I'm admittedly immodest about my savant-like memory of the food items stocked in stores across town. Ask me about price, avilaibility, sizes, freshness, superiority, inferiority...you name it, I can tell you. Just don't ask me when Kevin is in the vicinity, as he'll think you're encouraging my obsessive-compulsive tendencies (why does he always have to be right!).
So I surprised myself for forgetting about canned lentils.
But there they were, on prominent display at Central Market, on a visit several weeks back. On sale, too. I filled the basket with 12 cans; I anticipated groans from Kevin (I have a bargain-hoarding propensity, too), but he picked up a can, scrutinized the label, and quipped, "Cool." Apparently he bought canned lentils frequently when he lived in Paris (that was pre-Camilla, darn it); he's generally pleased with anything that reminds him of his time there, even if it's his wife amassing canned lentils.
Turns out, our local health food store sells them too, as does the our local supermarket (in the health foods section; both sell the Eden Foods brands). Why hadn't I noticed? Ok, Camilla, let it go. On to the yummy recipe.
I was concerned that the lentils might be goopy (it afflicts many a can of black beans, too), so I gave the first can a test run at lunch, free of the critical gaze of both husband and son. To my delight, the lentils were pristine and sludge-free.
I made some quinoa, cooled it, then combined it with the drained rinsed lentils, a simple lemon-cumin dressing, and a crumble of feta. It was nearly effortless, and thanks to my quick cool of the quinoa in yonder freezer, came together in no time flat (about 30 hands-free minutes). Head to the health food section of your supermarket and seek out canned lentils; it will inevitably lead to many quick, delicious, and very healthy meals!
Quinoa and Lentil Salad with Feta
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 15-oz can lentils, rinsed and drained (e.g., Westbrae Natural)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 12 to 14 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Drain and run under cold water.
2. Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and cumin in a large bowl. Add the rinsed quinoa and remaining ingredients and gently toss to combine. Generously season with pepper and salt. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Vegan Version: Simply leave out the feta cheese