Is it just me or does it seem like Spring has sprung?!? After a particularly cold and snowy February, it’s delightful to see a streak of sunny days with blue skies in early March. This is the season to support our liver and gall bladder, as we instinctively eat less to gently cleanse our bodies of fats and heavy, winter foods. Selecting simple foods that emphasize the yang—the ascending and expansive qualities of Spring– such as young plants, fresh greens and sprouts, supports the seasonal nourishment our bodies are craving!
The local farmer’s markets in this area are slowly starting to pop up again and that means a bounty of slightly bitter and sweet, tender, crunchy Spring vegetables! Here’s a light, healthy, Greek-inspired salad recipe from author Sylvia Fountaine that embodies the essence of Spring.
Both vegan adaptable and gluten-free.
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Yield: 3-4
- 2 cups cooked lentils (Black Caviar or French Green are nice- do not use split lentils) about ¾ cup dry.
- 3 cups spring veggies- your choice of snap peas, english peas, snow peas, green beans, asparagus, radishes or chard
- 3 tablespoons red onion- chopped fine, or sub green onion
- 1–2 garlic cloves, finely minced- use a garlic press
- ¼ cup chopped mint leaves (2 ounces) or sub dill or Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup plain thick greek yogurt ( or sub vegan yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill (or mint)
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Putting It All Together
Cook the lentils in salted water until tender, but not falling apart. Lightly steam, grill or blanch the veggies. If adding radishes, you can keep those raw and crunchy- (or feel free to grill them). If using chard, finely chop and wilt in a pan with a little olive oil, shallot or garlic, and salt and pepper.
Place the lentils, veggies, onion, garlic and mint in a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, lemon zest and juice from ½ a lemon. Season generously with salt and pepper. Adjust lemon, adding more if you like. If it’s bland, toss in a dash of salt.
Make the optional yogurt sauce to spread on the bottom of the plate or platter. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Spread the yogurt sauce on your serving dish and top with the salad. Your liver and gall bladder will thank you!