Lentil And Chickpea Salad

A salad a day keeps the doctor away - or was it an apple?

Anyway, here’s a filling, really tasty and healthy salad - a warm lentil and chickpea salad which is bursting with flavour and is filled with nutritious ingredients.

I’ve been making an effort recently to eat more of different types of pulses – lentils, beans and chickpeas. Pulses are low in fat whilst packed with protein and fibre - as well as a variety of minerals.

All pulses have a low GI and help to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood, making your sugar level stay even and making you feel full for longer.

This is all part of my attempt at cutting down on animal protein while increasing my vegetable intake – including both raw and cooked vegetables. These days I eat a large raw food salad once a day.

I must admit that to feel fully satisfied I often crave some kind of animal protein to accompany my vegetables. But since I’ve been eating more pulses, it seems to have reduced my craving for animal protein. I’m not prepared to give it up, but I’m eating more vegetarian food these days.

I am using Puy lentils which I personally think is much tastier than green lentils - but either will do, of course.

For 4 people:

150g, 5½oz, 0.7cups Puy lentils – or use green lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

Thumb-size piece of ginger, finely grated

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin

Pinch of chilli flakes

200g, 7oz, ripe small tomatoes, quartered

Salt and pepper

2 medium-sized carrots, coarsely grated

400g, 14oz, tin/can of cooked chickpeas, rinsed

Fresh coriander (cilantro)/parsley/chives

1.    Rinse the lentils under plenty of cold water and cook according to pack instructions.

2.    While the lentils are cooking, place the oil and chopped onion in a medium-sized pot over a low heat. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute before adding the tomatoes. Season with some salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down.

3.    Add the grated carrots to the pot and cook for a further minute before adding the chickpeas. Heat through before turning off the heat.

4.    Drain the lentils and add them to the pot along with a couple of handfuls of chopped herbs - such as coriander (cilantro), parsley and chives (I personally add all three).

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