I haven’t worked in my office for almost 4 years now (crazy!), but I remember the lack lustre lunches I would take. I’m fairly frugal I don’t think buying lunch everyday is a healthy or prudent thing to do (for myself, no judgment if it works for you!). I would take the same boring salad everyday and sometimes leave it in the fridge for the next day and go buy something more inspiring because I couldn’t take another day of the same old thing. It’s way better to take a variety of foods to fuel a more well-rounded nourished body. This Celery Lentil Salad would have been a total win back in the day. It currently is saving me on the extremely busy days when I’m running kids here, there, and everywhere.
This salad is perfect for make ahead situations (hello potlucks with vegan or vegetarian friends) since the lentils can sit in the vinaigrette without getting soggy. That’s the thing about salads. Who wants soggy lettuce for lunch? Never, ever me. This salad includes celery leaves since food waste is heavy on my mind these days and using the entire celery stalk reduces waste. Not to mention that they taste exactly like celery and are quite refreshing. Park the leaves on top to avoid any soggy foods.
Lentils are a fantastic way to support Canadian pulse farmers (read more on that here) and a really fantastic source of plant-based iron. I talk about the benefits of lentils, including their 70-80% of the daily intake value of iron and fibre, in this blog post for a Lentil and Cauliflower Dill Salad. The high iron and fibre content mean that this so-called salad will leave you feeling full for sometime without weighing you down.
This post is brought to by Half Your Plate Canada as well. This is a Canadian initiative to put more fruits and vegetables on to each and every plate, half the plate specifically. The theory goes that more fruits and veg inevitably lead to healthier lifestyles and I’m all for preventative disease measures in our lives. It’s also a great way to incorporate more plant-based eating into our family meals. Although I don’t measure half our plate for veggies at every meal, I do always try to serve our veggies first. That means the salad is often prepped ahead of time (when I make salad I usually make enough for 2 meals) and I have salads out waiting for the kids when they get down from their bath. They are usually finished all their vegetables before I even get the rest of the meal to the table. I also adore the bath before supper so that we aren’t rushing anyone to finish quickly.
This dressing!!! The recipe calls for a big batch of the dressing. There will be some dressing leftover from this salad and it will last all week-long, taking salads from bland to whoa. It’s loaded with vibrant lemon and sherry vinegar flavours that pair perfectly with lentils and celery. It’s a bit on the acid side as I find both lentils and celery need that little extra push to get the flavours going. If you find it too acidic add a bit more olive oil, 1-2 tsp at a time.
Both my kids and husband either needed goat’s cheese or a savoury yogurt (like the one from this recipe here) to fully enjoy this recipe. I found it perfectly hearty and satisfying without the need to add anything else. It’s a great salad for those days that you need to hit the reset button and put your health first.
Yields Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
Lentil Celery Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette for a healthy salad or a lunch that will keep you satisfied and full.
5 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 cup dried whole green lentils
- 1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
- 1 whole garlic clove (skin on)
- 4 large celery stalks, including leave, chopped into small bite size pieces
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 5 tbsp sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 kosher salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- Place lentils, bay leaf, and garlic in a medium sauce pan and cover by at least 2" with cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until lentils are cooked (tender with a tiny bit of bite in the centre). Drain, rinse and discard bay leaf and garlic. Let lentils cool.
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl or a jar and mix until well combined.
- Toss celery and lentils together with desired amount of dressing*.
* dressing makes enough dressing for multiple salads. Will keep in an airtight container for 5 days in the refrigerator.