This Lentils and Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Two Sauces recipe is a healthy, flavorful, and flexible meal that you can enjoy for lunch or dinner. With nutty lentils, tender kale, and colorful roasted vegetables, and two zesty and creamy sauces, this salad is a balanced and satisfying meal that you can customize to your taste and convenience.
Great Meal Prep Recipe:
Yes, this recipe is a great option for meal prep as many of the elements can be prepared ahead of time, making it easy to assemble and enjoy later. The lentils and roasted vegetables can be cooked and stored in the fridge for up to four days, and the kale can be washed, massaged with lemon juice, and stored in a separate container. The tahini sauce and herb sauce can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to a week. When it's time to eat, simply toss the kale with the lentils and roasted vegetables, and drizzle with the desired amount of sauce. The salad can be served cold or at room temperature, making it a convenient and satisfying meal for busy weekdays or on-the-go lunches. By prepping the elements ahead of time, you can save time and ensure that you have a nutritious and flavorful meal at your fingertips whenever you need it.
The ingredients for this recipe are relatively simple and flexible.
- The French green lentils are a great choice because they hold their shape well and have a slightly nutty flavor that complements the roasted vegetables and sauces. You can substitute with other types of lentils, such as brown, red, or black, but keep in mind that they may have different textures and cooking times.
- The kale is massaged with lemon juice to break down the tough fibers and make it more tender and flavorful. If you like kale salads my Kale and White Bean Salad with Pesto Dressing is a must-try.
- The roasted vegetables add color, flavor, and nutrients to the salad. You can use any combination of vegetables that you like or have on hand, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers. The spice mix is optional, and you can use any blend that you prefer or just season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Today I used Harissa seasoning for a little heat. I have also enjoyed it will Za'atar and Baharat. If you like roasted veggies in your salads this Roasted Sweet Potato and Za’tar Chickpeas Warm Salad (with Pesto vinaigrette) and Winter Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Pepitas will not disappoint.
- The two sauces, Easy Tahini Sauce and Herb Sauce are both quick and easy to make, but you can also use store-bought dressings or sauces if you prefer. The Tahini Sauce is creamy, tangy, and slightly nutty, while the Herb Sauce is fresh, zesty, and slightly sweet. You can adjust the amount of lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper to your taste, and use any herbs that you like, such as parsley, basil, or dill.
Make the Lentils:
Rinse the lentils and remove any debris or stones. Place them in a pot and cover them with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to any meal. I am currently obsessed with cooking with lentils because they are so versatile- from salads like Lentil salad with broccoli and lemon anchovy dressing and Lentil Salad with Feta and Pomegranate (Lettuce Wrap), to soups and strews like Smoky Slow Cooker Stewed Lentils and Chickpeas and lentil curry with sweet potatoes and spinach. They are also perfect for meal prep. I make a batch of french green lentils on the weekend and end up putting them in all kinds of dishes.
Roasted the Vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.
Cut the red onion into thin slices and separate the rings. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, discarding the stem and leaves. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of your preferred spice mix, such as za’atar, berbere, baharat, or simply cumin. Toss well to coat, then spread the vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly caramelized. Check on them occasionally and stir to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Prep the Kale:
In a large bowl, add 3 cups of chopped kale and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Use your hands to massage the kale for about 1-2 minutes, or until the leaves become tender and bright green. This step helps to remove the bitterness and makes the kale more palatable.
Add the cooked lentils to the bowl with the kale and toss to combine. Add the roasted vegetables and toss again. You can use the same bowl or a separate serving dish.
Make the Easy Tahini Sauce:
Prepare the two sauces. For the Easy Tahini Sauce, whisk together 3 tablespoons of tahini, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon of cumin, and 4-5 tablespoons of ice water. The ice water helps to thin out the sauce and create a smooth consistency. You can adjust the amount of water to achieve your desired thickness. Check out my full post on Easy Tahini Sauce for more tips for this great flavor booster. Its a great dressing in Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas Salad with Tahini Sauce and Harissa Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Tahini Sauce.
Make the Herb Sauce:
For the Herb Sauce, using a food processor, add the mint, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, and black pepper to the bowl and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped and the mixture is well combined. You can add more honey, lemon juice, or salt as needed. Check out my full post on more tips and uses for this tasty Herb Sauce.
What to Serve with Lentils and Kale Salad:
To serve the salad, you can either drizzle the two sauces on top of the salad or serve them on the side for individual portions. You can also add extra toppings, such as crumbled feta cheese, toasted nuts, or dried fruit, for more flavor and texture.
This salad is a complete meal on its own, as it contains complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and healthy fats from the lentils and vegetables, as well as vitamins and minerals from the kale and herbs. However, if you want to add more variety to your meal, you can serve the salad with some of the following options:
- Grilled or roasted chicken, fish, or tofu: These protein sources complement the lentils and add more flavor and texture to the meal. You can marinate the protein in a simple seasoning, such as garlic, lemon, and olive oil, or use a store-bought marinade or rub.
- With pizza like this navy bean cheeseless pizza
- Roasted or steamed sweet potatoes: These starchy vegetables provide more fiber and nutrients, as well as a natural sweetness that pairs well with the tangy sauces.
- Crusty bread or pita: These carbs add more texture and flavor to the meal and can be used to scoop up the salad or the sauces.
Simplify and Adapt:
One of the best things about this recipe is its flexibility and simplicity. For example, you can add more or less of the roasted vegetables, use a different type of lentils or greens, or omit the sauces altogether.
If you don't have time to make the two sauces, you can use a store-bought dressing or sauce that you like, or simply toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also use leftover roasted vegetables or cooked lentils that you have on hand to make the salad even quicker and easier.
Lentils and Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Two Sauces is a healthy, tasty, and versatile meal that you can enjoy for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish. The combination of the nutty lentils, the tender kale, and the colorful vegetables, along with the creamy Tahini Sauce and the zesty Herb Sauce, creates a satisfying and balanced meal that will satisfy your taste buds and your hunger. The recipe can be adapted to your taste and convenience, so don't hesitate to make it your own.
If you’ve tried this Lentils and Kale Salad recipe or any other recipe on BalancingBowls, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see more tasty meals and anything else I’m up to.
Lentils and Kale Salad
- 1 ½ cups French green lentils
- 3 cups kale chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into small florets
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon spice mix za’atar, berbere, baharat or cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons KRINOS Tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Rinse the lentils and cook them in a pot of boiling water for 20-25 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, massage the chopped kale with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for about 1-2 minutes, or until the leaves become tender.
- On a baking sheet, toss the sliced red onions, cauliflower florets, and cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of your preferred spice mix. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they are tender and slightly caramelized.
- In the meantime, prepare the two sauces. For the Easy Tahini Sauce, mix together the tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin, and ice water in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency by adding more or less ice water as needed.
- For the Herb Sauce, mix together the chopped mint, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, and black pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth and well combined.
- Once the lentils and vegetables are cooked, assemble the salad. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked lentils, massaged kale, and roasted vegetables. Drizzle the Easy Tahini Sauce and Herb Sauce over the salad and toss well to coat.