This lemony lentil quinoa salad is one from the archives. It’s the recipe that finally turned me into a quinoa lover.
Which, I must admit took a while.
Have you ever cooked with quinoa (KEEN-wa)? It’s a South American grain-like seed that you cook like rice, simmering it in water or broth until the liquid is absorbed. It’s high in protein and gluten-free. Most well-stocked supermarkets have it. (I was able to find it in Eagle River, Wisconsin, Population: 1,626, as far back as 2011.)
Quinoa has been really popular with the healthy eating set for several years. I wanted to like it. But didn’t at first. There was something about it’s look and texture I found strange.
But I kept trying. And me efforts were rewarded with this delectable lemony lentil quinoa salad. I’ve made many yummy quinoa recipes since.
Now I realize I just didn’t give it a fair chance. Rice and oatmeal are also bland. You’ve got to show them a little love to make them delicious too.
Skinny on Lemony Lentil Quinoa Salad
Low in fat and packed with fiber, this lemony lentil quinoa salad is as good for you as it is delicious.
Each serving has 254 calories and *6 Weight Watchers Points Plus. I think it will work for Simply Filling, provided you count the oil as part of daily requirement. (Each serving has 1 teaspoon olive oil.)
Be sure to rinse your quinoa really well. It can have a soapy tasting coating called saponin which needs to be washed away.
The recipe calls for cooked lentils. I had a package of these little beauties in the fridge. So I used them instead of cooking my own. All I had to do was open the bag and break up the clumps with my fingers before stirring them into the cooled quinoa. How easy is that?
Drizzling on the lemony dressing…
- 6 cups water, divided
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed really well
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
- ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium low, allowing the lentils to simmer, until tender, but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain and let them cool completely.
- While the lentils are cooking, prepare the quinoa. In another medium saucepan combine the remaining 2 cups water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the temperature to low, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
- Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the tarragon, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and mustard.
- When the lentils and quinoa are completely cool, in a large bowl combine them with the sliced green onions, tossing them gently together. Add the dressing and toss again gently until everything is coated.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled, or for up to 4 hours. Just before serving, stir in the chopped fresh parsley.
I had a box of Trader Joe's steamed lentils in the fridge, so used them instead of cooking my own. I like to make use of what's readily available whenever I can.
Be sure to rinse your quinoa well. It has a soapy tasting coating called saponin which needs to be washed away.
Source: adapted from 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking: 500 Recipes for Lifelong Wellness
*PointsPlus® for lemony lentil quinoa calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
If you liked this lemony lentil quinoa salad post, check out these links:
- Weight Watchers Recipe for Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios, Raisins & Cilantro
- Apricot Cilantro Quinoa Pilaf Recipe at Meatless Monday
- Ellie Krieger’s Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts Recipe
- More than 20 quinoa recipes from the NYT Recipes for Health
- Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins from Bob’s Red Mill and Lorna Sass
- Whole Wheat Quinoa Muffins from Camilla at Enlightened Cooking
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