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Herby Lentil Salad with Spinach and Peas

Serves 4.


    Herby Lentil Salad with Spinach and Peas

    Small black beluga lentils, so called because of their resemblance to caviar, hold their shape well, making them perfect for salads. If you can’t find beluga lentils, use French Puy lentils, which have similar properties. With lentils, young spinach, spring peas, and herby dressing, this salad welcomes spring.


    Sustainability cred

    Symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobium invade the roots of lentils and legumes such as peas and beans, allowing them to “fix,” or use, nitrogen. This also improves the quality of the soil they grow in. When grown as part of a crop rotation system, they make the soil suitable to grow other plants, including grains, that require nitrogen.

    Be picky

    Packaged lentils may contain small stones or other debris which, for safety, should be removed. To pick over lentils, take small amounts of lentils and spread them on a flat surface such as a cutting board. Using a bench scraper or palette knife, or simply your hands, review the contents and move from one end of the board to the other, removing any debris you find on the way.

    Fun fact: The word lentil is derived from the word for lens. You might want to get a pair to complete this task!

    What to look for: When choosing lentils, look for organic lentils to avoid glyphosate residues that can be found in conventionally grown varieties.


    Herby Lentil Salad with Spinach and Peas


      • 1 cup (500 mL) black beluga or French Puy lentils
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) green peas
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely sliced cilantro
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely sliced parsley
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely sliced mint
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
      • 3 green onions, finely sliced
      • 1 cup (500 mL) baby spinach


      Per serving:

      • calories95
      • protein5 g
      • total fat4 g
        • sat. fat1 g
      • total carbohydrates11 g
        • sugars1 g
        • fibre4 g
      • sodium162 mg



      Pick over lentils, removing pebbles or debris, and rinse. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add lentils and bay leaf. Reduce to medium-low and cook lentils at a slow simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.


      In separate pot, blanch green peas for 2 to 3 minutes; drain and rinse with cool water.


      In small bowl, combine herbs, vinegar, olive oil, and salt.


      In large bowl, place cooked and cooled lentils. Pour dressing overtop lentils; add green onions, blanched peas, and baby spinach; and toss together. Tip out onto large shallow platter to serve.



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      B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.