Healthy lentil salad recipe with cauliflower and a serious dill flavour punch. A delicious make ahead meal that’s a perfect meal prep for a week of lunches.
As far as healthy eating goes the title of this post is screaming “I’m the healthiest”. Well it was until I decided that my husband would probably not eat it unless I somehow made it more appealing to him.
Enter the cheating move of adding the tiniest bit of bacon. As in 4 strips. Crumble that bacon up, toss it in there and we have lift off of friends!
The thing about lentils is that they are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re packing heat in the iron and fibre departments like no one else around (as in 70-80% of daily requirements!!!!) and are firmly rounded out with large quantities of essential minerals like zinc (it’s cold/flu season people – zinc counts), magnesium and folate. BUT, lentils are often … well, bland. They don’t have a ton of flavour and for a lot of people, like my guy, they just don’t taste great. So what to do about that?
Let’s throw in a tiny bit of bacon, some mushroom for some faux-meat feels and a load of dill. I have no idea why, but I was craving dill for quite sometime. Since we haven’t had lentils in a while I thought that the 2 could become the best of friends. Sure enough they did.
I added some Lemon Dill Yogurt because I find if I add savoury yogurt to most dishes my kids will inhale it. Which they did in this case. Given the nutritional value of this dish (thanks cauliflower for all that Vitamin C – you’re a lifesaver!) there is no way I was letting my kids off the hook – they were eating it. No discussion.
Wile recipe testing I also made the cauliflower into a purée and placed the lentil dill salad on top – it was really good if you like cauliflower purée (just steam with about 1/4 cup of water or broth in a pot with a lid and then blend).
Looking to make this salad vegan or vegetarian? Omit the bacon! It’s only there for some extra flavour that my husband loves. If you’re not into it – no prob! Skip the meat.
Healthy lentil recipe with cauliflower and a serious dill flavour punch. A delicious make ahead meal that's a perfect meal prep for a week of lunches.
- 1 cup dried green lentils (a can of rinsed lentils will also work, just skip the lentils cooking instructions below)
- 1 clove garlic, with skin on
- 1 medium bay leaf (dried or fresh)
- 4 stripes bacon*, sliced into thin pieces (about 1/4" wide)
- 150 grams sliced mushrooms, such as button (white) or cremini (brown)
- 1 small yellow (cooking) onion
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut up into large floret pieces
- 3 tsp olive oil, divided (1 tsp for lentils and 2 tsp for cauliflower)
- 1/2-1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill leaves
- 1/2 lemon juiced
Place lentils, garlic clove (leave the skin on), and bay leaf in a large pot and cover by at least 2" with water. Bring to a firm boil for 5 minutes and then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Drain, rinsed and discard garlic and bay leaf. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375° F. Toss cauliflower pieces and 2 tsp olive oil together on a baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, until cauliflower is soft and starting to brown.
In large skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until just starting to brown and cook, about 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms and onions to pan. Cook without stirring very often (so mushrooms brown properly) for 7-10 minutes. Remove bacon, mushrooms, and onions from skillet using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Toss cooked lentils, cauliflower, bacon, mushrooms, onions, lemon juice, and dill together. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
* if you'd like to make this vegetarian or vegan, omit the bacon and cook the mushrooms and onion in a vegetable oil (1-2 tbsp) of your choice.