Bean and Quinoa, Lemon and Herb Salad
An Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara

imageTwo very yummy meals today. First up was breakfast after Fitstep class, so I was pretty hungry. Crisped up some focaccia from the freezer in a frying pan, with a couple of chorizo slices and had that with scrambled egg and tomato. Yum

Then at lunchtime I tried one of the salads I spoke about yesterday.

Green lentil, mushroom, raisin and cucumber salad, with a brinjal pickle and yoghurt dressing

priced at Asda April 2018
80g dried green lentils, Gama for Goodness Sake £2.20/kg, 18p
Handful lettuce and rocket from the garden or from a purchased iceberg lettuce 60p, 6p
A few basil leaves from the greenhouse
Medium carrot, peeled and ribboned, 5p
20g raisins, soaked in warm water to plump them up, £2.75/kg, 5p
2″ cucumber, diced, 55p a fruit,  5p
Tsp Patak’s Brinjal pickle, £1.95, 3p
Couple of tblsps plain yoghurt, 5p
Total of 55p, serves one
540 calories, 88g carb, 8g fat, 33g protein, 13g fibre

If you wanted to stretch this, you could have some crusty bread and butter with it, and make it serve 2. That would reduce the cost per serving too. Most of the calories are in the lentils, so if you don’t want that many calories, reduce the amount of lentils.

The mushrooms are one of several jars from Approved Foods that are in the stores. I tend to write the price on AP groceries, as you can see! I used these as there is a little packet of porcini in the cupboard, but we are in such chaos, I couldn’t find them today. The mushrooms contribute very little to the flavour of  the finished dish, so as the porcini had increased in price by a huge amount when I repriced them today, I’ve now left them out altogether

Before going to class, I put the lentils in a saucepan and covered them with warm water. On my return, they were nicely plumped and didn’t take long to simmer their way to softness. If I had been using dried porcini, I would have put those in to soak as well.

First of all, mix the brinjal pickle and yoghurt together. Taste and add more pickle or yoghurt according to your taste.


Layer up the salad starting with the lettuce

Add the carrot ribbons, slices of mushroom and diced cucumber


Top with the lentils and raisins


And finally, top with the dressing


This was a substantial and very tasty salad. I absolutely loved the dressing. I was impressed with my inspiration, haha


Truth be told, I could barely detect the mushrooms, so they could be left out. I thought that they would be a very strong flavour, maybe the porcini would be stronger. The pop of sweetness from the raisins worked well.
Any mild, crispy vegetables can be used…radish, mooli, broccoli, cauliflower etc etc. The green lentils could be changed for any other pulse, whatever you have or like, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto, cannelloni or haricot beans.

It would be equally good as either lunch or dinner. It would also make a good packed lunch.

The dressing would go with many other salads and would make a fab dip to have with crudités. You could use it as a butter substitute in sandwiches, or on jacket potatoes and I bet it would be lovely stirred through pasta.

Slimming World

A total of 4 Syns a serving

Most of this salad is Free on Slimming World. The ingredients that aren’t are the raisins and the brinjal pickle in the dressing. The raisins make a big contribution to the flavour so are worth the 3 Syns.

The small amount of pickle in this costs 1 Syn.


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Bean and Quinoa, Lemon and Herb Salad
An Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara
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