Healthy lentil quinoa salad
Lentils and quinoa are plant-based proteins that can successfully replace a meat meal.
Today I’d like to introduce you to a delicious lentil and quinoa salad. The protein-rich base of brown lentils and quinoa is jazzed up with roasted peppers, feta cheese chunks, fresh parsley, and toasted walnuts.
This salad is one of my favorites and a great recipe to incorporate into your weight loss diet plan. This lentil quinoa salad will keep you fuller longer because it contains a hearty combination of protein and fiber.
Lentils are a great addition to a vegetarian diet. They are rich in protein, potassium, and fiber.
What are the ingredients for this lentil quinoa salad?
One can of 400 g brown lentils (240 g if drained).
Two large peppers, grilled
Two medium onions (or green onions, shallots), finely chopped
One good handful of chopped parsley
150 g organic cooked white quinoa (about 50 g uncooked quinoa)
Three cloves of garlic
75 g organic feta cheese
1 tsp of sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For garnish: chopped cilantro and a few toasted walnuts (optional)
If you want a milder flavor, use green onions or shallots instead of onions. They are easier on the stomach.
I used brown lentils because they retain their texture, while red/yellow lentils work best in soups and stews because of their mushy texture.
I find green and brown lentils are great in salads because they retain shape.
Why is quinoa so good for you?
If quinoa is not yet on your diet, especially if you are menopausal, want to lose weight, suffer from endometriosis, or have other hormone balance issues, now is the time.
This powerhouse of nutrients could be a great addition to your diet due to its high protein content, versatile preparation options, ease of use, and low cost. Quinoa is one of the best plant-based food sources for complete protein.
Quinoa will help you successfully replace some of your meat meals because this tiny grain is a powerhouse that provides your body with various essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids).
Quinoa has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties:
This great seed is a superfood rich in beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols that can help reduce inflammation and protect against health problems. It is a complete source of protein, including the nine essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce independently.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and nutritious:
Quinoa can be beneficial for people who need to follow a gluten-free diet. I do not have a problem with gluten. I have included quinoa in my diet because of its high nutritional profile and gut health benefits. Studies suggest that one serving of quinoa (about 40 grams) provides the body with a significant portion of the daily recommendations (RDA) for essential nutrients.
Consumption of quinoa is safe for people with celiac disease.
If you are looking for gluten-free grains, you should include quinoa. It is filling and nutritious.
It can be a good substitute for rice, which is high in carbohydrates.
Quinoa prevents weight gain caused by menopause:
This excellent whole grain is rich in essential nutrients but has fewer calories. Quinoa is a high-fiber food that can prevent menopausal weight gain. Menopausal women must ensure they consume enough nutrients to avoid health problems such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
Quinoa can provide your body with all the nutrients you need during menopause. It can also help control weight and even relieve some symptoms of menopause. Whole grains like quinoa and amaranth are part of a healthy diet that can help reduce diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Quinoa supports bone health:
Quinoa is a bone-building powerhouse rich in manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It can help prevent osteoporosis. Bone loss during menopause can lead to osteoporosis.
The drop in estrogen levels during menopause leads to increased bone loss. Including quinoa in your diet can support your bone health.
Quinoa helps your gut stay healthy.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of our immune system is in the gut. A healthy gut is critical to maintaining your hormone balance.
Quinoa was studied in a 2016 study for its function as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are “fuel” for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Studies suggest that quinoa may improve gastrointestinal health by balancing the number of good gut bacteria.
Lentils and estrogen:
Although lentils are a great source of plant protein and fiber, you must be careful and enjoy them in moderation, especially if you have endometriosis.
However, they are a great addition to your diet if you are menopausal. They are rich in protein, potassium, and fiber.
Lentils and endometriosis:
Lentils are a rich source of phytoestrogens, which can lead to estrogen dominance if eaten regularly. If you have endometriosis or other estrogen-dominance condition, remember that moderation is vital to avoiding hormonal imbalance, even when it comes to healthy foods.
Opt for organic lentils, as conventional lentils are heavily sprayed with pesticides containing xenoestrogens that can trigger endometriosis flare-ups.
Lentils and menopause:
As estrogen levels drop during menopause, foods containing phytoestrogens are thought to balance hormones, combat estrogen deficiencies, and support your health.
Eating foods with estrogenic properties (such as lentils, green beans, beans, cashews, almonds, berries, etc.) can be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
How to prepare this lentil and quinoa salad recipe?
Makes two servings
Step 1: Marinate the onions
Note: I prefer to marinate the onions because they are too strong, and I have a sensitive stomach.
Marinating makes the onions easier to digest and mellows the onion flavor. I use green onions or shallots, which have a milder flavor than onions.
Place the finely chopped onions, salt, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of olive oil, and one teaspoon of dried oregano in a medium bowl.
Mix the onions until they are evenly coated.
Let them sit for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2 Cook the quinoa
A rule of thumb for perfectly cooked quinoa is two parts water to one part quinoa.
Soak the quinoa for at least 20 minutes before cooking to remove its bitterness.
Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse with cold water.
Put the water ( according to the ratio) and the quinoa in a pot.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
Bring the water to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the quinoa has absorbed all the moisture. This usually takes about 15 minutes.
Stir the quinoa mixture repeatedly so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once the quinoa is cooked, cover it and let it rest.
Step 3 Grill the peppers
You can also buy jarred peppers at the store.
For small quantities, I prefer to grill them myself on the stove.
Place the peppers directly on the grate of your stove.
Use tongs to turn the peppers over on all sides.
When the peppers are evenly charred, place them in a medium bowl and cover them.
Let them steam for 30 minutes. This will allow you to peel off the skin easily.
Peel and seed them.
Cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Step 4 Prepare the lentils.
Put the lentils in a colander, rinse them under cold water and drain them.
Place a saucepan over medium heat.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil and the lentils.
Pour in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and stir.
Add one teaspoon of sweet paprika, turmeric, and pepper.
Mix until lentils are evenly coated.
Cook the lentils until the water is cooked out. This will take about 5 minutes.
Add the hot lentils to the onion marinade and stir. The lentils will absorb the flavor of the onions.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients: Grilled peppers, quinoa, garlic, chopped parsley, and feta pieces.
Stir until everything is evenly mixed.
Let the lentil quinoa salad sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Step 6: Assemble the salad
Place a handful of arugula on a plate.
Spoon over the lentil quinoa salad
Garnish the salad with fresh, chopped cilantro and chopped, toasted walnuts
Note: if you have endometriosis or other estrogen-dominance condition, try incorporating arugula into your daily salad. Arugula (wild rocket) has amazing anti-cancer and estrogen-blocking effects. It also rids the body of harmful estrogen, which is responsible for breast cancer, endometriosis, etc. Opt for organic arugula to avoid pesticides that mess with your hormones.
I look forward to hearing from you.
If you recreate this lentil quinoa salad recipe, let me know by sharing your pictures on Instagram and tagging it with the hashtag #healthywomanstyle, or leave a comment below.
Wishing you a new year full of inspiration, yummy salads, and good things,
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