We experienced a heatwave here in Vancouver at the beginning of July! I love the sun so the warm days welcomed by me, but it also meant trying to keep the house as cool as possible and not using the oven. This also encouraged me to create a few new cold summer salads and side dishes to enjoy during these hot summer days.
Since our days have been quite busy with summer activities, dinner has also become a last minute ‘what shall we do’ sort of thing. This cold lentil bean salad with a spicy lemon tahini dressing was thrown together quickly from whatever we had in the fridge and pantry. I didn’t expect it to be blog worthy but it was so tasty, and the multiple ‘mmmm’ sounds of approval from Nick with each bite, convinced me I needed to share it!
The sprouted lentil bean mixture is a bag of dried sprouted lentils, mung beans and adzuki beans, that I found at Costco by TruRoots. Sprouting is a technique that boosts the nutritional profile, increasing vitamins and micronutrients. The process results in pre-digestion of complex proteins, starches and lipids, converting them into simple and essential components that make these beans much easier to digest. It’s also convenient for last minute meals as it cooks within 15 minutes. For this recipe you can use any mix of cooked lentils and beans that you have on hand though. The spicy dressing was made with Pomora’s chili oil (Al Peperoncino) that I’ve been testing in multiple recipes. It gave this lemon tahini dressing the perfect level of heat that was enjoyable and flavourful. I also had green chickpeas in the freezer that I tossed in but regular chickpeas would be just as good. The crunchy red peppers, crisp cucumbers, and juicy cherry tomatoes go well in this cold lentil bean medley but feel free to switch in whatever veggies you have on hand and get creative!
- 1 cup Sprouted Bean Trio, uncooked (or regular cooked brown/green lentils)
- 3 cups Water
- 1 cup Frozen Green Chickpeas, (or cooked regular)
- 1 Red Pepper, finely diced
- ½ cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in quarters
- ½ Large Cucumber, spoon and discard center, dice remaining
- 3 tbsp Tahini
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tbsp Chili Oil (Pomora’s Al Peperoncino)
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ¾ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro and Basil, chopped
- In a medium pot, add the sprouted bean trio and water. Bring to a boil on medium heat, add chickpeas, then cover and reduce to simmer for 10 mins. Turn heat off and leave covered for 10 mins, then drain water. Allow mixture to completely cool.
- In a large bowl, add diced red peppers and cherry tomatoes. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop center out and discard. Dice remaining cucumber and add to the bowl. Add fresh chopped cilantro and/or basil.
- Add the cooled lentil bean mixture to the vegetables and gently stir to mix.
- In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, oil, garlic, cumin, sea salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the lentil bean mixture, add fresh chopped herbs and stir to mix together.
- Place in fridge until ready to serve.