Here’s something that just sort of materialized all on its own without much brain power on my part. #win. I like to have some sort of legume to last me the week– things like black beans, black-eyed peas, and chickpeas are popular with my taste buds at the moment, not only because they’re so good but also because they’re packed full of fiber and protein. Plus, they’re very filling and mix easily and wonderfully with other vegetables to make super yummy breakfasts and lunches– think spicy scrambled egg whites + black beans; cumin-spiced chickpeas + spinach + feta cheese; smashed black-eyed pea cakes + paprika yogurt sauce. All sounds tasty, doesn’t it?
And so when I threw together some cooked lentils I had stashed in the fridge along with broccoli and napa cabbage from the farmer’s market and sauteed them for a quick lunch a few days ago I was thrilled to discover how delicious it turned out. Cholula and I are like this and so I couldn’t resist adding a few shakes of it over the top before eating and honestly I’m glad I did because it made the meal. A few crumbles of fresh feta cheese and this lentil salad was heavenly. Comforting, healthy, spicy, fresh. I never thought something this nutritiously sound could ever be considered “comfort food” but now I totally get it. I ate spoonful after spoonful and wanted more when I scraped the bowl clean.
Warm lentil salad with broccoli, napa cabbage + feta cheese
Serves 1 hungry girl
2 tablespoons good olive oil (I love Felippo Berio olive oil)
1 cup small broccoli florets
S + P
2 cups roughly chopped napa cabbage, thick stems removed
1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils, drained (follow instructions on bag)
Feta cheese, crumbled for topping
Cholula hot sauce, not optional– mandatory
Handful of delicate pea shoots, this one optional– but very pretty and freshens plate
// Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper, letting them saute until bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cabbage and season with more salt and pepper, tossing until softened slightly, another 3-4 minutes. Tumble in the lentils and mix to warm through, a couple minutes. Serve on a pretty plate and crumble with fresh feta cheese and a super generous sloshing of Cholula hot sauce. Decorate with pea shoots right on top if you’d prefer. Best eaten straight away but is also good at room temperature.
Make it yours:
*Change up the vegetables: zucchini, spinach, corn, sweet potatoes– I’ve used all of these and they’re just as tasty
*Top with toasted walnuts for an earthy crunch
*Cholula is what makes this dish but if you can’t take the heat (get out of the kitchen, j/k), a squeeze of fresh lime juice will do the trick too
*Use grated Parmesan cheese instead of feta for a healthier option OR just use any cheese you got– it will still taste good