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Currant-Lentil Spinach Salad

Cook the lentils ahead of time and refrigerate them so you can assemble this salad at the last minute. The amounts of cheese and dressing in this recipe are just enough to provide rich taste without endangering your waistline, so don’t cheat! Use the variations to adapt it to the flavor theme of the day.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby spinach (prewashed)
  • 1/3 cup cooked lentils (page 229), well drained
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and lentils.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, vinegar, oil, water, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the dressing to the spinach mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the nuts, currants, and cheese.

Variations

Cranberry-Lentil Mixed Greens Salad with Feta and Pecans

Replace the spinach with mixed greens. Replace the walnuts with pecans and add 1 tablespoon dried cranberries instead of the currants in step 3.

Per serving: 301 calories, 17 g fat (3 g sat fat), 10 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 6 mg cholesterol, 381 mg sodium

Curry, Lentil, and Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Add 1/8 teaspoon mild curry powder to the dressing in step 2. Omit the currants and replace the feta with Gorgonzola in step 3.

Per serving: 254 calories, 16 g fat (3 g sat fat), 10 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 4 mg cholesterol, 424 mg sodium

Orange-Lentil Spinach Salad with Feta and Pecans

Use the juice of 1/2 orange (about 1/4 cup) instead of the water. Replace the walnuts with pecans and omit the currants.

Per serving: 278 calories, 16 g fat (2 g sat fat), 9 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 2 mg cholesterol, 452 mg sodium

Pecan, Lentil, and Tomato Mixed Greens Salad

Replace the spinach with mixed greens. Replace the walnuts with pecans and add 1/2 sliced tomato instead of the cheese in step 3.

Per serving: 263 calories, 16 g fat (2 g sat fat), 10 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 399 mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of David L. Katz, MD