The holiday season can get crazy-busy with all the activities. From gift-finding, gift-wrapping, parties to attend or host, travel and places to be. All happening while there’s lots of rich, sugary food – everywhere!
- 1 Cup 365 (Whole Foods Markets) Dried Lentils (these sprout everytime!) Note that lentils will double or even triple in size once reconstituted in water and expand again as they sprout.
- 1 Cup match stick or grated carrots - cut into fork-friendly lengths
- 1 Cup fresh red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 Cup fresh red onion or scallion, chopped
- 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
- 2 Tablespoons flax oil or olive oil
- Himalaya (pink) sea salt to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Avocado oil *OR* Olive Oil *OR* Grape Seed Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Amino's
- Wash lentils very well so they ‘sink’ when soaked. Use a veggie wash if needed.
- Place prepped lentils into a large bowl and cover with water at least 2” more than the lentils. All lentils MUST sink and be covered with water. No lentils should float or they will not soften!
- DENTAL ALERT! Lentils that are not properly soaked will not sprout and remain hard! Chewing on an un-sprouted lentil is like biting on a rock! So please take care to follow the sprouting steps. It's easy, but being thorough counts! =)
- Soak lentils for 8 hours or overnight.
- Rinse well and drain in colander.
- Place lentils/colander inside large bowl, cover with plate and let stand on counter top. This provides a warm, moist environment for sprouting and catches any water drips. Rinse lentils every eight hours, allow to drain, replace in bowl, cover.
- Allow lentils to sprout 8-10 hours on the counter top, and then refrigerate. I find the lentils are tender and more flavorful when they just being to sprout..so watch for the little 'tail' on the seed. Then give them a try to see if they suit you taste. They will continue to sprout in the fridge but at a slower rate.
- You may also find they sprout more quickly in summer months. Be sure to monitor this process and whisk them into the fridge before they become 'too sprouted'.
- Add ‘dressing' (or eat 'as is'!) and additional spices; veggies. Chill; EAT!
- Check out the pictures below to see how I sprout lentils using a collander, a bowl and a plate. The keys to success are to soak all the lentils properly per the above directions, then draining them and transferring to a colander for sprouting. I have a colander that fits into a large stainless steel mixing bowl and then I cover the bowl with a plate.
- Next keep them moist and at room temp while they sprout. Sprouting varies by time of year... and how warm the sprouting location is.
- For best success, check lentils every few hours during the sprouting process and transfer to the fridge when they sprout and tender and soft.
- Pro Tips for the Easy Sprouted-Lentil Salad Recipe
- Sprouting Tips
- The picture below shows lentils while in sprouting mode. They have already been soaked. After the soaking step (see above), transfer the lentils to a colander; rinse them well and allow to drain. From here the lentils will need about 8-10 hours to start to sprout.
- Encourage sprouting by creating a warm, moist sprouting environment
- I place the colander and lentils inside a large stainless steel mixing bowl and cover both with a plate as shown in the picture below. This allows air to circulate around the lentils but this keeps them moist and warm so they can sprout faster. Leaving them in the collander makes the next step of rinsing super easy too!
- Note that sprouting time varies by the temperature of your home.
- Summertime typically goes faster. So keep an eye on them noting when they actually start to sprout.
- Keep lentils moist during the sprouting step by rinsing them
- To rinse the lentils, simply remove the colander from the bowl, rinse under tap or filtered water and drain. Return to the collander to the bowl and cover both with the plate again.
- Check the Sprouts Often
- Check the sprouting progress every few hours over the next 8-10 hours. You're looking for a small white "tail" or sprout appearing from each seed. Be sure to check lentils from the bottom of the colander too as they tend to sprout there first. I recommend gently shaking the colander to 'shuffle' the lentils and get a look at how the sprouting is going below the surface level, especially at the bottom.
- Once I see any sprouting, I test a seed that has not sprouted by gently chewing on it. We're looking for a light crunch as if biting into an apple. If you're seeing some sprouts and the rest of the seeds are tender, your sprouting step is complete.
I actually think the lentils in the picture below are sprouted beyond their ideal sprouting stage. But I wanted the 'root' (sprout) to be really easy to see for this blog.
Refrigerating the Sprouts
Once the sprouting has begun, rinse them again, drain well and transfer them to a food storage container for refrigeration.
Dressing the Lentils for a Simple Salad
Below are my ready-to-eat lentils in the refrigerator storage container and about to be 'dressed' with a simple dressing of flax oil, Himalaya (pink) sea salt and fresh lemon juice. For best flavor, allow the 'dressed' lentil to marinade for a few hours before serving chilled.
Storing the Sprouted Lentils
Often I will "dress" a portion of the lentils and store "undressed" lentils for later in the fridge. They seem to stay fresher without dressing. Always keep the lentils chilled once they start to sprout. It slows down the sporting process so they stay tender and tasty longer.
Getting Fancy with Black Lentils
Below is a pic of some black lentils. After getting questions about trying other lentils, I decide to try black lentils next. They worked fine following the same steps as outlined above. I did find the black lentils have a more earthy taste and could also be an option for adding a new color to the plate. Here's a pic of my black lentil salad with carrots, parsley and red onion added for color. Choose from a 'dressing option' above.
- 1-16oz bag of frozen corn. Source frozen, roasted corn for an extra flavor boost.
- 1 - 15oz can of black beans. BPA free canned beans preferred.
- 1 Small, fresh, red pepper
- 3 Limes
- 1/2 Cup olive oil (for dressing)
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (for pan)
- 3/4 t Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground cumin
- 1 Cup fresh cilantro
- Gather your batch cooking container and your salad supplies. You're going to make your salad right in the container and save cleaning extra dishes! A 9 cup / 2.1 Liter container will be a good size.
- Place 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a 12" frying pan and set range heat to medium. Tip frying pan to spread olive oil to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. HINT: It may be easier to spread the oil as the pan warms.
- When the oil has coated the bottom of the frying pan.
- Add the frozen corn.
- Cook/sautee the corn for several minutes, until thawed and warmed. Do not over cook or corn will become dried out and hard. Adjust the range heat as needed when your pan comes up to temp. Sample the corn as needed for 'doneness' and remove from heat when it's hot but tender to the taste. Allow to cool away from the heat. You can leave it in the pan unless there are over cooking concerns.
- While the corn is cooking . . .
- Get your batch prep container handy. As you finish your PREP items, add all but the lime juice into your selected batch prep container.
- Open the black beans and drain into colander in the sink. Gently toss and rinse with cool water being careful not to damage the beans. Allow to drain.
- Wash and dice the red pepper, removing and tossing the stem and seeds.
- Wash and mince the fresh cilantro. Reserve to a bowl (it can be the same bowl as the pepper)
- Juice 3 fresh lemons and reserve the juice being careful to remove any seeds that mixed in. Reserve to side - separate cup.
- Once the corn has cooled, add it to the rest of the ingredients in the batch prep container. Stir gently from underneath and the sides of the container to avoid crushing or breaking the beans.
- Fill a 1 cup measuring cup with 1/2 cup olive oil and pour oil into a cereal bowl.
- Add the juice from the 3 limes
- Add the salt
- Add the cumin
- Stir or whisk ingredients together
- Pour dressing over the corn-bean mix and stir gently to coat.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours or over night to allow flavors to marinade together
- Serve chilled.
- I usually remove my serving size from the fridge 15 minutes before serving to allow the olive oil to warm slightly. Olive oil tends to 'gel' up in the fridge and allowing the salad to warm just a few minutes lets the oil return to a liquid state.
- Bon Appetite!
- Just for Fun! I named this salad after our pet parrot, Doc. Doc loves this salad and will scamper over to a plate and start nibbling on the corn and beans. Friendly reminder, if you have a parrot, never use avocado oil in any foods you may offer to the parrot. It's toxic to parrots.
- 1 head of green OR purple organic cabbage
- 1 cup chopped organic parsley OR cilantro
- 2 cups shredded organic carrot
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well before pouring over cut veggies.
- 2/3 cup oil such as avocado oil OR grape seed oil OR olive oil.
- 1/3 cup of vinegar such as Apple Cider Vinegar, Champagne Wine Vinegar OR white wine vinegar.
- 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard (if you like a bit of a spicy flavor)
- 1 teaspoon of Himalayan (pink) sea salt (fine crystals)
- Couple twists of black pepper from your pepper mill
- Clean and chop cabbage into thin slices and chop again as needed to create fork friendly sized pieces.
- Clean and chop parsley, red onion, and carrots. I usually chop these in slightly different sizes to add visual interest. Add to mixing bowl.
- "Toss" with 2 forks to evenly mix all ingredients.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients and evenly pour over salad.
- Toss salad to coat greens with dressing.
- Cover salad and let chill in refrigerator. Over night is best, but even an hour will work in a pinch. Toss greens every few hours to evenly marinade the salad.
- I will often ‘make’ this salad right in one of my BPA-free refrigerator storage containers so I have one less bowl to clean.
- If I can only find really large cabbage, I will section the cabbage and reserve a couple of ‘chunks’ for steaming or stir-frying as a veggie for another meal.
- Don’t have time to clean your food processor? Buy the pre-shredded organic carrots and use the leftovers on green salads later in the week.
- I have been enjoying avocado oil in my cooking lately. I find it at Costco. It is heat stable up to 500 F degrees and doesn’t gel up when chilled in a salad like olive oil does. I find the flavor blends in wonderfully with other foods…anything that would taste good with avocado!
- I am a big fan of Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. It blends really well with the fresh foods in this slaw and is a nice healthy option to a standard red wine vinegar.
- Always stir, taste test and adjust spices and dressing before serving.
- NOTE: Out of respect for your busy life, I may list a couple of options for a given ingredient. This is designed to allow you to choose something that you already stock in your pantry, or try something different and new! My options are listed in order or preference…note the use or ‘OR’ to distinguish between choices.