Sunshine Summer Salad

Swims, hikes, and movie nights are regular occurrences in my life this summer – thanks to a vivacious toddler. Raising kids is almost more fun than being a kid, in my opinion. I love being part of my daughter’s daily routine of fun and play. And the best part is I get to label it as “mothering.”

Another regular occurrence for me is salad. I have been eating all the salads this summer: chicken salad, taco salad, grain salad, SUNSHINE SUMMER SALAD. Yes, sunshine and summer are just what I need in a salad right now.

It never fails that when the weather warms up, I crave cold foods to cool me down. My appetite also declines some, so the idea of salad always sounds like a win-win. Let me tell you, this sunshine summer salad is a total win-win! How can it not be with sprouted lentils, pumpkin seeds, and avocado? I love it because it’s 100% filling, nourishing, and down right delicious.

sunshine summer salad

Sprouts

If you follow my IG stories, a few weeks ago I sprouted my own lentils and documented the entire process. And let me tell you: sprouting is SO easy!

The only minor difficulty is waiting a few days before they’re ready to devour, as well as eating them all before they go bad (1 cup dry lentils filled 2.5 quart-sized mason jars!).

The process I used to sprout the lentils is from one of my all-time favorite health food bloggers, Sarah Britton at My New Roots. She shares her sprouting method in this post.

So, what’s the big deal about sprouting?

It just so happens there are many nutritional benefits that come from sprouting. Sprouting changes the entire structure of grains or legumes, which does the following:

  • Increases key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and essential amino acids
  • Increases antioxidant activity
  • Increases bioavailability (i.e. the body’s ability to use the nutrients we get from food)

*Source: Today’s Dietitian Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 6, Page 18

Pretty cool stuff, right?!

So, lately I’ve been putting sprouted lentils on all the things! Avocado toast, sandwiches, salads, soups. One thing to note with lentil sprouts specifically is they should never be consumed raw. Always cook them before eating, whether that’s sautéing in the skillet (like for this recipe) or cooking them as you would regular lentils.

sunshine summer salad

The Recipe

Sunshine Summer Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, sliced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • ¾ cup sprouted lentils
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • Generous sprinkle of dried oregano
  • Feta cheese, to garnish (vegan/dairy-free option: use vegan cheese)
  • Your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing (I used a homemade lemon vinaigrette and it was amazing!)
Instructions
  1. Saute sprouted lentils in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, without adding any oil. Turn off heat once the sprouts start to turn from yellow to bright green. Let the lentils cool before adding to the salad (unless you prefer wilted spinach leaves).
  2. Layer your salad ingredients in a bowl: spinach first, then all the toppings. Garnish with feta cheese and a sprig of mint.
  3. Add salad dressing right before eating.
  4. Toss and enjoy!

If you make a recipe, don’t forget to snap a picture and tag me @simplenaturalnutritionbykim on Instagram so I can see!

sunshine summer salad

 

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