Quinoa & Lentil Salad

Before we get to this quinoa salad recipe, let’s chat.

I’ve come to the realization that my personality is completely different in respect to food than it is in other aspects of my life.  Let me explain.

I would NOT consider myself an adventurous person–at least not on my own accord. I’ll try scary things with enough “encouragement” (READ: peer pressure), but if it’s my own choice, I’m staying home, y’all.

A brief list of “adventurous” things I’ve done because my friends asked me to:

  • skiing
  • tubing
  • white water rafting
  • cliff-diving
  • canoeing (I know. You’re going to tell me this is not adventurous, but I really don’t like water.)
  • ziplining
  • this dumb thing where we hiked part of the way down into the Grand Canyon and then climbed about 8 feet up this random rock structure…
This seemed way more adventurous in the moment, but my mom was really far away (and freaked out) as she ZOOMED WAY IN to take this picture of us. Just tell me it’s cool, okay?

I realize that my list likely does not impress you, but it impresses me  because these are NOT things I would have done on my own. I’m going to Disney World with my mom and sisters this weekend, and they’ve made it clear that they’re going to drag me onto the Tower of Terror. (In case you’re not familiar with Disney World, this is the ride that carries you up several stories and then drops you an unknown number of times. Why would I want that?)

Now is probably a good time for me to stop bragging about my accomplishments and get to the point of what I’m trying to say. When it comes to food, I don’t need someone to drag me into an adventure. I love trying new recipes, new cuisines, and new cooking techniques. I’m (mostly) getting over my fear of failure in the kitchen because there are just too many delicious things to try to be worried about how perfectly I execute a recipe on the first try.

 

One of my most recent “first tries” was cooking lentils. I’d eaten them plenty of times before but somehow never cooked them myself. We’re aiming for variety in our kitchen though, so I had to take a shot at lentils. The first time? They tasted just fine, but they definitely didn’t absorb all the water they were supposed to absorb. The second time? We ended up with this salad.

If you try Quinoa & Lentil Salad at home, I’d love to hear what you think! Share pictures with me on social media by tagging @thesavvyplate on Instagram or by mentioning my page The Savvy Plate Blog on Facebook!

An easy recipe for quinoa salad complete with lentils, fresh veggies, vinaigrette, and herbs.

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Quinoa & Lentil Salad

A fresh quinoa salad with lentils, veggies, and an easy dressing. Perfect for a side dish or an easy lunch.

Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Savannah

Ingredients

for the salad

  • 1 cup dry lentils I used green.
  • 1 cup dry quinoa I used tri-color.
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes quartered
  • fresh parsley to garnish

for the dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa and lentils according to package instructions. If you don't have that option, follow these: For lentils, add lentils to a pot with 2.5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 35 minutes. Remove from heat, and drain excess water.  For quinoa, add the quinoa to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  2. Chill cooked quinoa and lentils in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, you can prepare the dressing. Add all dressing ingredients to a small jar and whisk with a fork until combined.
  3. Combine quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Stir in dressing to taste. I added about 2/3 of the dressing (about 1/2 cup) and saved the rest in a jar (refrigerated) to add to each serving as preferred. Top with parsley and serve cold.

An easy recipe for quinoa salad complete with lentils, fresh veggies, vinaigrette, and herbs.

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