Chilled Lentil Salad

If your gut has a hard time with legumes (aka seeds that grow in a pods), the answer is to add them in slowly over time, not to stop eating them.

The average American, with the average American roll call of health issues, eats only 15-17 grams of fiber per day so it’s hard to keep hearing of more and more people giving up this food group.  Just one cup of lentils provides 15.6 grams of fiber, or 63% of your daily value (for context, our ancestors ate approximately 100 grams of fiber daily).  

While we won’t go over the long (and impressive) list of reason lentils are good for you here (this is more of a get straight to the point of the recipe ma’am type post with just a small side of soapboxing) it’s important to note that lentils are also full of magnesium as well as fiber.  These are two nutrients absolutely necessary for healthy bowel function (especially for those dealing with constipation).  Ok, soap box over.

Luckily, lentils are among the easier to digest members of the legume family. They require no soaking and are very inexpensive.  Considering how amazing they are, most people struggle with how to prepare them.  This recipe is so easy and so adaptable, you probably could make it right now with what’s in your kitchen.    

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of dry lentils*
  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite veggies, steamed (broccoli, beets, carrots, celery, asparagus or a combination there of.  Featured here are beets, carrots & broccoli)
  • 4 tablespoons of herbs, roughly chopped (my favorite combination is Italian parsley + mint but dill and basil would be delicious too.  All herbs are amazing digestive aids so use what you love)
  • Juice of fresh lemon (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)  

*there are many different types of lentils, but green and black hold up best in salads.

Instructions : 

Cook lentils according to package.  Lentils can be spiced up by cooking with vegetable stock, garlic and / or onions instead of just plain water.  Add in steamed vegetables and mix to combine.  When salad has cooled a bit, add fresh herbs, lemon and S&P.  This salad is yummy immediately but even better when chilled. 

If we thought of the gut as a muscle, legumes are the equivalent of a 100lb weight.  It may take some time at the gym to get strong enough to lift them, but the effort is worth it.  Just go bite by bite and your colon will thank you.  

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Dr. Tara Meyerink

Dr. Tara is a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition and is a National Board certified Integrative and Functional N Nutrition Practitioner.

She believes that getting to the root cause of health issues is the key to sustaining health and wellness. Teaching clients the “why” behind recommended action steps for health improvement empowers them to learn to listen to their body and pro-actively take responsibility for their health. She believes one never stops learning.

Dr. Tara worked 20+ years in public education and educational administration prior to becoming a healthcare provider. She has authored and co-author peer-reviewed publications, does public speaking regarding longevity and nutrition, and mentors/supervises functional nutrition residents/candidates for their national boards.