After the indulgence of Easter I really wanted to start the new week with a fresh, healthy meal. Start as you mean to carry on and all that. So I whipped up this tasty lentil salad, flavoured with dill, capers & lemon. Serve with some peppery rocket and top with smoked salmon to turn this side into a quick but nutritious main meal.
Where I live there are lots of little convenience shops to buy extra food staples without having to go to a huge supermarket, but the problem with this is that sometimes the selection leaves a little to be desired. No fresh dill anywhere, I literally tried about 3 stores. So this recipe is using dried dill (which still packs a good bit of flavour), but you can substitute it for fresh if you are lucky enough to have some.
The great thing about this meal is there is a real minimal amount of prep to do. The only part that requires any cooking is the lentils, which literally take just over five minutes in a pan with the other fresh ingredients. This dish is tasty hot or cold, so can be made ahead too.
Lentils – Best for fibre and protein
I know lentils aren’t exactly everyones favourite, on their own I suppose they are a bit bland. So using some fresh herbs and infusing them with sauteed onions does the trick. Lentils are such a great source of protein and fibre, plus a nice lentil salad mix makes a change from serving your meal with rice/quinoa.
I also forgot just how nice of a herb dill is, it’s got such a lovely mild flavour that compliments fish perfectly. This is a real spring-time meal, gone are the days of hearty winter stews. It’s time to get creative with salads, which I love. Dill is definitely a new favourite of mine.
I made this lentil salad for my boyfriend and I earlier in the week and we both committed to keeping the health streak going until the weekend. We each have a huge foil-wrapped italian easter egg staring at us in the dining room though. The resolve is strong, well at least until Friday!
We’ve both let the healthy diet slip a bit over the weekend just gone. With Easter you can’t help but load up on hot cross buns & chocolate. Not only that but our friends love the novelty of not having to get up for work on Easter Monday. So perhaps a few too many beers were had on Sunday night (which obviously meant a trip to the fish & chip shop the next day, god it gets worse!). So I was super glad to load up on this nutritious meal.
Salmon & Lentil Salad With Dill & Lemon
A quick to make, fresh tasting salad. Serve with peppery rocket.
- 1 tin Brown lentils
- 1 Onion
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 tsp Dried dill
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1 Lemon
- Salt & pepper
- 1 stick Celery
- 1 tbsp Capers
- 150 grams Smoked salmon
- 1 Handful Rocket
- Cherry tomatoes
Chop the onion into small cubes. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add the dill to the pan and continue to heat for 1 minute.
Drain and rinse the lentils well under a running tap, then add them to the pan. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes then take off the heat.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze. Drizzle the juice over the lentils. Then mix in the greek yoghurt.
Chop the celery and capers into small pieces. Mix into the lentils.
Taste and season with salt & pepper. Add more dill if you desire.
Plate up in two portions. Add a side of peppery rocket and smoked salmon. I also added some salad ingredients like cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Serve with a lemon twist.
The lentil mix can be kept in the fridge and served cold too.
In case you are wondering what the topping on the salmon is, I had some left over honey & mustard dressing which complimented really well too.
Let me just start by saying breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it also happens to be my favourite meal of the day. Nothing quite beats the sip of your first cup of coffee followed by a nice fruit filled breakfast. I am actually a sweet tooth breakfast person, so this ‘Shakshuka’ thing, I’ll be honest, despite the fact it sounds great and I’ve seen it many a time on café menus, it’s not what I would usually go for at breakfast time. But my boyfriend is the opposite, he loves all things savoury, plus we had some eggs in the fridge that just had to be used so I though, hey why not give it a go.
Shakshuka is something that we can thank the Arabs for introducing, it’s essentially eggs cooked over a rich and spicy tomato sauce. Which, let’s face it, is far more exciting then a greasy fried egg! Plus you get an injection of vitamin goodness from the veg based sauce. I’ve included my recipe below but you can add your own variations, some people prefer to use fresh tomatoes, and can be a great dish to cobble together with any leftover veg, it doesn’t necessarily have to use bell peppers. I think next time around I am going to add a spoon of harissa spices in to add that Tunusian zing I love!
It’s good to take your time over the base of the dish, I like to add my spices in to cook off and release the flavour before I put any of the tomatoes in, but you might have your own methods. It’s a great dish to improvise with as you just need a few spice cabinet staples, a tin of tomatoes and some veg to go with your eggs.
Shakshuka for two
1 tsbp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ red bell pepper, chopped into cubes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato puree
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp smoked paprika
sprinkle of cayenne
few dashes of tabasco sauce (to taste)
salt and pepper
fresh cut parsley and spring onion to season
- Prepare all the ingredients. Peed and dice the onion, de-seed the pepper and chop into small cubes, peel and crush the garlic.
- Heat up 1 tsbp of olive oil in a medium sized pan and when hot add the onion, let it cook through for a few minutes until starting to lightly brown
- Add in the garlic and the diced pepper, let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the pepper begins to soften
- Stir in the cumin, paprika, smoked paprika and cayenne spices and leave to cook for a minute or so.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and puree and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes
- Season with salt and pepper, this is the time to add your tabasco if you’d like a bit more of a kick
- Once the sauce is tasting how you like it and has reduced down a bit it is time to add your eggs, crack each egg into a cup and then make a little well in the sauce to plop it into (I forgot to make a well and my eggs were all over the place). Cover the whole pan over (if you don’t have a lid like me I used a chopping board!)
- Leave this to simmer now for 10-15 minutes, dependent on whether you want your eggs runny or cooked through.
- Lift the lid and now it is time to dish up! Separate in half and serve on two plates, garnish with the fresh parsley and spring onion. I like to serve with a clob of bread to mop up the delicious tomatoey sauce at the bottom!
The shakshuka went down a treat with the other half and I’m definitely a convert, although I think I’d be more inclined to have it for lunch.
PS: I know it’s supposed to be served straight up from the pan! But hey, it was just us two at the table so I went all portion-up with it, sorry purists!Yum