in store for us –    a cooking challenge much like those you see on the Food Network.  We, a group of dietitians from both Canada and the U.S., were divided into teams of three and with a limited budget and preparation time  in a food lab at the University of Saskatchewan, had to come up with a fabulous tasting dish containing lentils.


SONY DSCSadly, my team did not win but that’s because the winners simply blew away the competition by preparing not one dish but three – a comfort food  combo of soup and a cracker along with a sandwich. All three contained lentils: a roasted tomato lentil soup with a Parmesan lentil cracker and a grilled cheese and lentil sandwich. This was all using a 20 dollar budget!

Needless to say, after that we didn’t stand a chance. But our creation was pretty tasty. We made a lentil salad with feta and herbs and served it rolled up in Boston lettuce leaves (as finger food).

We adapted the following recipe from my book, The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide, to fit the budget and ingredients available at the local supermarket. We added chopped black olives as fresh mint was nowhere to be found.  The salad is also great served on a platter (double or triple the recipe) for holiday entertaining. The red from the tomatoes and pepper  and the green from the herbs makes it a perfect colour for a festive meal. Check out the fabulous fibre count.

Lentil Salad with Feta and Herbs

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups  (375 mL) green lentils
2 tablespoons  (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons  (25 mL)  red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove,  minced
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
2  medium tomatoes,  diced
1 /2 cup (125 mL) chopped red onion
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
4 ounces  (125 g) feta cheese, crumbled

Cook lentils in pot of boiling  water until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar and garlic.

In a large bowl, toss together lentils, vegetables and herbs. Add dressing to bowl; toss to coat. Mix in feta.  Season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for one hour to allow flavours to blend.

Per serving nutritional information:
Calories:  278
Protein:  17  grams
Fat:  9 grams
Saturated Fat:  4 grams
Carbohydrate: 33  grams
Dietary Fibre:   16 grams
Sodium:  223 milligrams

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Categories: Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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