Meatless Monday … Greek Lentil Salad

Have you ever wondered if you could survive on a vegetarian diet? Were you curious how you’d feel after going meat-free for a week? How about four weeks?

The June issue of Vegetarian Times has section called “The 28-Day Eat Green Challenge.” I suggest the curious just check it out. In it, you’ll find a Veg Boot Camp with a 28-day meal plan full of healthy, tasty 400-calorie breakfasts, lunches, dinners and 200-calorie snacks.

If you go the magazine’s website, you can find all the details and if you think you’re up for it, sign up for the 28-day boot camp.

There are a bunch of myths out there that might be holding you back if you believe them. The magazine does a fine job debunking them with experts’ opinions. What myths do they tackle?

– You’ll wither away without meat
– You won’t feel satisfied
– You can’t afford it
– You’re too busy
– You won’t get all the vitamins and minerals you need

Even if you don’t take the challenge – which is fine with me, it took me 10 years to go vegetarian – then you can still find an abundance of healthy recipes in the magazine and the website. I tested one out Sunday night. I give it a hearty two-thumbs up.

Greek Lentil Salad makes for a filling lunch or a light dinner, coming in at only 228 calories per one-cup serving. It has 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. If you’re watching carbs, this salad has 33 grams of carbs.

Lentils are a great bean that don’t require soaking before you cook with them. They offer all the same protein and fiber benefits, though. Plus, they don’t take long to cook. Be sure to pick through the lentils to pick out any rocks that might have snuck in there.

To make it a little more filling, I stuffed whole wheat pitas with it. It’s a perfect salad for a cool summer night.

Greek Lentil Salad
Courtesy of Vegetarian Times
Serves 4

1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 small onion
2 bay leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 small cucumber, diced (1 cup)
3 medium tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh mint
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Place lentils, onion, bay leaves and 6 cups of water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain, remove onion and bay leaves, and cool.

Stir together shallot and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, mint and oil; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill for one hour or overnight. Serve topped with feta.

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About kareiner

I'm an active mom who loves to cook. I'm passionate about health and fitness. I'm no expert, nutritionist, personal trainer or miracle worker. I just like being active and I like good food.
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