In the dead of winter (insert here: bitter temps, lack of sunlight, and the urge to hibernate), this dish is a sweet reminder of those warmer, summer days. The scent of the coconut oil fused with the zing of citrus will temporarily make you forget about the Arctic chill. Apparently, taking a whiff of coconut oil can alleviate stress and lower your blood pressure. On top of that, coconut oil’s antiviral and antibacterial properties make this a great immunity-boosting addition to most diets, especially during this time of year.
Eating fresh, whole foods stacked with vitamins and minerals (B vitamins and magnesium, for example) may positively impact mood. The quinoa and lentils are a good source of complex carbs (linked to the production of the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin), protein, and fiber so this animal-free dish is also satiating and mood lifting.
Overall, this recipe is pretty simple. If you multi-task (mix up the dressing while the quinoa and lentils are cooking), it’s not time consuming. Here’s what you’ll need –
- Red Lentils
- Micro greens
- Coconut oil
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Juice from one orange
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- Olive oil
- 3 scallions
- Handful of parsley
In a sauce pan, boil 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the quinoa grains split and the water is absorbed.
In another sauce pan, boil 2 cups of water and add 1 cup of lentils. Turn the heat down to simmer, and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.
When the lentils and quinoa are cooked, remove both pans from heat and set aside.
Heat a generous amount of coconut oil in a pan; add 1 chopped scallion and small pieces of broccoli. Stir to evenly coat with oil and heat, sautéing for 5 minutes.
For the dressing: Juice 1 orange and 1 lemon. Finely chop garlic and add to the citrus juice. Add oil, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to the juice mixture. Whisk well. Finally, add chopped parsley and scallions. Mix well.
Combine the lentils, quinoa, and cooked broccoli in a medium sized bowl. Add freshly washed micro greens. Pour the dressing on top, mix well, and serve. Serve slightly warm and top with sesame seeds.
Note on micro greens – Most grocery stores will sell some sort of organic micro greens, though a local organic grocery store will definitely sell them. If you’re thinking of skipping the micro greens step, I’d encourage you not to. It adds a different layer of freshness and extra vitamins. For more info on micro greens, take a look at this vintage NPR piece: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/08/29/160274163/introducing-microgreens-younger-and-maybe-more-nutritious-vegetables