Time for my first Bayfood Fasts post for this year! I’ve been eating a lot of heavy and fried foods in the past couple of weeks and have been craving something fresh! And whenever I want something fresh, I crave this lentil carrot salad. I actually discovered this delicious combination at work, and I would literally order it every day after I found out how tasty it is! I will note that I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe, but it’s a salad you’re going to want to put together more than once, so you’ll have plenty!
This salad has brown lentils, roasted carrots, red cabbage, lemon kefir cheese, arugula, cilantro, and a spicy citrus sumac dressing. The kefir is what drew me to the salad and I never looked back! You can also add basil, mint, and cilantro (yes all three) for extra flavors, but I decided not to put it in since I didn’t have all of them, and the salad doesn’t taste any different.
First, you’re going to want to cook the brown lentils. You can season them with salt and pepper (or any seasoning you like), but I kept it simple. While that’s happening, I chopped up my carrots, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and popped them into the oven to roast. With those two cooking on the side, I combined my dressing which had olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, sumac, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. And finally, taking my kefir cheese (or greek yogurt/labneh if kefir is hard to find) and add some lemon juice to add the flavor.
Once all of these components are done, simply combine the lentils, carrots, and lemon kefir with the red cabbage, arugula, and cilantro. Then drizzle your citrus sumac dressing! It’s that simple!
I feel like this salad has a little bit of everything – you have protein from the lentil that gives it this heartiness, the sweet and savory carrot flavors, crunch from the red cabbage, and tarty creaminess from the kefir. And then you have a kick of hot and sour from the dressing! There’s so many flavors and textures happening and they all complement each other very well. I think it’s best to play with the amount of each ingredient you want, since salads are so customizable. I packaged everything separately to store in the fridge so I could easily put together the salad without the ingredients getting soggy.
This is perfect for Ramadan because I know that a lot of us traditionally have heavy foods in the evening. It’s nice to treat yourself, but a little freshness goes a long way!