Lentil and sweet potato salad for early Spring

According to Ayurveda, spring is the natural cleansing season. It is best to utilize this energy to clear out excess Ama (toxins) and accumulated kapha from our system to maintain harmony in our mind and body. As we are in early Spring, we need to still watch our vata. This dish is a great lunch that satisfies vata whilst simultaneously cleansing ama and kapha by supporting the bodies detoxification pathways, and also sparking metabolism.


This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of water

  • 1 cup lentils (green or red), soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

  • Olive oil

  • 2 whole sweet potatoes, scrubbed (leave the skin on as its full of minerals!) and cut into 2.5cm pieces

  • 1 bunch broccolini or 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • Fresh greens like rocket, baby spinach or kale (bitter greens are best!)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey

Method:

  • In a small heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and thyme, turn the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are soft and cooked but still retain their form (you don’t want them to be too mushy or too crunchy!) for about 25 minutes. Drain, cool and season to taste with salt, pepper and olive oil; remove the thyme sprigs.

  • While lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 200C.

  • Toss and coat the sweet potato in olive oil and season with salt, then arrange on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, arrange the broccolini or broccoli on another baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt. Once potatoes have had 15 minutes, add the broccoli to the oven and roast both for another 15 minutes or until they are both soft, roasted and ready.

FOR THE DRESSING

  • Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, or shake them in a jar until combined. Easy.

Assemble by spooning a portion of the lentils first, then the sweet potato and broccolini. Add a handful of fresh greens on top and drizzle with dressing to taste.

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Fresh Feta or goats cheese: not ideal if you are quite Kapha as we are trying to minimize dairy this season. But if you are feeling quite vata, it’s a nice addition

  • Slivered almonds are a lovely addition sprinkled on top for a crunchy element and another source of protein, minerals and good fats.




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