Citrus Moroccan Carrot Lentil Salad

Okay so this is one of the recipes that has come out of myself wanting to be more adventurous with the meals I make for myself for lunch. Since we are eating at home more than before I wanted to venture out of my normal cooking and start cooking with other flavors or use them in a way I wouldn’t have thought of.

This recipe is one that has come from that challenge that ended up being really tasty! This will probably be a really good recipe to keep in mind in the winter since citrus fruits are at their peak.

If you are someone that likes to mix flavors this you will like this sweet/savory/citrus-y “salad”. And side note – I might just start roasting my carrots with these spices on the regular. I was never much of a carrot person when I was little. Something kids are suppose to love right? Not me. I did not like sweet vegetables – carrots and peas – you can forget about it. Slowly I’ve come to love them both, and for carrots especially roasting them. Well almost any vegetable, roasting I feel brings out all the flavors.

With this salad you have a serving of fruit with the oranges, vegetable with the carrots, and your protein with the toasted almonds and lentils. 1 cup of lentils = 18g of protein! And I don’t think I need to mention the amount of fiber, but trust me there’s plenty in this recipe.

I hope you enjoy venturing out to try this if this looks like something out of the ordinary!

Citrus Moroccan Carrot Lentil Salad

  • Servings: 4 lunch servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 c green lentils, dry
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 lb carrots cut on bias
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add green lentils and broth to a pan and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, toss your cut carrots pieces in a large bag with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. You can also add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if you desire. Toss to coat.
  4. Add carrots to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, moving them around about 15 minutes in.
  5. Once lentils are done cooking, drain any excess liquid and add to a large mixing bowl or dish to cool.
  6. Cook the chopped onion on a small skillet and wait until the onion is translucent and starts to brown slightly. (6-8 minutes) Once cooked, add them to the mixing bowl.
  7. Clean out small skillet and add 1/4 cup slivered almonds and cook on low constantly stirring so they don’t burn and toast the almonds. 3-4 minutes. Add to the lentil/onion mixture.
  8. Whisk together in small bowl the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the 1/4 cup lemon juice. Chop up the orange and get the fresh dill chopped.
  9. Once the carrots are done, toss them with the lentils, onion, and almond mixture. Wait for them to cool, about 10 minutes. Add in the dressing, dill, and orange pieces. Mix together. Add salt if needed.
  10. Eat immediately, or after cooled in the fridge. Enjoy!

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Lentils and Feta

Summer is here. Texas never is late with summer. I wanted to share this recipe with you as a quick, inexpensive, balanced lunch you can prep to have ready. I love having some sort of cold salad that I can prep ahead of time in the summer, and for me, the more lemon the better!

What I Look For In Lunch Preps

  1. It needs to be easy with simple ingredients.
  2. I need to be able to make it in 30 minutes or less.
  3. It has to keep in the fridge for 4 days.
  4. It has to be balanced nutritionally since this is a meal, and personally one of the most important to have balanced. Although it’s mainly important for your day to collectively be balanced.

Think about it, lunch is what keeps you going during the day. It’s something that needs to be enjoyable and satisfying. It shouldn’t weigh you down, but should keep your momentum going. For that to happen, it has to be balanced in protein, healthy carbs, and fats, and easily digestible and converted into energy that’s sustaining. That’s not to say you still won’t get the mid-afternoon yawns. That can be a time to unplug, have a snack if you need to, and take a mental break before heading into the evening.

Nutrition Balance

Throughout the day you want a healthy balance of your macro-nutrients. And having meals that also have this balance is a good way to ensure you are getting what you need.

  • 45-65% of your food should be from carbohydrates
  • 20-35% from healthy fats
  • 10-35% from protein

This recipe’s balance is as follows:

  • 48% carbohydrates
  • 33% fats
  • 19% protein

Balanced and ready to satisfy! Ready for the recipe?

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Lentils & Feta

  • Servings: 4 Main (2 cup serving size) or 6-8 sides
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup green lentils, dry
  • 2 3/4 – 3 cups water
  • 1 cup green onions, or about 5 green onions sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint, minced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 hot house cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup low fat feta crumbles
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired
  • Pita bread or crackers

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add quinoa, lentils and water. You can substitute some water for broth if you have it. And yes, you can cook green lentils with quinoa in the same pot! Let it get to a boil, and then reduce heat so that it is a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all your chopped vegetables and fresh herbs and mix together.
  3. Make the simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing by whisking together until it’s combined and creamy. Should only take a minute or two.
  4. Once the lentils and quinoa are done cooking, take off of heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Add them to the bowl of fresh ingredients.
  5. Add feta and dressing and mix together. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve or save for later. Eat with pita bread, crackers, etc. if you want.

I usually eat this with crackers. If you are using it for meal prep, the lemon is strong the first day, but after it has set for a day or so it calms down. You can always add more lemon to it if you want.

Enjoy! And as always, if you try the recipe, let me know how it turns out. : )