Haloumi, Tomato and Spiced Lentil Salad

Salads are boring…..said NO ONE ever! And this salad’s pure existence is quite possibly the greatest evidence to this rather controversial statement.

With that being said here is the recipe to this marvelously magical salad.

IMG_2713

Recipe

Haloumi, tomato and Spiced Lentil Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander + fresh*

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 x 400g cans brown lentils

2 Lebanese cucumbers, chopped

350g mixed tomatoes, chopped

½ cup olives

50g mint leaves

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 lemon, zested, juiced

2 tablespoons olive oil

180g packet Haloumi, cut into 1cm thick pieces

Directions:

  1. Drain the cans of lentils and rinse over a sieve.
  2. Chop the vegetables and haloumi as stated. Combine the spices, onion, lentils, cucumber, tomato, rocket and parsley in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and half the oil. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the haloumi and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.
  4. Serve the salad on a large plate, topped with haloumi and sprinkled with lemon zest to serve.

Notes:

*Only if you have any fresh coriander lying around

**The original recipe uses rocket but I substituted it based on what was available

The amount of olives is only a suggestion

Source: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/38210/haloumi+and+spiced+lentil+veggie+salad

IMG_3160Firstly, I sincerely apologise for the minimal photos, of which are poor quality. I made this salad quite some time ago and haven’t had another chance to take some better photos of it in the mean time. It tastes so good I cant wait long enough to take a photo, haha!!

Secondly, can I just praise the wholesome yumminess of the “hero of the dish” (as my dad would say) that is haloumi!! By golly, to think that I only just discovered haloumi over the past year or so (I know, what’s wrong with me!!) is incredible. But it is by far the god of cheeses. There is nothing better than piece of salty fried haloumi to make you feel better, and combining it with lemony lentils just makes it all the more better.

This salad practically goes with just about anything and is so versatile. You could probably add baby spinach leaves to it as well. It’s up to you.

My family and I had it with some lamb and tzatziki in a wrap and it was great! I am not a very big fan of red meat and I managed to gulp down this meal with room for seconds so that says something. You could even have it as a main meal, it is that delicious.

The lowdown:

The main component of this salad is of course, lentils. Lentils are one of my favourite foods and they’re quite a powerhouse too.

They:

  • Are a healthy source of protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, zinc and iron.
  • Can help lower the risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure.
  • A cup of lentils contains a whole 16 grams of fiber, which is roughly 64% of the daily value.
  • Have a low glycemic index, which keeps you fuller for longer and provide a slow, sustained release into your body. This is great for endurance sports because it gives a constant supply of energy to your muscles.
  • Are great for vegetarians as a substitute to meat because of their high protein content.
  • Also provide 87 percent of the iron men need daily (in a cup) and 38 percent of the amount a woman needs. They are a nonheme source of iron (plant) so they aren’t absorbed into the body as easily heme sources (meat). Eating them with vitamin C and meat can increase the amount of iron you consume.
  • Are cheap and easy to make if using dried.

Due to lentils being a complex carbohydrate, they are ideal for eating before a training session or competition. However, IMG_2713due to their high amount of dietary fiber some people may feel some abdominal discomfort (i.e you may need to go to the toilet – a lot) after eating them.

Tanisha xx

References:

http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/lentils-workouts-2984.html

http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/benefits-eating-lentils-16643.html

http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/local/story.html?id=8ec44eff-c4fa-4208-a70d-eccccc5c240c

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-lentils-4547.html

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