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29 May 2017

Green Goddess Salad


Now that I've finished uni I've been working a lot more, which means I need to prep for lunch in advance. With the weather a bit warmer I've really been enjoying salads for lunch and whilst I've been happily eating a marinated chickpea salad for the past week, I thought it was about time for a change! 


In Slovenia we went on a day trip around the Trivoli National park, we saw some incredible sights, including many waterfalls, lakes and mountains and I'll post more about that on my full recap of the holiday later on. Anyway, the driver of the trip loved to cook and said his favourite ingredient was pumpkin seed oil - it's native to a few countries in Europe, including Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. The oil itself has a very strong flavour that is quite nutty, it beautifully compliments fresh vegetables and is really delicious mixed with a little apple cider vinegar. 



I've kept the flavours simple in this salad, to bring out the natural tastes of all the ingredients and also keep it light. The dish itself is made up of rocket, spiralised courgette, sugar snap peas, avocado, herbs and seasoned green lentils - it really is a salad fit for a goddess, drizzled with that beautifully green pumpkin oil dressing. If you don't have a spiraliser, you can cut the courgette into ribbons using a vegetable peeler - alternatively many shops now sell pre-spiralised veggies. If you can't get hold of the pumpkin oil, then sub this with your favourite nutty-tasting oil! I'd also love to hear what your favourite tasting oils are to use in cooking, so leave your thoughts in the comments below!


Whilst tasting delicious this salad is also a nutritional powerhouse, full of vitamins, minerals, protein and good fats to keep you fuelled through the afternoon. Pumpkin seed oil is rich in linoleic acid which is needed for proper brain function and metabolism, as well as vitamin E - an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The green veggies are also rich in vitamin C - which is an antioxidant and also enhances the absorption of iron, as well as vitamin K, which has a role in blood clotting and vitamin A - also an antioxidant which contributes to our eyesight. Along with a whole range of vitamins and minerals, avocados and the pumpkin seed oil also aid absorption of the fat soluble vitamins in this salad - A, E and K. The lentils provide fibre, which not only keeps our digestive systems in check, but also slows digestion and can keep us fuller for longer, the protein is required by our bodies to maintain our enzymes, hormones, chemicals and of course our muscles and the iron is important for our blood oxygen levels. As you can see, this salad really packs in the nutrients and even better yet, it tastes fresh, fragrant and is a joy to eat - so get cooking and tuck in! 


Green Goddess Salad | Serves: 2 | Time: 20 mins

You'll need

Frying pan
Wooden spoon
Chopping board
Knife
Small dish for dressing

Ingredients

Lentils

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic 
  • 1 can green lentils, drained
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives 
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Veg

  • 100g rocket
  • 1 courgette/ 1 cup spiralised courgette 
  • 100g sugar snap peas 
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Dressing 

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seed oil/ other oil of choice
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper 

Method

  1. Finely dice an onion and fry with a splash of olive oil for 5 minutes, then crush in 2 cloves garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Add in the lentils, Worcester sauce, herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook on a low heat whilst you prepare the veg. 
  2. Spiralise the courgette or cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, alternatively use pre-spiralised courgette. Slice the sugar snap peas in half length-ways, thinly slice the avocado and finely chop the herbs. To make the dressing, mix the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small dish. 
  3. Arrange the salad onto two plates, top with the warm lentils and drizzle over the dressing. Serve up and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx