This recipe is going to showcase how to use a combination of leftovers to make a great, easy side dish for this crazy, holidy week. It combines a vegetable, carbohydrate, cheese and a dressing to create a satisfying dish. (The cauliflower I am using I had previously roasted, recipe below).
The reason I used lentils is because they are so high in fiber and protein for a carbohydrate, and they don’t get transformed into fat in your body (as other processed carbs do). They also have cholesterol-lowering properties and are great for weight loss, because they are virtually fat free! They also have a great unique flavor that is nice to add to your diet. The best way to prepare them, I have found, is to soak them over night, and in the morning they are ready and don’t become mushy like they can when boiled.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables; its heart healthy and also possesses a lot of minerals and vitamins that are essential to our diet. I feel people can misunderstand this veggie because of it’s white color. But don’t be fooled! It is something you should have in your diet, especially in the fall and winter seasons.
Feta is a great cheese to use here because it’s super flavorful and you don’t need a lot of it, but with the combination of the lemon dressing it really makes the vegies sing! This would be great along side some nice pork medallions or grass-fed beef. Or when you’re having this for leftovers, toss on top of some kale or greens for a nice healthy lunch!
You could also use broccoli and barley with marinara as your sauce for something more italian and hearty, or your could use brussel sprouts with couscous and the same lemon dressing! All great combinations and all tasty, easy ways to get some healthy carbs and veggies in your belly!
Baked Cauliflower + Lentils with Feta + Lemon:
1 cup roasted cauliflower (recipe below)
1 cup cooked lentils (I used green, but whichever you have on hand)
¼ cup feta cheese, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small shallot, diced
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
¼ cup lemon dressing:
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk together all ingredients for the lemon dressing in a small bowl and set aside. In a small, dry skillet, add pine nuts over medium heat. Toast until they become fragrant and start to brown, stirring often about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and return skillet to stove. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and add shallot. Cook until softened and stirring often, about 3 minutes. Combine cauliflower, lentils, feta, cooked shallot and pine nuts in a mixing bowl. Stir ingredients until all incorporated and then add the dressing, stirring to coat. Place mixture into a medium baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool 2 minutes and top with chopped parsley.
1 head cauliflower
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut head of cauliflower into small florets, making them as equal in size as possible. Pour on the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. Take out and allow to cool for a minute, eat as is or in a separate recipe.