Full of savory roasted veggies and hearty lentils, this Roasted Veggie and Lentil Salad makes an easy packed lunch or side dish for roasted chicken.
Dieting makes me angry. The moment you tell me I can’t have something then that is all my mind can think about. Every “diet” I have ever tried, read, or thought about really hard has taken something that I love to eat away. And everyone one of them ended with me shoving my face full of bread and cookies (Atkins anyone?). And don’t try to give me the “substitute an Oreo for this brown disc shaped thing that tastes like the bottom of your shoe,” routine.
I’m not buying it.
I want food. Real. Food.
And you know what else I can’t stand about “diets”? When they completely ignore that there are other parts of the world that aren’t California. They all assume that you can just run down to the store and pick up agave nectar, white miso, and cardoons. Now, I’m a big fan of new ingredients, but if I have to go on a wild goose chase to put dinner on the table then it’s not going to work! And I can guarantee that my kids won’t eat it either.
That’s another thing! Kid-friendliness. I’m willing to bet that most people who go on diets have kids and have to feed them. I’m not saying someone should invent the “chicken nugget and pizza diet”, but they should at least consider that someone out there has to convince a 7 year old to eat this crap.
So, here is my plan and I’ll let you know if it works. I am not dieting this year. This year I’m healthifying. I will strive to eat a vegetable or fruit with every meal. I will strive to pack my lunch so that I will not run like a wild banshee to the McDonalds drive-thru. I will get up off my stump and walk, garden, vigorously clean, or play that silly dance game on the Wii for at least 30 minutes every day. I will not consider mini marshmallows a sensible snack. I will make better choices, but I won’t beat myself up for ordering a pizza every once in a while. That’s my plan. What’s your plan?
I realize that this may not be “kid-friendly”(although my son liked it), but this is a great make-ahead lunch dish. Heat it in the microwave until warm before you eat!
- ½ head of cauliflower chopped
- 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 leek white and light green parts, chopped, or small onion
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 t . chicken base or bouillon
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower, carrots, leek or onion, and tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a roasting pan and roast for 20-30 minutes or until the veggies are just tender (not mushy!).
- Meanwhile, cover the lentils with water in a medium saucepan. Add the chicken base to the pot. Simmer the lentils for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are just tender (not mushy!). Drain and set aside.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust vinegar and oil to your taste.
- Toss together the lentils, veggies, cooked chicken and dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm or room temperature and top with crumbled goat cheese or feta.