Nutritional Win of the Week: Roasted Carrot & Lentil Salad

Now that I’m back to full-time work 45 minutes away from my home, I am extra grateful for this weekly “Nutritional Win” feature on my blog. It keeps me honest! The temptation to start taking shortcuts for lunches and dinners is strong. Trader Joe’s has so many packaged options that were staples to my and my husband’s food life when I was working full-time previously. But I’m committed to a new path and I want to continue to explore a diverse world of recipes that are truly nutritious and are nourishing fuel for optimal performance – mental and physical.

This week’s nutritional win comes from the aptly named food blog A Beautiful Plate. The blogger, Laura, gives me so much blogger envy...and inspiration! Beautiful layout, smart organization, gorgeous photography, and delicious food. So much good stuff. For example, Saturday night’s dinner – Roasted Carrot & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing.

Side note: How great are my friends that they are willing to eat ridiculously healthy food on a Saturday night while watching Sharknado 2? So great!

This meal takes just about 40 minutes to pull together (cook time on the lentils and the roasted vegetables is 25 – 30 minutes) and the prep is easy enough for this to be an after work weeknight dinner. The lentils cook with a quartered onion, a bay leaf and two smashed garlic cloves so they are beautifully seasoned and full of flavor. The rainbow carrots, radishes, and garlic cloves are roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper so be sure to use fresh produce so their natural yumminess can shine through. Once your vegetables and lentils are cooked, you toss them with shaved red onions and radishes to give the earthy, caramelized flavors a little burst of sharp spicy flavors to keep everything in balance. Plus – tahini dressing is like sprinkling magic on a salad. I served mine over a bed of spinach to get in those leafy greens and was able to get 4 full dinner portions out of the recipe.

While making this recipe I learned an important lesson about roasting garlic. Use the big cloves! Unfortunately, I roasted those tiny sliver cloves from the center of the bulb and they overcooked to the point of being dry and inedible. Which is a big bummer because roasted garlic is one of my favorite flavors and would have really enhanced this dish.

Go forth – treat your body to a healthy dose of diverse nutrients from this delicious vegan, gluten-free meal! Roasted Carrot & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing from A Beautiful Plate.