When I’m meal planning for the week I try to designate one night as “bean night.” This can range from a Mexican bowl of pinto beans to a bean soup to a prepared lentil salad like this one. Bonus points if I can make it in advance! Dinner hour with a baby is so chaotic that every minute we can save by prepping earlier in the day helps.
I love lentils, but after this meal I had when I was barely pregnant with morning sickness just beginning, I just couldn’t go near them for a while. But they are so nutritious, easy to prepare and versatile that I should have them once a week at least!
With saving time on my mind, I picked up a bag of frozen butternut squash. I LOVE b-nut squash, but I absolutely hate the peeling, scraping and dicing that goes along with it. I figured I’d give this a try. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as a freshly prepared b-nut and I was right, but for the ease of putting it in the oven frozen with a few daps of butter, salt and some maple syrup drizzled on top, I give it an A- and will be buying it again.
Seamane and Rob gave us this amazing jar of maple syrup for Christmas. So thick and ….syrupy!
I had wanted to use kale for this recipe, but Matt came home with collard greens, and they ended up being just as good. Chewy greens for the win.
We enjoyed the salad warm for dinner one night and served it atop of salad greens for lunch the next day. Finally we made lentil burgers with it the next evening – just added an egg, mashed it into patties and cooked in some sunflower oil. So many ways to morph the leftovers.
By the way, that’s goat feta on top – the most amazing feta cheese there is!
Smoky Maple Lentil Salad
Yield 4 Servings
This salad can be served warm, room temp or chilled. Mix and match veggies, greens and cheeses as you like! The smoky maple dressing gives it lots of flavor, but feel free to omit the Liquid Smoke if you like.
- 1.5 cups dry green lentils (they whole their shape better than brown)
- 10 ounces of butternut squash (about 2 cups)
- 1 head of greens – collards, kale, chard
- 5 ounces feta or goat cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp garlic gold or olive oil
- 2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- sprinkle black pepper
- 3 drops Liquid Smoke (optional)
- Cook lentils according to package, seasoning with veggie broth or salt
- Toast walnuts in a dry skillet until fragrant
- Roast butternut squash for 30 minutes at 400* in a little olive oil and sprinkle of maple syrup until browned on the edges
- Steam greens until wilted
- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and whisk to combine
- Mix all together and top with cheese