The Perfect Potluck Dish

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You can never have enough delicious hearty mains to take to potlucks. If you’re eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet and you want to make sure there’s something that will give you every delicious food group, make this salad and bring it along. I promise you, it will be gone very quickly, so go to the head of the line. If you’re are eating oil-free, you can substitute the oil in this recipe with a chia oil replacement (provided at the bottom)

I love looking at old cooking magazines and this was inspired by an advertisement recipe that used a whopping 1/2 cup of olive oil. It’s not necessary. The dish is delish and very filling.

Mediterranean Lentil/Quinoa Salad

3 cups water
1 beef-flavored bouillon cube (I favor cele-fibr)
1 cup French or du puy lentils
¾ cup dried quinoa
2 T olive oil (or chia oil substitute*)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ T freshly grated ginger
¾ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. dried pepper flakes
½ cup pine nuts
6 cups spinach

Bring water and bouillon cube to a boil. Add lentils and stir. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 17 minutes. Add quinoa, stir again, and simmer for another 9 minutes. At this time, most of the water will be absorbed. Turn off heat and let sit until cool.

Whisk ingredients from olive oil through pepper flakes thoroughly. Toast pine nuts in an iron skillet and set aside.

Once the lentil/quinoa mixture is completely cool carefully drain off and reserve any cooking water and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add 2 T cooking water to dressing and pour over mixture. Toss carefully to meld flavors. You want to keep the lentils intact. If the salad seems dry, add either a little more olive oil or cooking water.

Place the spinach on a platter, mound the lentils on top and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. You can also decorate with chopped red pepper or heirloom tomatoes or roasted veggies like asparagus or green beans in season.

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*in a small bowl, mix 1/2T chia with 2 T water. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken.

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