Hello everyone! I’d like to start this post about quinoa lentil salad off on a good note, but due to the fact that I want this blog to be an extension of myself and who I am, I cannot help but address what has been going on in my life this past week.
My dad had a heart attack on Sunday night. He is 58 years old and has a family history of cardiovascular disease. Sunday night he was having chest pain and couldn’t fall asleep, so like most stubborn people he tried to avoid it and sleep on the recliner in the other room to see if the pain would go away…. obviously it didn’t and he and my mom ended up in the ER.
I won’t bore you with the medical details and every test result, but the scan of his heart showed 99% blockage in a major artery, the LAD a.k.a “ the widow maker”( I know, scary term, right?). The results also showed 90% and 80% blockages in another two arteries making him the perfect patient for a triple bypass. The doctor said to him frankly, “You’re lucky to be alive,” hich was a shock and jarring to our family.
My dad had his surgery on Thursday, which was successful (thank god) and is working toward a healthy recovery.
I cannot tell everyone enough, beg your parents to make sure they see their primary care physician at LEAST once a year. This all could have been avoided for my dad if he wouldn’t have been so stubborn and kept up with his yearly physicals. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the United States and genetics/family history and DIET play a HUGE role.
Needless to say, I haven’t gotten much sleep, worked on my blog or been active on social media. This has felt refreshing, yet stressful. My goal is to provide you guys with a recipe each week, but I guess sometimes that isn’t feasible.
I wanted to post something this week that I think we all really need to try and shift our focus to more vegetarian eating/lifestyle. This quinoa lentil salad provides ~20g of protein and 10g of dietary fiber. So all of you that bark vegetarians don’t get enough protein, look no further than this Quinoa Lentil Salad.
Benefits of eating lentils:
- High in fiber: Eating a diet high in fiber helps to regulate your bowels, fights against colon cancer and helps to reduce your cholesterol levels.
- Iron content: About 36% of the daily recommended intake of iron comes from a cup of lentils. If you are looking for more iron in your diet try spinach, breakfast cereals (they are fortified), whole grain breads, cashews and tofu.
- Good source of vitamins/minerals: In addition to iron, lentils are full of B3 ( niacin- think good blood circulation, healthy skin and brain function!) Folic acid helps with formation of red blood cells. They are also high in phosphorus, zinc, potassium and manganese.
- Reduce your risk of heart disease:This study compared a diet high in saturated fat (meat and dairy) to a diet with higher consumptions of vegetables, legumes and fish, which showed an 82% reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease.
I’ve also realized this is the second quinoa salad I’ve done on here, but honestly I make quinoa all the time. It provides a great base to any cold salad and can be made into a casserole or can be made into a hot dish. It also provides a good amount of fiber and protein to a dish, which I will never turn down.
So please think about your own eating habits. Does your family have a history of heart disease? Are you making the right choices? Are you eating mindfully and in moderation?
Nutrition information below↓Print
This quinoa lentil salad is a summer blend of fresh vegetables, lentils and cilantro. It is vegan, vegetarian and gluten free! Great for meal prep and easy to transport.
Quinoa Lentil Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (yields 3 cups cooked)
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup cucumber, diced (( ~ 1 whole cucumber) )
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp agave nectar ( or honey if not vegan)
- 1/2 Juice of lemon ((~ 2-3 tbsp lemon juice))
- Prepare a pot with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa on the stove on medium to high. Prepare according to package instructions.
- Prepare another pot for the lentils. Pour 1/2 cup lentils into the pot and fill with water until just above lentils. Turn burner on medium to high heat. Once boiling is reached, turn down to medium-low and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- While the quinoa and lentils are cooking, prepare and chop the vegetables and mix ingredients for dressing.
- Once quinoa is cooked and cooled down, combine vegetables, lentils and quinoa in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and stir to combine.
Let salad chill in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to blend and dressing to soak in.
The lentils can also be substituted for garbanzo beans.
Keywords: Quinoa Lentil Salad
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