Sweet and Sour Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad

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I was debating whether or not to name this salad the “Make Me a Vegan” salad, because, that is exactly how I felt after eating this amazing creation.  A few weeks ago, in preparation for the long awaited visit of my aunt and uncle, recent converts to “veganism”, I stumbled along an outstanding vegan blog called ohsheglows.com.  The feature recipe of that day, Roasted Potato, Asparagus and Lentil Salad with a lemon and mustard dressing, looked intriguing and easy, I knew I had to try it.  This recipe was my first attempt off that amazing site and I am feeling so ready to convert. Or at least to try and cook vegan dinners as often as possible…The honest truth is that the guidelines for the SCD diet that Jon is on would make a vegan lifestyle very difficult for us, but eating this way once a week, or a few times a week if possible, feels so great. Turning to lentils as a source for protein is a wonderful change from the same old chicken or fish dinners and leaves you feeling full and satisfied, but in a much lighter way.  I made my own version using butternut squash instead of potatoes (because potatoes are off limits on Jon’s SCD diet) and I thought the sweetness of the squash was a perfect complement to the tart lemon dressing.  I also decided to serve my adapted version over fresh spinach to add a nice crunch.  This dish is truly an easy, healthy, kosher winner, I’ve passed it along many times already and the only complaint is that there is never any leftover!

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Sweet and Sour Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes (cubes can be bigger, just make sure to modify cooking time)

1 bunch asparagus cut into 3 pieces lengthwise

1 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup uncooked green lentils (for easier digestion and for those following SCD, soak lentils overnight and rinse thru before using. The lentils will increase in size)

1/2 purple onion, chopped small

2 cups fresh spinach

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Toss squash with 1/2 tablespoon oil and spread evenly on one  baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, mixing halfway thru for even cooking. While squash is cooking, prepare asparagus and lentils.  Toss asparagus with remaining olive oil and spread evenly on prepared baking sheet. Place asparagus in the oven with squash and cook for an additional 15-18 minutes or until both squash and asparagus have brown edges. Place one cup of lentils in medium pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and let cook for 20 minutes or until lentils cooked thru. Mix lentils asparagus, squash and onions with tangy dressing (see below) and then toss in spinach. Dress salad at least 15 minutes before serving to let flavors absorb.

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Dressing:

1 heaping tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

mix well before using.

Yield: 2 entree portions or 4-6 side dish

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