Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

​​​No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as incentive to join the growing movement, every week we're offering an animal-free recipe.

Celebrate the start of spring with a medley of fresh carrots, celery and nutty, firm green lentils. Served warm atop a bed of mixed spring greens, this recipe is light but nutritious, perfect for a burst of mid-day energy. And it's easy -- much less involved than last week's lasagna!

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

You will need:

1 1/4 cups dried green lentils 3 garlic cloves 3 bay leaves Salt 3 medium carrots 1/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin) 1 lemon 1 celery stalk 2 tablespoons fresh or freeze-dried dill Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Several cups of baby spinach, spring mix, mesclun -- or any tender greens

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

1. Crush the garlic cloves.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

2. Rinse the lentils and pick over to remove stones. Place them in a medium pot and cover with plenty of water. Add the garlic and bay leaves and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

3. Peel and thinly slice the carrots.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

4. Squeeze the lemon into a measuring cup and use a fork to remove any seeds.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

5. Mix the oil, lemon juice and a pinch or two of salt in a large bowl (or a small bowl with an airtight lid that you can use to cover the bowl when you shake the dressing).

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

6. After the lentils have cooked for fifteen minutes, add the carrots and 1 teaspoon or so of salt. Continue to cook for about ten minutes; the lentils and carrots should be tender, but not falling apart.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

8. Place the dressing in a large bowl and add the celery and the dill.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

9. By now, your lentils are probably perfect. Drain in a colander and sift through with a fork, removing the bay leaves and crushed garlic.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

10. Add the lentils to the dressing and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes -- this is a recipe that tastes better the next day, as the lentils fully absorb the flavors.

Green lentil salad for a light lunch on Meatless Monday

Serve warm atop a bed of two to four cups of fresh salad greens for a protein-filled meal. Non-vegans might want to add some feta or goat's cheese to the mix, too.

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