Now that the weather is getting warmer and I am trying to lose some kilos before beach season starts it is time to turn to salads as a way to have a light tasty meal. This salad is ridiculously simple and easy to make, however it has one unusual twist and it is that it has raw butternut squash. Usually this vegetable is baked or used in stews or soups but it is quite nice raw as well.
Raw butternut squash is crunchy and sweet, almost melon-like in flavour. It gives the salad a very nice contrast both in texture and in taste to the earthiness of the puy lentils and I like to offset this with some heat from a mild chilli pepper and some freshness from the coriander and lime dressing. It makes it a lot easier if you buy already coked quinoa and puy lentils (I buy them cooked and mixed in a packet – no shame in that!). I believe in convenience when it is a healthy choice and make no apologies for it! 🙂
- 250g cooked quinoa and puy lentil mix
- 150g tinned or cooked mushrooms
- 100g cucumber
- 200g butternut squash
- 50g cherry tomatoes
- 1 red chilli
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
- squeeze of lime juice
- Dice the cucumber and the cherry tomatoes and add to a salad bowl.
- If you are using tinned mushrooms for convenience then add these too, otherwise slice them and cook them in a little olive oil for a few minutes until they soften.
- Slice the red chilli, seeds and all if it is not too spicy and add.
- Chop a bunch of coriander (to taste). I like coriander a lot so I tend to be quite generous with it.
- Add the puy lentils and quinoa.
- Using a peeler shave the raw butternut squash so you get very thin slices.
- Mix it all well and dress with the olive oil, lime juice and season to taste.