After 3 cinnamon rolls, 4 slices of chocolate caramel yule log, and a ton of other delicious food, it’s time to get back on track!
Don’t get me wrong, I still have many sweet recipes coming this month but to start 2018 right, let’s have a salad. But not a boring one please! This quinoa and lentils salad is packed with texture thanks to the roasted almonds, crunchy pomegranate arils, and a bit sweet with the addition of balsamic roasted persimmons. The dressing is a refreshing basil, tahini, and sesame sauce. Ready?
We start by roasting the persimmons and almonds together on the same baking sheet. Roasting them together saves time, because no one wants to spend 2 hours making a salad.
Almonds are coated with maple syrup, sesame oil and a sprinkle of salt, while persimmons are simply drizzled with balsamic vinegar. After 15 minutes in the oven, almonds are golden brown and persimmon slightly softer and caramelized.
For the greens I used a mix of arugula and baby spinach, you can use kale, shredded lettuce, or swiss chard, or any leafy green you have on hand. I only used 1 cup of packed greens here, but if you want a greener and lighter salad, feel free to add more.
Next comes the dressing that takes this salad to the next level. It requires only 4 ingredients: fresh basil, creamy tahini, toasted sesame oil for a nutty flavor, and white rice vinegar to add some zing.
Mix everything together, chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours and enjoy!
This salad is a meal in itself, it’s filling, nutritious, and packed with protein thanks to the quinoa and green lentils. I like to drizzle a bit more tahini on top because one never has too much tahini.
If you try this healthy salad, let me know in the comments! I wish you all a Happy New Year!
- 1 cup (170g) quinoa
- 1/4 cup (50g) green lentils
- 2 and 1/4 cup (530ml) water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (45g) raw almonds
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 persimmon, sliced
- 2 tbsp (30ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate arils (from 1/2 pomegranate)
- 1 cup packed (about 30g) greens (spinach, arugula, etc)
Basil Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup (70g) tahini
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp (15ml) white rice vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 2-3 tbsp water
- Combine the quinoa, green lentils, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa and lentils are soft. Drain excess water if needed and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the almonds with the salt, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Stir to coat. Transfer the almonds to the baking sheet. Arrange the sliced persimmon on the same baking sheet and drizzle with balsamic vinegar (I used about 2 tablespoons).
- Bake for 15 minutes, stirring the almonds and flipping the persimmon slices halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Combine the quinoa, lentils, roasted persimmon, almonds, pomegranate arils, and greens in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the basil tahini sauce and stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Cover with plastic film and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
Basil Tahini Dressing
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender, or small electric mixer, and blend on high speed until smooth and almost no basil leaves remain. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 281
- Sugar: 6.3g
- Fat: 12.3g
- Carbohydrates: 35.2g
- Fiber: 6.9g
- Protein: 9.9g