I’m sitting in one of my favourite local cafe’s with little Mikaela Mae strapped to my chest in a Moby wrap (it’s a genious invention this wrap!). This place is my favourite spot to sit and work from and I’m excited that I get to squeeze in another morning here being a little productive on the blog.
During these first two weeks with our baby I have managed to be surprisingly productive in the kitchen. I find that being organised and having pre prepped salads and other meals ready in the fridge is key to making healthy meals – quickly and sometimes one handedly.
A good friend of mine recently came to visit and brought some salads from one of the local Chelsea cafés. That salad is what inspired this particular blog post… It was amazing and I instantly fell in love with the combination of beets, soft goats cheese & roasted hazelnuts. I have since successfully replicated my own version and love serving this as either a small appetiser or as a main dish on a big bed of greens with grilled chicken or other protein.
|Lentil Beetroot + Goats Cheese Salad|| |
- 300 gm cooked beets (about 3 medium sized beets), diced
- 2 cups cooked black lentils (puy or beluga lentils)
- 60 gm (2 oz) soft goats cheese
- 2 handfuls rocket leaves
- 60 gm (2 oz) roasted hazelnuts, halved
- balsamic glaze
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp sun dried tomato paste
- Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Add cooked lentils and diced beets and stir with a spoon until the vinaigrette dressing is well distributed.
- Distribute a bed of rocket leaves on four plates and add a couple of spoonfuls of lentil + beet salad on top.
- Add goats cheese and roasted hazelnuts and drizzle a little balsamic glaze over the salad before serving.
About the ingredients…
I picked up some fresh beets at our local farmers market last weekend and roasted them in the oven with a bit of salt until they were tender (you can steam them as well). Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also have natural anti-inflammatory properties and help aid the body’s natural detoxification processes.
When cooking with lentils, I always go for puy or beluga lentils cooked al dente (about 20 mins) to avoid them getting mushy. I simply cook the lentils in boiling water with a 1/2 tsp of salt added to give them a bit of flavour. Nutritionally black lentils are great as they are rich in anthocyanins – the same powerful antioxidants found in red wine and dark berries, such as blueberries & blackberries. Anthocyanins help protect against free-radical cell damage and protect the body from diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Black lentils pack an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and plant protein (1/2 cup contains 24 gm protein!) and are also high in fibre with all of 18 grams per 1/2 cup – over half the daily recommended fibre intake.