Lentil and Quinoa Salad

I haven’t had lentils in a looooooong time, mainly because I usually reach for chickpeas or other beans. Lentils take a little bit longer to cook, so that’s probably why. I guess I could buy the canned variety, but they’re just not the same. Yesterday I was kind of craving them, which is something I thought I’d never say. Honestly though, I wanted a good lentil salad where the lentils still had a bit of bite and there was a good freaking dressing! So I got in the kitchen because when I’m craving something, I get to work.

We didn’t have a lot of veg in our fridge, but we had everything you need for a good lentil salad. Quinoa, red onion, parsley, hummus, balsamic, olive oil, and of course, lentils. Yes, I included hummus in the dressing. Hummus makes EVERYTHING better, and in this case it adds flavour and some volume to the dressing. The parsley and red onion add some great colour to this salad. Oh, and I used red quinoa, which is fun! As far as I can tell it tastes the same as regular quinoa, it just has a nice colour. Try it out!

The lentils only took about 25 minutes to get tender. I took them off as soon as they were soft, because I didn’t want them to get too mushy. Then I mixed them up with the quinoa, parsley, onion, and that awesome hummus and balsamic dressing! So simple and so yum and so fresh. On the side of my salad I had some more hummus (duh) and sweet potato, which went really well. If you want your salad a bit heartier you could try tossing the sweet potato right in there.

Hope you enjoy this light salad that’s perfect for a quick lunch or side dish!!

Lentil and Quinoa Salad

Serves: 2 as a main, 4 as a side dish

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Give your lentils a little rinse, then toss them in a small pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down a bit and let the lentils simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until they’re tender but still have some bite, and most of the water has been absorbed.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the hummus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper.
  3. Toss together the quinoa, cooked lentils, parsley, and red onion with the dressing. Serve with more hummus, and some roasted sweet potatoes.
  4. Enjoy!

This is one of my favourite simple salads to make, and I’ll definitely be making it again sometime soon. See ya later!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

It’s SUMMA TIME and there’s an abundance of zucchini! Zucchini is delicious fried, roasted, in a fritter, and in salad, but today we’re using it in a Pasta Bake. Our guest star is the olive, which adds so much dang flavour into the sauce. If you’re not a fan of olives you can leave them out, but you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t be a party pooper and just throw them in there!

We’re using my fave kitchen tool again- the amazing veggie peeler- to create little zucchini rolls for the bake.

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The pasta that I used was Go Go Quinoa brand macaroni, and it usually takes about 4 minutes on the stove top to cook. I baked it in the oven for 10 minutes, and it was just slightly past al dente. So if you’re using just regular wheat macaroni or small shells (you don’t want to go any bigger with your pasta selection) that normally take 7-9 minutes to cook in boiling water, I bake them for 10-15 minutes for an al dente texture. My recipe below doesn’t account for that, so just keep in mind what kind of pasta you’re using when baking this bake.

And that concludes my Ted Talk about how great this pasta bake is! DEFINITELY try it out and let me know what you think because it is now officially one of my favourite recipes. Here it is!

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 200 ml can of sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Go Go Quinoa Macaroni **see note above if using a different pasta**
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the beans, olives, tomatoes, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, chilli flakes, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, use the veggie peeler to create as many zucchini ribbons as you can. The centre part of the zucchini, where the seeds are, won’t make nice ribbons, so you can dice it up at toss it in the sauce, making sure it has at least 10 minutes to cook in there.
  3. Add the macaroni into a small glass loaf pan or baking dish. Roll up each zucchini ribbon into a little rosette and place evenly spaced out in the pasta, like this:
  4. Once the sauce is done simmering, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and bring it to a hard simmer before removing it from the heat. Scoop enough of it into the baking dish so that the pasta and zucchini are fully covered, about 2-3 cups of sauce. You may have some sauce leftover that you can eat with the pasta after it’s baked or save for later.
  5. Cover the glass dish with foil (shiny side down) and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Hope you like this pasta dish! See you Wednesday;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Creamy Avocado Balsamic Dressing

Hi there! Today I have a delicious and creamy dressing recipe for you guys. It may not be a looker but it’s sure packed with flavour and goes great with any salad combo! I used some delicious fresh basil from my plant (throwback to last year when I did Herb Month) and it adds so much!

This dressing takes five minutes to whip up, and has all of the taste of a balsamic dressing, but is much creamier and has that extra basil in there. It’s the consistency of a good ranch dressing. I like it because oftentimes I’ll make vinaigrettes, and it’s nice to have something more unctuous. Isn’t that a great word? When something is unctuous you know you want to eat it.

For lunch lately I’ve just been roasting a bunch of veggies (including sweet potatoes, of course) and tossing them with some lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a sick dressing like this one. It just ties everything together and still tastes so light and fresh! Some other things you could slap this on would be sandwiches, wraps, and bowls. It’s so good! Here’s the recipe;))

Creamy Avocado and Balsamic Dressing

Serves: 4

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 small leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mash the avocado very well in a small bowl. You want as few lumps as possible.
  2. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients, then serves in salads, wraps, bowls or sandwiches.

Hope you like this dressing! It’s great for summer;))

Yours Truly,

MyDayIsBooked