Lentil, Sweet Potato & Napa Cabbage Salad with Lemon-Maple Vinaigrette
I LOVE a big, hearty salad. Especially when it has warm components that make it super satisfying and delicious. Weirdly, I’ve recently been favouring a big salad around noon as my first meal of the day – a very strange craving from the self-proclaimed smoothie bowl queen.
I find that having a salad full of protein, fat, fibre & greens in the middle of the day keeps me full for longer than any breakfast food I’ve gravitated towards in the past (which doesn’t mean I’m writing those off – I still enjoy a sweet breakfast when the mood strikes!)
Since this habit has been working so well for me, I’ve basically spent my summer dreaming up new salad combinations. For me, the key to eating lots of salads is keeping them really interesting. I have to constantly change up the proteins, dressings & add-ons I’m using, otherwise I’ll get bored REAL quick.
This beauty is inspired by a salad I ate months ago at Parallel restaurant in Toronto, a former tahini factory-turned-restaurant that now serves up fresh, creative Middle Eastern food in a cool, industrial space. They include tahini in most of their dishes, and this salad gets brought to the next level with a drizzle of their house-made beet tahini.
I obviously purchased some there (how could I not?), but I realize that most of you don’t necessarily have access to this, so you can totally just include a bit of regular tahini on top of this salad. Speaking of this salad, it’s an incredible combination of kale + shredded napa cabbage with warm Puy lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, crunchy walnuts and a sweet lemon dressing. It’s heavenly – hope you love it!
- 1 c. Puy lentils, rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Water for cooking
- 1 head Napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 head kale, chopped + de-stemmed
- 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
- Tahini, for finishing (if desired)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Black pepper, to taste
- Start by placing your rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan. Cover completely with water (at least a few inches above the lentils) and add your bay leaves + salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let the lentils simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until they are cooked but still firm. Drain excess water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat your sweet potato cubes in olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned and tender. Set aside.
- Combine all of your dressing ingredients in a small Mason jar and shake (or whisk) to combine. Taste and adjust as needed.
- Combine your chopped cabbage + kale in a large salad bowl. Cover with your dressing and massage it into the greens to fully coat. Top with lentils, sweet potatoes, parsley, chopped green onions + walnuts. Finish with a drizzle of tahini and serve!