The moment I decided to get creative again and keep it simple by combining this time only the three ingredients, lentils, pumpkin and beetroot, I knew I was going to love it and cook it over and over again!!! And today I am very exited to share my latest version of this healthy and unique treat with you guys.
If you are already following my blog, then you must have figured how much I love lentils in all colors as they have the two most important qualities for me – they are high in protein and fiber and low in calories.
Lentils are also fully loaded with folate (also known as folic acid). If you are pregnant or planning on becoming so, make sure you get your daily recommended intake of folate by indulging in one cup of lentils.
Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin well known for its importance during pregnancy and prevention of birth defects such as brain damage, paralysis or a stillborn child. Apart from that, several studies have shown that folate can also reduce depression, risk of developing breast cancer to mention only a few. So keep in mind that lentils contain more vitamin B2 than any other unfortified plant food.
Even though the lentil is the super food ingredient in this salad, pumpkins are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, protein, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They are also an excellent source of carotenes that convert into vitamin A in the body.
Here are a few steps to follow in order to get the best ones.
1. After removing the seeds from the pumpkin, wipe them off with paper towel.
2. Then place them on paper bag and let them dry overnight.
3. Transfer the seeds to a tray, lightly oiled, and spread them out in one single layer.
4. Roast the seeds for about 15 to 20 minutes at about 160ºC (~320ºF). Take note that roasting them for a short time at a low temperature helps to preserve their healthy oils.
So, if you also love pumpkin, this is a great salad. And I dare to state this as my salad simply tastes divine with a smooth buttery flavor – definitely my new baby. Can’t wait to hear what you think! :)
If you love this recipe, you might also want to check out my other favorite creations with the three ingredients (lentil, pumpkin and red beet):
- 150 g (3/4 cup) green lentils
- 500 g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes
- 2 (about 200 g) beetroots, cut into thin wedges
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 250ºC (~450ºF). Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the red beets and pumpkin in a single layer on the tray (of course, after you peeled, deseeded the pumpkin and cut it in pieces). Drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until golden and tender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 450 ml water to a boil where you add the onion, garlic and lentils (first, rinse them well and drain) and let them simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. When it’s done, set aside to cool.
- Place the lentils, extra green onions and a splash of olive oil in a bowl. Gently stir to combine. Add the red beets, pumpkin and fresh parsley to the lentil mixture. Et Voilà!