This salad is gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar free, full of plant protein, easy on the digestive system, full of fibre & iron, naturally sweetened with figs & a tad of maple syrup & crispy & crunchy!
AND WAIT FOR IT… YOU’RE GETTING DOUBLE THE PLANT-BASED PROTEIN, DOUBLE THE FUEL, DOUBLE THE FUN: NOT ONLY QUINOA, BUT ALSO LENTILS! Wanna read all about why I’m so big on plant-based protein? Check out my full post all about how plant-based protein is legit the “new black“: It’s 2017: Let’s Plant-Based-Protein-It-Up! Ya Dig? (No Pun Intended!)
It makes for a great lunch to take with you on the go & also pairs well with meat, seafood or fish as a side dish!
I kept the dressing super simple, so simple that you can season, toss & serve it out of just one bowl! The dressing is made coconut vinegar, lemon, coconut aminos, apple cider & unsweetened rice vinegar with a tad of pure maple syrup & some very simple spices! Healthy deliciousness doesn’t have to be complicated, my loves!
So what are some of the beneficial ingredients in here?
- Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat, contains almost 2x as much fibre as most other grains, contains high quantities of lysine, iron & magnesium, as well as riboflavin (B2) & manganese. It’s full of antioxidants, helps boost metabolism, is low on the glycemic index & gluten-free. Research has shown it may help maintain healthy blood sugar & cholesterol levels, reduce heart disease & promote healthy digestion.
- Sprouted lentils: First off, the fact that they are sprouted makes them a lot easier on the digestive system, but more importantly, the phytic acid & enzyme inhibitors have been removed, which means that the nutritional content, quality & value is amplified & our bodies are better able to absorb the nutrients. Sprouted legumes, grains, nuts & Seeds are richer in vitamin C, B vitamins (thiamine, niacin & riboflavin), as well as fibre & protein. Lentils are an amazing source of plant-protein & are full of fibre, which make them great for healthy digestion. They’re a good source of iron as well, which means they are effective in promoting sustained energy, fighting fatigue & energy slumps & may be helpful for those fighting iron-deficiency anemia.
- Figs are very high in fibre & an amazing source of several essential minerals, such as magnesium (great for muscle recovery, healthy digestion & maintaining healthy sodium & electrolyte levels in the body), manganese, calcium (bone strength & joint health), copper & potassium (which also helps maintain healthy sodium levels & lowers blood pressure), as well as vitamins K & B6. They also provide tons of natural sweetness!
- Chia seeds: Full of fibre, plan protein & healthy omega fatty acids. They are great for boosting digestive health, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, lowering blood sugar levels & a great way to add nutrition & health to your meals without adding bulk. They are also super inflammatory, which makes them beneficial for just about anyone! Inflammation is the root cause of most disease & I’m all about using food & nutrition to help fight it. Anti-inflammatory benefits are beneficial not only for the nervous & digestive system but also help heal from the inside out (a.k.a. they’re great for your skin!).
- Coconut aminos: Contains tons of enzymes, which help boost digestive & gut health, as well as amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which are crucial components in ensuring that all vital organs & systems in the body function optimally, such as digestion, mental clarity & stability & metabolism. Coconut aminos are also WAY LOWER in sodium than soy sauce or tamari, making them a good option for those trying to cut back on sodium & reduce their unhealthy salt intake.
- Apple cider vinegar: Helps improve nutrient absorption, helps with acid reflux, bloating, inflammation, heartburn & gut health, boosts metabolism, contains tons of antioxidants & fights free radicals, eliminates candida overgrowth, regulates blood sugar & lower blood pressure, helps with detoxing the liver & other organs in the body & helps regulate HDL (or “good”) cholesterol. To read all about the benefits, click here: The Nitty-Gritty on None Other Than APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!
NOW HOW IS THAT FOR A HECK OF A SALAD, AMIRIGHT?
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 cup of whole-grain cooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup of cooked organic sprouted green lentils, cooked according to package directions
- 1 heaping handful of cilantro
- 3 organic dried figs, diced
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp. of organic chia seeds (or flax seeds)
- 1 small red onion, diced
FOR THE DRESSING:
- The juice of one fresh lemon
- 2 tbsp. organic coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp. organic coconut vinegar
- 2 tbsp. raw organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. organic unsweetened & low-sodium rice vinegar
- A splash of pure organic maple syrup
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. minced onion
- 1 tsp. mixed dried herbs
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Cook your quinoa & lentils according to package directions. Once it’s ready, let it cool before adding it to the bowl with the rest of your ingredients.
- While the quinoa & lentils are cooling, prepare the rest of your salad ingredients.
- Add all your salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Season the salad directly in the mixing bowl & toss until all your veggies, grains & salad ingredients are evenly coated.
- ENJOY! :))