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!  🙂

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Orange, Avocado & Shaved Fennel Salad

Trader Joe’s is one of my all-time favorite grocery stores!  They carry so many great things, and I love checking out their most popular items to try…(see this article and this one, too!)  One of my favorite products is this Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar.

Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

It’s absolutely delicious! I use it with extra virgin olive oil on salads, (think roasted beets, walnuts, feta cheese and mandarin oranges splashed with this vinegar) or mix with a bit of roasted sesame oil and use on top of Chinese Chicken Salad.  It can also be used straight from the bottle for marinating fish or chicken!

The other night, I mixed it with olive oil and splashed it over a salad of baby arugula, freshly sliced oranges, shaved fennel and shallots with some diced avocado.  It was OUTSTANDING and PRETTY, too!! 😉

Blood Orange, Fennel & Avocado Salad

Arugula, Orange & Fennel Salad

Orange, Avocado & Fennel Salad

Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 oranges, peeled (all pith removed) and sliced crosswise
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (some fronds saved for scattering on top)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed

Dressing:

  • 5 Tablespoons Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Whisk together until well combined.

Preparation:

Place arugula on a platter and top with fennel, oranges, shallots and avocado.  Drizzle with dressing and add some freshly cracked pepper and some of the fennel fronds.  Bon Appetit!

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • The use of a mandoline is very handy for shaving the fennel and shallots!
  • Thinly sliced red onion can be substituted for the shallot if preferred! And as always, use more or less of anything depending on your taste and preference!

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

My family loves brussels sprouts. I didn’t care for them as a kid, but they’ve turned out to be one of TBP’s (Teenage Bottomless Pit’s) favorite veggies!  While I normally roast them with chopped duck bacon (yes, I said “duck bacon”…try it and you’ll be hooked, too!) and then drizzle with a balsamic glaze, I’ve been seeing lots of recipes lately using them raw and shredded.  I was intrigued.

This salad is full of bright colors and different textures. I actually added cranberries and loved the contrasting flavors of the lemony dressing, salty cheese and sweet cranberries.  It keeps very well in the fridge and is still delicious on day 2–not many salads in THAT category!  The recipe can be cut in half and will still make quite a large bowl, but, be prepared…everyone who tries it will love it and want the recipe! I do believe you could make converts out of those brussels sprouts haters with this one!

 

Kale and Brussels salad

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

slightly adapted from Bon Appétit

8-10 Servings

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning toasted almonds
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large bunches kale, center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup whole almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup finely grated Pecorino cheese (I used Parmesan)
  • ½-1 cup dried cranberries

Preparation:

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, salt and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl, and set aside for flavors to meld.

Put ½ cup olive oil into cup.  Remove 1 tablespoon, place into small skillet and heat over med-high heat.  Add chopped almonds to skillet, and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Mix shredded brussels and thinly sliced kale in a large bowl.   Add cranberries, grated cheese and almonds.  Slowly whisk remaining olive oil into lemon juice mixture, pour over greens and toss.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Check your grocery store to see if they carry pre shredded brussels sprouts.  I know Trader Joe’s carries them.
  • Be careful adding salt as the cheese lends it’s own saltiness.
  • This salad can be made and dressed ahead of time. Actually, it’s better dressed ahead of time to allow the greens to soften a bit, and it’s just as good the next day!
  • If you can’t find the pre shredded brussels, use a food processor for both the kale and brussels to save time.
  • If you don’t like cranberries, chopped dates or apricots might be nice.  Maybe even some pomegranate seeds! Be adventurous!
  • For those locals who wold like to try duck bacon, I get mine at Gaucho Gourmet in San Antonio!
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