Weekday Vegetarian: A Leftover Lentil Salad


When I was first married, my mother-in-law told me not to bother serving my husband leftovers because he and his sister had always refused to eat what they called "used food". And, in that way that only new daughters-in-law can be, I replied then he will go hungry.Almost 27 years later, my husband is still quite happy to eat my leftovers, which is good, because I am the leftover queen. Often I cook extra of something so I can just reheat it the next day, but I also love taking bits and pieces of different ingredients in the fridge that are left over from other recipes and tossing them together to see how they come out. Some meals are more successful than others of course, and the one I made this week was a big hit.

I made some extra lentils when I was cooking them for the lentil patties I made because I knew I wanted to make a salad the next day. Then I hauled out all manner of vegetables that I had and started cooking. The point of this is to use up what you have in the refrigerator, so use the following recipe as a guideline and toss in whatever you have in your own fridge. Just think of it as starting with the firmest vegetables and adding layers to the cooking until you have the most fragile vegetables going into the skillet.

This is a really healthy dish with no dressing or condiments added, just a bit of salt and pepper and the wonderful flavour of the lentils and vegetables together.

Lentil Salad with Spinach

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 portobello mushroom, diced
1 slice eggplant, diced
2 cups cooked lentils
3 canned tomatoes, or fresh if you have them, roughly chopped
1 handful of spinach, roughly chopped
cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream for garnish

1. In a large skillet heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onions and cook over a medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pepper, mushrooms and eggplant and cook until just tender. Add tomatoes and lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add cilantro, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a garnish of sour cream and a bit more cilantro.

More Lentil Recipes

Soup of the Week: Coconut Ginger Lentil Soup
Try This Frugal Lentil and Onion Dish
One Pot Meals: Tomato Lentil Curry

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