A DETOXIFYING LENTIL SALAD JUST IN TIME FOR SPRING

Springtime: a time of awakening, growth, and light. Like blossoms to a tree, our stagnant winter energy and emotions rise to the surface, ready to burst wide open. It’s time to embrace this change. And what better way to do this than through food.

Each ingredient of this salad offers a component that helps to gently nudge the body in a direction of natural detoxification.

Lemons
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice helps to stimulate our digestive system and work to detoxify the liver and cleanse the blood. Also, when foods rich in vitamin C (like lemons and red peppers) are paired with a high-iron food like lentils, the digestive absorbability is drastically increased.

Garlic
Antiviral and antibacterial properties are two of the main benefits. Garlic helps stimulate the liver to produce detoxification enzymes that help filter toxins from the digestive system.

Cilantro
This leafy green works to rid the body of heavy metals as well as detoxify the liver. The chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to toxins, loosening them from the blood, tissues, and organs and assisting with their elimination from the body.

Onions
Also a powerful detox food due to its sulfur-containing compounds, which aid in the release of toxins and heavy metals from the liver.

Turmeric
The phytochemical component of turmeric, known as curcumin is known to stimulate the production of bile by the gallbladder. The liver uses bile to eliminate toxins; bile also rejuvenates liver cells that breakdown harmful compounds. For this reason, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat digestion and liver disorders.

Detoxifying Spring Lentil Salad (Yield: 4 servings Total Time: 30 minutes)

The Ingredients

The Salad

  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons

The Dressing

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp agave or maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • dash of cayenne powder
  • coarse sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

The Directions

  1. Rinse lentils and place in a pot. Pour in 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 30 minutes
  2. While the lentils cook, chop the onion, red pepper, and cilantro and place in a serving bowl
  3. For the dressing, pour all ingredients in a mason jar (or similar sealed container) and shake to combine
  4. When the lentils are cooked, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Mix the lentils in with salad ingredients and toss. Drizzle in the dressing and toss again to coat
  5. Add leftover cilantro and lemon zest to garnish

This salad tastes best when left to meld together in the fridge overnight (perfect for lunches during the week). Keep in an airtight glass container and it will be good for up to 3-4 days. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: Photos courtesy of Chickpea Magazine, a stunning vegan quarterly that brings whole-foods cooking & living to a beautiful, practical level

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