About 5 weeks ago, I sprained my ankle pretty bloody badly. Playing the violent game of tennis, no doubt. My self-inflicted injury earned me an emergency room visit, x-ray, crutches, and a mobility boot. Hell, even zombie eyed London commuters were purposely making eye contact to signal I could have their seat.
Nobody makes direct eye contact on London public transport. Ever.
Now, what does this have to do with warm lentil superfood salad?
After 2 weeks of house confinement and three more in a mobility boot, I came to the realization that getting fit is really an exercise in irony. Think about it — you try to get fit because you wanna lose some fat. Eventually, you hurt yourself while getting fit and just end up getting fat again.
But it didn’t matter since you know that I had the eyes on the prize. The prize being the loss of some pre-emptive pounds before my trip home (yeah!) to doughnut and burrito land. My injury meant that I had to eat right to avoid that vicious exercise cycle, and this simple, easy to prepare, super nutritious salad helped me stay on track.
I am happy to report that no extra pounds were gained! But as I sit here writing this post on the plane with my golf ball sized ankle aching, I can’t help but think about the ER nurse who took one look at me and said, ‘’See that’s why I don’t do sport.’’
Superfood Lentil Salad
For the salad
250g pre-cooked beluga or puy lentils*
85g cooked beetroot, packed in its juices**
1 small red pepper
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
50g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp mixed seeds
1 small handful basil, chopped
1 small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
For the dressing
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
1. Heat the lentils following the package instructions. Keep aside and warm.
2. In small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and season to taste. Set aside.
3. Prepare the avocado, beetroot, cucumber, red pepper by cutting them into ½cm (¼ inch) cubes.
4. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients, add the dressing, toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.
* You can use tinned lentils, but I think they are a bit bland compared to the pre packed ones. You may find you will have to add more seasoning.
** Slightly pickled beetroot is ok to use. Just watch how much balsamic vinegar you use!