Recipe: The Perfect (Kitchen Sink) Salad
Some call this the kitchen sink salad; I call it the perfect salad. It is fail proof and fails to bore, even if you have it every day! Packed with nutrition and flavor and with enough substance to keep you full for hours, this recipe is a great way to get the most from produce rounding its last leg in the fridge.
You could virtually use anything on hand, as long as you satisfy each of the four elements — vegetable, green, grain/legume, and fat. I added grated beets, carrots, and zucchini as the vegetable, chopped kale as the green, cooked lentils as the legume, and avocado and an olive oil vinaigrette as the fat. Regardless of the nature of the components you choose, the result is the same: a colorful salad with a bite!
I tend to use lentils in my version of the kitchen sink salad for a reason. They’re not only made up of energy boosting carbs, but also are full of protein, which is especially important when salads are a daily diet mainstay.
Lentils are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber and effective in helping to prevent digestive and cardiovascular disorders. They also contribute to lowering cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels. Low on the glycemic index, lentils release their sugars slowly, keeping you fuller and more balanced for longer.
Kitchen Sink Salad
1 cup green lentils
6 kale leaves
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup grated beet
1/4 cup chopped avocado
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a medium-sized pot, add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of green lentils. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have absorbed all the water. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Stem and chop the kale leaves, grate the carrots, zucchini, and beet, and slice the avocado.
Add the vegetables, kale, and avocado to the cooled lentils in a medium sized bowl.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper. Fold the dressing into the salad and give the entire mixture a good toss so that all the ingredients are spread evenly.
Serve and enjoy!
--by Aylin Erman / images courtesy of EcoSalon