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Lentil & Halloumi Salad

Lentil & Halloumi Salad

This weekend marked the start of the Open Gardens SA 2017 season which kicked off at a fascinating and inspiring home and garden called Tickletank, Mount Barker, South Australia. This intimate garden was designed around a series of concrete water tanks which have been artistically transformed into a quirky home. The garden also featured innovative ideas, recycled objects and a marvellous mosaic driveway which added permanent colour to an already colourful display of hardy cottage perennials and self seeding annuals mixed with Australian native plants and succulents. When you have been out enjoying the warming spring sunshine and a beautiful garden, the last thing you want to do when you arrive home is cook dinner. This effortless salad is just the ticket. It has the light freshness of herbs and the satisfying nature of sweet potato. Just the perfect way to finish a glorious weekend. Thank you to the Australian Healthy Food Guide magazine for the recipe.

  • Serves 4
  • Preparation time:  15 minutes; cooking time 30

Nutritionist’s tip:  Ever wondered which is the healthier choice, the humble white potato or sweet potato (kumara)? The bottom line is that sweet potato offers more nutritional benefits and here’s why. Sweet potato has more dietary fibre than white potato (3.7g and 3g respectively per 150g serve). The higher fibre content means that the carbohydrate in sweet potatoes is less rapidly absorbed compared to white potatoes and this keeps you feeling fuller for longer, and less likely to snack in between meals. All potatoes are good sources of dietary fibre, potassium and vitamin C, but sweet potato has the nutritional edge. The orange colour indicates high levels of vitamins A and C, powerful antioxidants that provide important health benefits.  Source:  Australian Healthy Food Guide.

Ingredients

  • 500g (17 ½ oz) sweet potato (kumara), peeled and chopped into 1cm (1½ inch) chunks
  • 400g butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 1 cm (1½ inch) chunks
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped into 1 cm (1½ inch) chunks
  • 2 cups silverbeet leaves (or kale), roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) tin no added salt lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 120g halloumi cheese, diced into 1cm (1½ inch) cubes

Dressing

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F). Line a large baking tray with baking paper, Put the sweet potato (kumara), pumpkin and carrot in a microwave-safe bowl, cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the prepared tray, spray with olive oil. Alternatively, place the vegetables in a large bowl, drizzle a ½ tablespoon olive oil, then mix to evenly distribute the oil over the vegetables. Then oven roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, or until soft and golden, adding silverbeet (or kale) to the tray in a single layer for the last 10 minutes, or until crisp.
  • Meanwhile, place the lentils, mint and parsley in a bowl; mix well. To make the dressing:  add all the ingredients in a small screw top jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  • Spray a large non-stick frying pan with olive oil (or drizzle a little olive oil into the pan) and place over a medium-high heat. Add the halloumi cubes and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden; remove from the pan and leave to rest for 1 minute.
  • Remove the tray of roast vegetables from the oven. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl of lentils and herbs. Mix gently to combine.
  • Divide the salad among 4 bowls (or on a large platter), top with the halloumi, drizzle over the dressing and serve.
Lentil & Halloumi Salad
Lentil & Halloumi Salad

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  • Delish factor:  4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Not suitable to freeze but fabulous for lunch the next day

If you make this recipe let me know how it turned out. Leave a comment below and/or share an image of your creation on social media @janette bridger or #beanthinkingaboutpulses

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