Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lentil Salad, Melon Salad & Veggie Rice Bowls

I was a vegetarian for years before I had the girls.  When I was pregnant, it was impossible for me to get enough protein because I don't eat eggs, couldn't eat fish or enough beans, so I ate small amounts of meat.  

Jason preferred a diet centered around meat.  When I was a vegetarian it was hard for me to touch or prepare raw meat, so once I started eating meat during my pregnancy, I kept eating it so that I wouldn't mind preparing it for Jason.  Jason felt it was important that we eat the same things as a family for dinner and so I continued to eat meat, although to be honest I never crave meat or really enjoy eating it (with the exception of seared tuna).  

This summer, Jason has made a commitment to running.  He is training for his first 15k and setting his sights on one day running the New York City Marathon (Tough Mudder is also on his Bucket List).  He is also seriously considering becoming certified to teach yoga.  With this commitment to health, has come an interest in eating better and an open-ness to more of a vegetable and grain centered diet--the diet that I favor!

Here are three of our favorite recipes that we have been eating and enjoying lately:

Lentil Salad with Grapes

I love lentils, although love may not be passionate enough for how I feel about these earthy, savory, slightly spicy legumes.  I crave them.  I have been making this awesome salad once a week for dinner and eating leftovers for lunch:


1 pound lentils 
1 cup halved, seeded green grapes
1 cup halved, seeded red grapes
1 cucumber, halved and sliced
1 red pepper, seeded diced
1/2 cup almonds toasted and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Directions:

  • For the Salad:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes. Place lentils and remaining salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

  • For the Dressing:
  • Place the lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly, until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
    Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well.

Vegetable Rice Bowls

I have also made these Summer Rice Bowls, which Jason has requested that I make again, saying they were "very balanced" and he felt good after eating it :)


  • 1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled to room temperature 
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil 
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved


  1. 1. Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss until well blended. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to rice mixture; toss. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

  2. Melon Salad
  3. with Mint & Prosciutto

Perhaps, my favorite thing, which I have only made once but am planning to definitely make again is Melon Salad with Prosciutto (yes, meat, I know; I am not committing to be a total vegetarian because the salty prosciutto with the mint and sweet watermelon in this salad is to die for!)  I am planning to make this for my uncle soon!


2 cups sliced seedless watermelon
2 cups sliced seeded honeydew
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 ripe nectarines, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
4 cups arugula
1/2 oz. shaved Romano cheese
hot pepper flakes (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients; sprinkle with salt.  Whisk together juice, olive oil and honey.  Drizzle over melon mixture.  Arrange arugula on plates, top with melon mixture, sprinkle with hot pepper flakes and Romano cheese.

I am linking with

FamilyConnectionSummerbutton5" />