I love this simple roasted carrot and puy lentil autumn salad because it’s so quick and easy to throw together.
An autumn salad?
Autumn can be such a confusing season – it’s hot one minute and cold the next (in the UK at least!). In September and October I find it difficult to know what to take to university /work for lunch. For example, if I take something warming like soup then it is inevitably a sunny day and then I don’t fancy it, but if I take something cold then the weather is cold and I end up going out to buy a baked potato rather than eat my packed lunch! Can you relate?
I made this salad to try and get round the problem of what to eat in the unpredictable autumn weather. I find that this simple salad is good because the cucumber is refreshing, but the roasted carrots and puy lentils are more comforting for your tummy. If you have access to a microwave you could even take the carrots and lentils in a separate tub and heat them up before putting them on the salad. Also, I will admit there are cold days when my tummy doesn’t feel like eating lettuce leaves so I have just picked off all the toppings and enjoyed them for lunch!
The anatomy of a salad
When I make a salad I try to get a mixture of different coloured fruit and vegetables to give me different vitamins and minerals. I also try to use a carbohydrate rich vegetable (such as carrots in this case – you can substitute it for sweet potato, butternut squash or beetroot), a source of fats (such as avocado, nuts/seeds or olive oil) and protein (from lentils in this case). I find it makes the salad more enjoyable to eat and also keeps me full for a good few hours. Using fresh vegetables and lentils also means that your salad is high in fibre to help with good digestive functioning
See here for my favourite satay salad recipe.
It’s okay if your salad bowl looks a mess!
I tried to make the salad look pretty with an avocado rose, but it tastes best if you smash up the avocado and mix it into the salad! Also, I eat more lentils than are shown in the photo – I just put a handful on to make the photo look nice so that people will share it on pinterest!!
Click here for a video of how to make your own avocado rose.
ROASTED CARROT AND LENTIL AUTUMN SALAD BOWL RECIPE
4 of your 5-a-day
- 1 large roasted (organic) carrot*
- ½ small avocado
- ½ – ¾ cup pre-cooked puy lentils
- 1/3 large (organic) cucumber
- 2 large handfuls of (organic) mixed leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Dressing: juice of ½ lemon + 1 tbsp olive oil + fresh coriander
*I like to roast a batch of carrots and store them in the fridge to throw onto salads or eat as a snack. Simply peel the carrots, cut them into batons and roast for 15-20 minutes at 180°c. Also, I usually buy organic ones because they are almost as cheap as regular ones.
- Wash the salad leaves and place them in a bowl.
- Chop up the veggies and add them to your salad along with the lentils.
- Dress with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil or balsamic vinegar
- That’s it!! It’s so easy!
What are your favourite salad ingredients?