It’s a breadless week for Jews following the rules of Passover and for those addicted to carbs that can be tough going. Especially at lunch, when a tasty sandwich begs eating. I like matzo just as much as the next guy, but how many times can you slather it up with butter, pizza toppings and peanut butter? (Hopefully not at the same time.)
Look at this bread-free week as a time of renewal. You always said you wanted to eat more salad, now here’s your chance! Of course, lettuce can wilt in a heartbeat, especially if you are packing your lunch to go, and, I don’t know about you, but somehow, I feel hungrier when I’m done with a bowlful of Boston Bibb than before I started. I know it’s roughage, which is great for you and keeps the gut working and all that Dr. Oz stuff, but, the mind is a powerful thing and when I’m offering it some lettuce, a few tomatoes, and a cucumber slice or two, well, my food-obsessed mind tends to get a bit panicky.
If this happens to you, it’s a good time to reach for the grains.
Take lentils, for example.
Red lentils are a win win.
Not only are they tasty, but they are incredibly healthy too. In fact, Dr. Oz called them one of “The Best Anti-Aging Superfoods of 2011.” Okay, this was on his blog in 2011, but trust me on this, these grains and their benefits have been around forever and remain the same today: rich in protein and loaded in fiber, two properties that help make us feel fuller.
So, you don’t have to fight the urge for a thick piece of Challah or a crunchy baguette. You don’t have to sigh at the thought of another piece of lettuce, either. Plus, this power-packed, savory dish has a vinaigrette, so, whether you choose to eat it warm or cold (both viable options) you can still call it a salad, or better yet, a Supersalad!
- 1 butternut, peeled and cubed
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 sage leaves, torn
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/3 cup malt vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toss the butternut, paprika, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and brown sugar together. Season and roast until soft, about 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool. Add the torn sage leaves.
- Boil the lentils until soft but not mushy, 20 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water.
- Set aside to drain.
- Dress the lentils with the vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, mustard, smoked paprika, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Serves 4