Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tahini-Lemon Quinoa Salad

This dish is irresistible! The tahini-lemon dressing is the perfect blend of creamy and tangy and the bright colours of the fresh vegetables create a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. The quinoa and lentils make this a protein-packed vegetarian/vegan main dish that is also light enough to be served as a side salad at your next summer BBQ! 

2 cups cooked lentils
2 cups cooked quinoa - You can also substitute brown rice if you don't have quinoa
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
3 cups fresh kale or spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
Tahini-Lemon Dressing (recipe below)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Tahini-Lemon Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup tahini
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons) - If you don't have fresh lemons and are using bottled lemon juice instead, then use a little under 1/2 cup because I find the lemon flavour is more powerful in the bottled stuff.
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. water (if needed)

Make the Tahini-Lemon dressing by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed.

Begin by cooking the lentils and quinoa (or brown rice) according to the package directions. If using canned lentils then rinse and drain them before using. Drain the lentils and quinoa and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, just until the onion starts becoming translucent. Add in the red pepper and mushrooms and continue to saute for 7-8 minutes.

Add in the chopped kale or spinach and saute for another 5-6 minutes, just until tender. It will seem like a lot of greens when you first add it in, but once it wilts it will reduce in size a lot.

Stir in the prepared Tahini-Lemon dressing, the cooked lentils and quinoa, and let simmer on low for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

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