Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

January detox: lentil, roasted vege and feta salad

on January 3, 2012

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Happy New Year! I’m starting as I mean to go on. It may not last but if I don’t try, I won’t know. January is detox month for me (with the exception of the last weekend when I usually abandon it!). After Christmas and new years excesses, a detox is definitely needed. I don’t follow any strict regime, I just basically cut out alcohol, reduce my calories and stay away from high sugar and salt things (e.g. crisps and cake) and fat things, except for good fats. And stop spending so much. Which is ok if I’m not going out and not buying clothes to go out in! And reacquaint myself with the gym – I’ve not been in 3 weeks! Eek! I went for a run yesterday though and that wasn’t too bad.

Lentils, as I’m sure you’ve seen me go on about before, are wonderful things – full of protein and energy, low in GI and sugars and things that make you sleepy. Also low in calories. And feta is a very low fat, low calorie cheese too. And what’s not to love about roasted vege? And just to be sure, there’s some chilli and garlic thrown in to speed up your metabolism, eliminate free radicals and stave off colds. Really, you can’t go wrong with this. And it’s vege friendly. Leave out the feta and its even vegan friendly. It’s easy to make and if you do like I did, and make the night before, it’s perfect for lunch at work.

I got the recipe from here, and it’s utterly delicious http://www.culinaryanthropologist.org/2011/10/roast-squash-red-pepper-puy-le.html

Lentil, roasted vege and feta salad

Serves 4

1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes

2 peppers, cut into thin strips

1 red onion, finely sliced

9 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp chilli flakes

salt & pepper

250g green or puy lentils

2 garlic cloves, peeled, one whole, one mashed

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

handful of basil leaves

200g feta cheese

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Put all the vege in a roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and the chilli flakes.
  2. Roast in the middle of the oven for about 25-30 minutes, stiring half way through, until all the vege is cooked and slightly charred.
  3. Meanwhile put the lentils with the whole peeled garlic clove, 1 tbsp olive oil, bay leaf and enough cold water to cover the lentils plus 2 cm into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer slowly, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked but still hold their shape. Add salt about half way through and you may need to add more water if the lentils look too dry.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, the remaining 7 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and mashed garlic clove (I just used one of those garlic pressing machines).
  5. When the lentils are done, drain them and rinse under cold water to cool them down. Place in a large bowl. Add the roasted vege when it’s ready. Allow to cool before adding the dressing, torn basil leaves and feta, crumbled. Stir well and serve!
  6. Enjoy the yummy goodness!
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