Fall Butternut Lentil Salad

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Have I mentioned lately that I love my spiralizer? No seriously, like LOVE love. I use it all the time to make zucchini noodles and even the occasional yellow squash noodles. Side note: If they call zucchini noodles zoodles, are squash noodles soodles? Things that make you go hmmmm. Anywho… I saw a recipe in Vegetarian Times for a salad with butternut squash noodles.

Immediately my brain poked me to say “Hey, you’ve got a butternut squash in the fridge!” I figured why not give spiralizing the butternut a try. I modified the original recipe a bit because I cannot be constrained by mere printed recipes. Spiralizing the butternut took a bit more arm power than zucchini and yellow squash, but it was worth the effort.

I used just the “neck” part of the squash since it was plenty. I cut the “bulb” part up into cubes for another recipe. If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t bother spiralizing the apple. The apple is shaped differently, and you ended up with really short noodles and lots of apple shreds. It’s much easier to simply dice the apple into small pieces than to attempt to noodle it. Less effort is always a good thing in my book.

Fall Butternut Lentil Salad Fall Butternut Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup (200g) green lentils, uncooked
  • 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp walnut oil
  • 12 oz (337g) butternut squash, spiralized
  • 1 medium (~125g) gala apple, diced or spiralized
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (28g) dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup (28g) chopped pecans

Cook the lentils according to package directions. Drain well once cooked. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the vinegars and the oil to make a dressing. Set aside.

Spiralize your squash and apple. Heat a large pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the squash noodles and saute for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the apple and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Remove from heat. Mix with the cooked and drained lentils, and stir in the cilantro, cranberries and pecans.

Makes 4 large servings as a main dish at approximately 366 calories – 15g protein, 54g carbs, and 10g fat.

If you don’t have champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar, then I’d suggest going with lemon juice, regular balsamic and a pinch or two of sugar for the dressing. You could also use lime juice which would blend nicely. I suddenly had visions of lime juice with a pinch of chili powder for a Mexican theme. That might be up next with the leftovers.

This made a MAJOR amount of salad so you could easily get 8 servings as a side dish. As an entree, you could add grilled chicken or… wait for it… goat cheese! That would be wonderful in there as well. It also works both warm and cold. I love multipurpose recipes like this. They save so much time and effort.

This would also be a great Halloween dinner if you opted for black lentils to go with the orange butternut. Boo! 😉

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