Try this zesty low-fat alternative to the more usual potato or macaroni salad to give your summer meals, picnics, cook-outs, and parties some real colorful zip.
Red bell pepper, tomato, scallions, oregano, fresh parsley, and heart-healthy olive oil combine with lentils and quinoa for a whole-foods, whole-taste salad extravaganza. Add a little cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard, and you’ve got yourself one fabulous salad.
1 1/4 cup French lentils (these hold their shape better than the more usual brown lentil)
4 2/3 cup water, divided
1/3 cup quinoa
1 large portabella mushroom, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups diced tomato
2 scallions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Mixed salad greens
1. Rinse lentils. Place in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; cook for 25 minutes. Lentils should still be somewhat firm.
2. While lentils are cooking, rinse the quinoa well and bring to a boil in 2/3 cup water; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix mushroom, pepper, tomato, scallions, parsley, and garlic. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and cayenne pepper.
3. When the lentils and quinoa are done, drain well and add to the mixed vegetables. Pour dressing over the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of fresh mixed salad greens.