Gluten free/ Dairy free/ Grain free/ Vegan/ Nut Free
This is an incredible salad for the fall and winter months! It’s hearty, delicious, nutritious, and will leave you feeling the perfect amount satiated!
The base of this dish is lentils which happen to be one of my most favourite affordable plant based protein options (although I must admit it’s a close race for favourite between them and chickpeas).
This is such a great dish to make for the week to have on hand for lunches or use it as a side dish for other meals. I find it especially great to enjoy around Thanksgiving time – and works as a great side for your big turkey (or plant based) dinner!
As the name suggests, I recommend using whole green lentils (as opposed to red ones or split ones). Lentils are super straight forward to cook and quite easy to digest for the majority of people!
For the squash in this dish – the sky is the limit! I personally recommend using Kobucha squash as it’s one of my faves – but butternut, acorn, or another type would work really well too!
Alright – now onto the recipe for this Warm Green Lentil Squash Salad!
For the Lentil Salad:
– 1 cup dried green lentils
– 1 large squash (such as Kobucha, Butternut, or Acorn)
– 2 medium purple potatoes (I like using these for a pop of colour, but you could also you white potatoes instead)
– 1 medium white onion
– 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
– Optional: a few handfuls of dried craisins! and/ or radish (I add this for another pop of colour and some ‘bitterness’)
For the Dressing:
– 1/3 cup tahini (I recommend using a more liquid/ runny tahini if you can find one – otherwise you will just need to add more water to the dressing)
– 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
– 2 Tsp. maple syrup
– 1/4 cup water (more if needed for thinning)
– Salt & pepper to taste
– Pre-heat your oven to 400°F
– Chop potatoes into cube sized pieces, drizzle with oil, and place on a cookie tray
– Cut your squash in half, lengthwise, and place on a separate cookie tray, add a few splashes of water (ensuring the water gets beneath the squash as well)
– Pop the potatoes on the bottom rack of the oven, and the squash on the top rack
– At about the 15 minute mark, mix the potatoes. Remove the squash and poke holes in the skin to allow more heat to perforate through. Add a few more splashes of water to the tray to ensure the squash is staying moist!
– The potatoes will likely take 22-30 minutes to cook (or more depending on your oven) and the squash will take between 35-45 minutes
– In the meantime while the potatoes and squash are baking in the oven – cook your lentils according to package directions on the stove top (they are very forgiving to cook with so don’t stress!). I typically do a 3:1 ratio of water to lentils and then drain and rinse after cooking. A tip is to ensure to NOT over cook them! If they overcook they will get mushy. They should still be firm, but not crunchy when you remove from the heat
– As the lentils are cooking; finely chop the white onion. Preheat a pan on medium, with a generous drizzle of oil. Saute the onion until golden brown
– Chop the cilantro into small bite sized pieces
– Prep the dressing by placing all ingredients into a cup or medium size (500mL) jar. Mix until very well combined. Add additional water to thin as needed. You can also add a small drizzle of olive oil
– When you squash is done cooking, flip over so it is face up. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Then scoop out middle seeds. After this, chop the squash into cube sized pieces. NOTE: you can eat the skin on cooked squash! I personally love it, but if it’s not your thing, feel free to discard!
– Assemble your salad by adding lentils to a serving dish, along with squash, potatoes, and onion. Garnish with cilantro, and craisins and/ or radish if you’re using
– Keep the dressing separate and allow people/ yourself to garnish individual servings as desired!