Chickpeas and Lentils Lunch Salad

This Chickpeas and Lentils Lunch Salad recipe is one of my favorite vegetarian recipes.  It really hits the spot when you're so hungry you could eat a horse.  If you have any leftover rice or quinoa, toss it in and you'll have a well rounded meal in a bowl. Like all great salads, this healthy recipe gets better the next day, and the day after that. ;D

HERE'S ALL IT TAKES

Makes enough to feed 8 as a side or 4 for lunch.

  • 1 cup Spanish or French lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups or 1 (15 ounce) can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, bring lentils, water, salt and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until lentils are tender but not mushy, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain lentils. Run cold water over lentils to cool completely. Drain and move to a large bowl that will hold the whole salad.

Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, zucchini, chickpeas and hot peppers to lentils. Drizzle on the oil and lemon juice. Give the salad a good toss without mashing the lentils. Taste before seasoning with salt and pepper. Season with salt and pepper as you like.

Like I mentioned earlier, adding a cup or two of leftover rice or some other favorite grain really makes this all the difference. Try it out and you'll see.