Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils…Great for Lentil Salad!

I continue to be amazed and thrilled at the products carried by Trader Joe’s. Every time I visit, I make it a point to leave with several new things to try, and, soon I’ll post a complete list of my favorite items.  Today, however, it’s all about their “ready-to-eat” steamed lentils that are in their produce section.  I’m a huge fan of lentils, and while they’re not difficult to cook, its just so darn convenient to buy them ready to go! These lentils come vacuum-packed and ready to use! I love keeping protein packed salads in my fridge for a quick lunch, and this was an instant favorite the first time I made it. Quick & easy, full of flavor and healthy, too! It’s a win/win in my book!

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad

Trader Joe's Ready to Eat Lentils

Trader Joe’s Ready to Eat Lentils

Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ⅓ cup green onions, diced
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or more to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper and set aside. Put lentils, red bell pepper, celery, green onions and parsley into large bowl. Add dressing and combine well.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • I like using the rainbow colored carrots when I can find them at Trader Joe’s. They add such pretty color to the salad!
  • Feel free to add or delete veggies to your taste.  Sometimes I’ll add diced cucumber if I have it, or I’ll use red onion in place of green onion.   I’ve also thrown in some baby arugula which was delicious!  Use your imagination and make it your own!  🙂

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Black Bean, Edamame & Garbanzo Salad

It seems like everywhere we turn, we hear about how our American diet is slowly killing us. “Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables”. “Eat less meat, but more fish and chicken.” And then there’s the biggest plea of all…”Cut the sugar from your diet!”  We hear these pleas everyday from the experts in the nutrition field.  While I’m no expert on the subject of nutrition, I do believe that cleaner eating with far less sugar is the best choice…a healthier choice for my family.  I buy fresh and organic when possible, and I try and steer clear of GMOs (read this GMO article) & hidden sugars (read this Sugar article). I love having a protein packed salad in the fridge for quick lunches or a healthy side dish for dinner.  This salad with edamame, black and garbanzo beans has become a summer favorite for the whole family.  You can always top it with a grilled chicken breast if someone in your family needs their meat!  Enjoy!

Black Bean, Edamame & Garbanzo Salad

Black Bean, Edamame & Garbanzo Salad

Black Bean, Edamame & Garbanzo Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pkg frozen shelled edamame, cooked per instructions and cooled
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed
  • ¾ cup green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced (to taste)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Preparation:

In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and chili powder.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Liz’s Tidbits:

I have also added a teaspoon of ground cumin with tasty results.  Feel free to play around with the ingredients…if there’s something you don’t like, leave it out.  You could omit the cilantro, serrano and chili powder and instead use parsley, kalamata olives, feta cheese and dried oregano.  Use your imagination!

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