It has been a while since I last proposed a nutritious and delicious salad; one that can easily stand as a main course, because it has nothing to envy from a hearty meal. Such is today’s recipe, a salad with lentils, red cabbage, raisins and stilton cheese, which is eaten cold or warm.
I do not know if I told you how much I love such dishes. When I first tasted this salad I was excited. Not only is hearty and delicious, it is so, so nutritious! This is a dish very rich in fiber, protein, vitamin C, iron and antioxidants.
Red cabbage (which is more purple than red) is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, dietary fiber and manganese. Due to the increased content of polyphenols it is ranked in the top vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. It helps lower cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. It is rich in vitamin C and anthocyanins, which help cognitive function and concentration. These nutrients can also prevent damage to the nerves, improving our defense against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. One cup of raw cabbage contains 2.2 g. fibers, which can help in the process of digestion, prevent constipation, reduce blood sugar levels and mitigation of overeating.
Lentils are also rich in fiber (15 grams of fiber in just one cup). They contribute to heart health (protection from coronary and cardiovascular disease), not only because of the fiber, but also because of the significant amounts of folate and magnesium containing. Moreover, they are particularly important to manage blood sugar disorders, and prevent blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. They are a very good source of protein. Fifty grams of lentils contain that much protein as in 67 grams of beef and contain almost all essential amino acids needed by the body to use proteins. They miss only two, but combining lentils with other vegetables, such as corn and spinach, we can get a complete protein. Finally, their content on iron is particularly important for young people and pregnant women. (You can see other recipes with lentils here.)
Raisins are also rich in antioxidants, iron, potassium and calcium. You should better prefer organic raisins.
As for the cheese, stilton matches very nicely with this salad, balancing the sweetness that the remaining ingredients give to the salad. You can replace it with blue cheese, if you cannot find stilton.
- • ¼ red cabbage, cut into very thin strips (remove the hard bit in the middle of cabbage)
- • 250 g. lentils
- • 40 g. blond raisins
- • 1 large red onion, cut into thin strips
- • 1 pinch dried tarragon
- • 100-150 g. stilton cheese (or blue cheese), cut in medium-sized pieces
- • 1 bouquet garni *
- • some fresh parsley sprigs, chopped (optional)
- • 6 tablespoons olive oil
- • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- • 1 tablespoon honey
- • salt, pepper
- In a medium saucepan add the lentils with 500 ml of water, bouquet garni and salt and boil for 20-25 minutes, until almost done. Most of the liquid should have been evaporates
- Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients.
- When lentils are almost done, remove the bouquet garni and add the cabbage, onion, raisins and a pinch of tarragon.
- Add the vinaigrette and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes on the hot stove, but with the fire off.
- Add cheese and serve the salad warm or cold.
- Optionally, you can garnish the salad with fresh chopped parsley.
- * Wrap in a piece of clean cloth or gauze 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1-2 bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh parsley and tie with cooking string.