lentil and brussels sprout salad with sweet maple dressing

This recipe has been floating around in my head for quite some time now!  Sometimes my recipe ideas are a disaster and other times they turn into a new favorite…this one made it on the favorite list!

Typically on Sundays we go to my parents house for dinner.  My poor mom has a hard time pleasing everyone…some eat meat, others just vegetables.  This is a dish for all!  It can be a side to chicken, fish or beef or can be enjoyed with salad greens as a main meal.  You could top it with farm fresh goat cheese or toasted walnuts for more flavor.

 According to archaeologists, lentils have been cultivated since 6000 B.C.E.  I’m just discovering the diversity of using lentils in recipes.  Talk about being late to the game!  I would always add lentils to soups and stews as an afterthought, but never used them for main meals or salads until now!

This product caught my eye at the store (I think I liked the name…Tru Roots) so I decided to give them a try!


 Lentils come in many varieties, black, yellow, red, green brown or orange.  Some are heartier than others, but most have a nutty flavor.  This particular package contained sprouted lentils.  Sprouting beans/legumes prior to cooking increases the vitamin/mineral content as well as unlocking enzymes making for easier digestion and nutrient absorption.  However, you can use plain old un-sprouted lentils for this recipe!

Lentils are a great source of fiber, protein and folic acid.  The high fiber content helps to control sugar levels and lower cholesterol.  Most importantly “eating beans or lentils two or more times per week was associated with a 24% reduced risk of breast cancer” according to the Nurses’ Health Study II.

Ladies, start cooking those legumes!

lentil and brussels sprout salad with sweet maple dressing ~vegan, gluten free~

Lentil and Brussels Sprout Salad with Sweet Maple Dressing

1 cup brown or green lentils (cook according to package)

1 pound Brussels spouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup raisins


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

lentil and brussels sprout salad with sweet maple dressing ~vegan, gluten free~

-Cook lentils according to package and cool.

The sprouted lentils cooked quick!  I boiled 2 cups of water, added 1 cup of lentils, covered the pot and simmered on low until the water was absorbed.


-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Toss Brussels sprouts with oil and sea salt.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the outsides are crisp and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

-Whisk the dressing ingredients together until well combined.

-In a large bowl, add cooled lentils, Brussels sprouts, raisins and dressing.

-Toss to coat and enjoy!

lentil and brussels sprout salad with sweet maple dressing ~vegan, gluten free~


cold soba noodle salad

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour.  Don’t be fooled by the name…buckwheat is not a grain product, it’s actually a seed from the buckwheat plant!  Most buckwheat noodles are gluten free however, some brands add wheat flour so check the label!  (Eden brand makes 100% buckwheat noodles)  They are a great pasta substitute for those who avoid wheat for dietary or allergy purposes.

Buckwheat has a earthy, nutty flavor and is commonly used in Asian fusion cuisine.  Buckwheat is a great source of magnesium, 1 cup contains 86 grams!  It also is considered a high quality protein as it provides 8 essential amino acids.  But, the biggest health benefit is due to its flavonoid content.  The two flavonoids found in buckwheat are quercitin and rutin, which are responsible for maintaining blood flow and preventing oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Studies link diets high in buckwheat with lower rates of heart disease.


Cold Soba Noodle Salad

1 package soba noodles

1 zucchini, julienne sliced

1/2 cucumber, julienne sliced

1 cup edamame, shelled

1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

extra virgin olive oil


dulse flakes (optional)


4 tablespoons bragg’s amino acids or coconut amino acids, tamari

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon agave

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes

cold soba noodle salad ~vegan, gluten free~

-Cook soba noodles according to package.  Drain and toss with a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil to prevent clumping.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.

-In the meantime, whisk together dressing ingredients.

-Once noodles are cooled, in a large bowl combine with zucchini, cucumber, edamame, cilantro and dressing.  Toss to coat.

-Garnish with cashews, dulse flakes, a few more cilantro leaves and an extra dash of red pepper flakes, enjoy!

cold soba noodle salad ~vegan, gluten-free~

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare.  It can be served alone or would go nicely as a side to pan seared tofu or shrimp.