Saturday, 10 May 2014

Variations in Mint, Part 1: Mint, lentil, and quinoa salad

Today was the first day in Montreal that actually feels warm, and it was a beautiful thing after the unusually long winter we've had. It was the first day since last summer that the weather forecast included the UV index! The sun was out today, the birds were singing, and people were out and about in t-shirts. It's starting to feel like summer may even arrive one day. I was feeling in a summer mood, and nothing says summer like fresh herbs. I picked up a large bundle of mint at the grocery store early this afternoon and by the early evening I had already used it up. It went into two different recipes. The first was a mint, lentil, and quinoa salad, and the second (which will be described in the next post) was mint iced-tea. Both taste like the summer we're all yearning for in Montreal!

I made this mint, lentil, and quinoa salad this evening before I went for a run and I let it marinate while I was running. By the time I'd gotten back and had stretched, the flavours had all mixed and melded together quite well. I have no doubt that this salad will be even better tomorrow. Feel free to mix up the vegetables to your taste. I think it would be good with a diced yellow or orange bell pepper. It could even be good with chopped fruit mixed in, maybe orange or honeydew melon. I made this salad with a bulgar-quinoa mix that I found at my local grocery store, but it would be just as delicious with regular quinoa. All of the volumes are approximate and depend on your personal preferences.

This is the quinoa-bulgar mix I used and it turned out great. Feel free to substitute regular quinoa.

Here's to the summer -- I sure hope it comes quickly!

Recipe: Mint, lentil, and quinoa salad
3 meal-sized servings or 6 side dish servings


-1 cup diced tomatoes
-1 cup diced cucumber
-1 cup chopped mint (loosely packed)
-1-1/2 cups cooked lentils (dried or canned)
-2 cups cooked quinoa or quinoa/barley mix

-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 limes worth of lime juice
-1 tbs dijon mustard
-3 tbs white sugar
-1 small clove of garlic
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix together all the salad ingredients. You may wish to wait until the quinoa has cooled somewhat so that it doesn't wilt the mint.

2. Mix together the dressing ingredients, then dress the salad.

3. Enjoy as is, over a bed of lettuce, or with some crusty bread.

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