Mango Lentil Salad Recipe

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Introduction

Ready to dive into a deliciously refreshing and nutritious dish? This Mango Lentil Salad is a perfect blend of sweet, savory, and crunchy flavors. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch, a vibrant side dish, or a potluck star, this salad will not disappoint!

Why You’ll Love This Salad

Refreshing and Nutritious

This salad is packed with vibrant colors and fresh ingredients. The sweetness of the mango paired with the creamy avocado and the crunch of almonds makes every bite a delight.

Versatile and Easy

Not only is this salad easy to prepare, but it also adapts well to various dietary needs and personal preferences. You can tweak it to suit what you have on hand or your taste buds.

Ingredients Overview

The Stars of the Dish

  • Lentils: Earthy and protein-rich, they form the salad’s base.
  • Mango: Gives it a burst of sweetness and a tropical taste.
  • Avocado: Provides creaminess and healthy fats.
  • Red Onion: Adds a sharp, tangy contrast.
  • Baby Spinach and Fresh Mint: Introduce a refreshing, green element.
  • Almonds: Contribute crunch and nuttiness.
  • Feta Cheese: Gives a salty, tangy depth.

Nutritional Benefits

Each ingredient brings its own health benefits. Lentils are high in protein and fiber, mangoes are rich in vitamins A and C, avocados provide healthy fats, and spinach and mint add essential nutrients and antioxidants.

Preparing the Ingredients

Cooking the Lentils

Cook the lentils in lightly-salted water according to the package directions until tender. This usually takes about 20-25 minutes. Pour into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until chilled. Drain off any extra water.

Prepping the Avocado

Cut the avocado into small pieces that you can eat. For the best taste and texture, use an avocado that is fully ripe.

Dicing the Mango

Peel and dice the mango into small chunks. A ripe mango should be slightly soft to the touch but not mushy.

Finely Chopping the Onion

Finely dice half a medium red onion. If the flavor of raw onion is too strong for you, you can soak the diced onion in cold water for a few minutes to mellow it out.

Chopping Spinach and Mint

Chop the baby spinach and fresh mint leaves. You want them finely chopped so they distribute evenly throughout the salad.

Toasting the Almonds

Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re golden brown and fragrant. Let them cool before adding to the salad.

Crumbling the Feta

Crumble the feta cheese into small pieces. You can use pre-crumbled feta, but fresh crumbled feta often has a better texture and flavor.

Making the Everyday Salad Dressing

While you can use any favorite dressing, a simple homemade dressing often works best. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a small jar. Shake well until emulsified.

Combining Everything

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked lentils, diced avocado, diced mango, finely chopped red onion, chopped spinach, chopped mint, toasted almonds, and crumbled feta. Drizzle evenly with the dressing.

Seasoning the Salad

Toss gently until all the ingredients are well combined. Taste and season with fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper as needed.

Serving Suggestions

Ideal Occasions

This Mango Lentil Salad is perfect for a summer barbecue, a light lunch, or as a side dish for dinner. It’s vibrant and colorful, making it an attractive addition to any table.

Pairing with Other Dishes

Pair this salad with grilled chicken, fish, or tofu for a complete meal. It also goes well with a crusty piece of bread or as a part of a larger salad spread.

Storing Leftovers

Refrigeration Tips

Put any leftovers in a container that won’t let air in and put it in the fridge. You can eat the salad for two to three days. The avocado might turn a little brown, but a quick stir will make it look better.

Keeping It Fresh

To keep the salad as fresh as possible, you can store the dressing separately and add it just before serving.

Conclusion

This Mango Lentil Salad is a delightful mix of flavors and textures that is sure to become a favorite. It’s easy to prepare, nutritious, and perfect for any occasion. Please try it and enjoy every tasty bite!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Different Lentils?

Absolutely! While this recipe calls for standard brown or green lentils, you can use French lentils or black lentils for a slightly different texture.

Is There a Vegan Option?

Indeed! To accommodate dietary preferences or restrictions, one can easily exclude the feta cheese or opt for a suitable vegan cheese substitute.

How Long Will It Last?

Stored properly in the refrigerator, this salad can last up to 2-3 days.

Can I Add Other Ingredients?

Feel free to get creative! Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or bell peppers can be great additions.

What If I Don’t Like Feta?

No problem! You can substitute feta with goat cheese, or omit it entirely for a dairy-free version.

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