It can be hard to get excited about salad, especially when you fall into a rut and find yourself making the same one over and over. Which pretty much describes my summer: lunch every day was a big bowl of greens, fruit, and a small handful of nuts. It was good! But it started to get a little ho-hum.
So when I made this Masala Lentil Salad from Gena Hamshaw’s latest cookbook, Power Plates, it was exactly what I needed to help me switch things up in the salad department. Sweet maple roasted carrots, French lentils, and greens all brought together with a fragrant Indian-spiced dressing that I’ve already found myself making several times for drizzling on all kinds of things. Even my 3-year-old cleaned her plate and asked for more.
I don’t know how I can stress enough that you need to make this salad. And now is a great time to make it with carrots in season and mint ready to harvest before the cold weather sets in.
I’ve been a fan of Gena’s blog The Full Helping for years and having gotten to know her a bit, I can say that in addition to being one of the most reliable sources for vegan recipes in the blogging world, Gena is also one of the kindest bloggers you’ll meet. If you’re a Hello Veggie reader, I’m guessing you’re probably also a reader of The Full Helping, but if not: you should be!
But back to the cookbook: if you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas for plant-based meals that have a good balance of macros to help you feel energized all day long, you’ll love Power Plates because that’s what it’s all about. These are well-rounded, satisfying recipes—the best kinds of meals that not only taste good, but make you feel fantastic after eating them.
In addition to this lentil salad, which I know I’ll be making again and again, I’ve got the Chai-Spiced Millet Porridge, Sesame Citrus Soba Salad, and Balsamic-Glazed Tempeh and Vegetables on my menu for this month.
Scroll down for the Masala Lentil Salad recipe and purchase Power Plates: 100 Nutrionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals on Amazon.
Photos by Sunny Frantz
Masala Lentil Salad with Cumin Roasted Carrots
- 1 1 ⁄2 pounds 680 g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1⁄2-inch (1.3-cm) rounds
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1 ⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup 200 g dried beluga or French green lentils, or 2 (15-oz, or 425-g) cans lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 ⁄2 red onion finely chopped
- 2 cups 60 g firmly packed baby arugula, mizuna, or baby kale
- 1 ⁄3 cup 13 g chopped fresh mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic pressed or finely grated
- 1 teaspoon minced or finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pomegranate molasses; toasted pumpkin seeds sunflower seeds, or pine nuts
- To make the salad, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the carrots in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with the cumin, and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to the lined baking sheet, spreading them in a single layer (you may need a second baking sheet). Season generously with coarse salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the carrots are fork-tender and browning.
- Meanwhile, cook the lentils as directed on page 15. Drain, rinse under cold running water, then let drain completely. (If you’re using canned lentils, you can skip this step.)
- Put the carrots and lentils in a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the onion, arugula, and mint.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until evenly combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until evenly combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, and offer the toasted seeds on the side.