Layered Quinoa Red Lentils Salad Bowl

Fusion salad recipe ++ (++ unary operator in programming means incrementing by one.) Why should biryani have all the fun of layering 😉 ? Spice up your meal with a healthy quinoa lentil layered salad bowl prepared using homemade masala lemon dressing. The dressing is inspired by Garam Masala, the quintessential spice mix of India. I made quinoa, veggies, greens, and red lentils salad bowl tossed in the masala lemon dressing, and it came out delectable. You can prepare countless healthy meal-bowls combos with various types of grains, lentils, and veggies using the flavorful salad dressing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa.
  • 1/4th cup of soaked and sprouted whole red lentils, as shown in picture #3.
    (Please note that the volume of the sprouts will increase after the lentils are cooked.)
  • 4 to 5 cups (tightly packed) of seasonal spring-mix blend, as shown in picture #2.
  • One cup colored red bell peppers, thinly chopped/diced.
  • 1/2 cup sliced spring onions.
  • A handful of fresh parsley leaves.
    (Alternatively, you can use micro cilantro.)
  • 1/4th cup of micro arugula, as shown in picture #3.
  • 2 tbsp masala lemon dressing.
    (Click here for the masala lemon dressing recipe published on my blog.)
  • 1/2 tsp oil.
    (Oil to sauté the bell peppers.)
  • Salt as per your taste.

RECIPE

(Serves as a meal for 2 people)

  • Boil one cup water in a wok and add a pinch of salt in it.
  • Next, add quinoa in the boiling water, stir well, cover the wok with a lid. Let the quinoa cook for 12-15 minutes on a medium flame.
  • Boil a cup of water in another wok, add a couple of pinches of salt in it once the water starts boiling. Cook sprouted lentils until done. Alternatively, you can cook the lentils using the pressure cooker or an instant pot. Please make sure that your lentils don’t get mushy if using a pressure cooker.
  • Please refer to picture #4 for how cooked red lentils and boiled quinoa looks.
  • Next, drain excess water from the lentils and mix them in quinoa. Keep the quinoa and lentils mixture aside. (You can leverage the water in a soup or your curry recipe.)
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan. Add chopped bell peppers once the oil is hot, sauté them for a minute or two on a high flame. Alternatively, you can broil or grill the bell peppers in your oven. I like to preserve the crunch of the bell peppers in the salad bowl, so I prefer to sauté them in a pan.
  • Roughly chop spring mix and parsley leaves and keep them aside. You can use regular or micro cilantro if fresh parsley is not available.
  • Now that all our salad ingredients are ready let us start layering them. Why should biryani have all the fun of layering ;)?
  • Transfer the chopped spring mix in a salad bowl.
  • Next, add a layer of quinoa red lentils mixture on the spring mix and arrange the heap of sautéd bell peppers on top of it, as shown in the main picture of the blog.
  • Now add some micro arugula on the top, sprinkle parsley or cilantro, and spring onions on the side.
  • Last but not least, pour masala lemon dressing and give it a gentle toss just before serving the salad.
  • Transfer the salad in a serving bowl, as shown in picture #5 and dig-in.

Add cooked kidney beans along with red lentils for variation. I tried the salad bowl with parsley and cilantro. I liked cilantro combo over parsley. On a creative note, you can skip spring mix and use the rest of the mixture as stuffing in bell peppers and bake them in the oven with grated cheese topping for a completely new recipe.

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