Tomato Tomatillo Quinoa Lentil Salad

Adding some grains and/or legumes like quinoa and lentils to our salads helps to make them more hearty, a timely adjustment as the seasons change and temperatures drop. Including some tomatoes, tomatillos, herbs and a creamy dressing keeps it fresh, light and flavourful. This salad is substantially better the second day and onward because the flavours all mellow out and come together well. The onions and herbs soften, and the whole salad is much more delicious ad balanced.Cherry tomatoes are prevalent this time of year, often ripened on the vine and at their sweetest and plumpest, providing a nice contrast in heavier salads like this.Tomatillos look like green tomatoes underneath their papery skins but they have a more complex flavour with some tart and citrus-like notes. They can be found amongst the fresh produce in grocery stores or in ethnic or produce markets.Whole grains and legumes can be difficult for many people to digest. Oftentimes it is not the food we eat that causes the issues but how that food was prepared. Soaking and sprouting grains and legumes (or buying them pre-sprouted and dried like this) breaks down the outer barrier that is meant to protect the food from being fully digested. Grains and legumes are technically seeds, if you plant them in the right conditions a new plant bearing more of those grains and legumes will grow. Thus they have a natural protective mechanism in the outer layers that ensure they get into the ground intact, even if they are eaten and passed by animals. The sprouting process breaks down this barrier and allows our digestive systems to fully break down the food and utilize the nutrients easily. Different grains and legumes need varying lengths of time to sprout but if you want to try it at home simply search whichever item you want to sprout on the internet and many specific directions and guidelines will pop up. Alternatively, they can be bought already sprouted in the health or natural section of grocery stores and in health food stores.

Tomato Tomatillo Quinoa Lentil Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups quinoa
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup tomatillos, chopped (5 medium sized)
  • 2 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped finely
  • ⅔ cup chives, sliced (or green onion)
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, minced (around 1 cup whole)
  • ¼ cup red onion chopped finely (fro ¼ onion)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced (around ⅓ cup whole)
  • Creamy Dijon Dressing
  • ¼ cup good quality mayonnaise (vegan options are widely available in the deli or vinegar and oil section of most grocers)
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (or a couple dashes of salt to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Place the quinoa and lentils in a large bowl. Add in the jalapeños, chives, cilantro, onion, parsley and all the dressing ingredients. Toss thoroughly until evenly combined.
  2. Add in the tomatoes and tomatillos and toss gently until they are evenly dispersed.
  3. This salad is better the second day and onward because the flavours all mellow out and come together well. The onions and herbs soften, and the whole salad is much more delicious ad balanced.
  4. It can be served at chilled or at room temperatures and extras can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.

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