Saturday, March 29, 2014

Feta & Lentil Salad

Lentils: as cheap and easy as it gets, but always the supporting actor...until now. Never have I seen lentils take centre stage as I have in the last few years. Perhaps the focus on reducing meat consumption and the rise in vegetarian and vegan diets play parts in this trend.  I haven't been as successful as others in making lentils interesting, but this lentil salad seems to bring all the right flavours together. Once the lentils are cooked, the salad takes only minutes to prepare and assemble. I typically double or triple the volume of lentils I cook so I can add them to other dishes throughout the week.

Loosely inspired by:


  • 1/2 cup dry french lentils
  • 3 cups various lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Fill a large pot with 1 1/2 cups of water and the french lentils. Cover pot and soak for one hour. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

I opted to prepare each serving individually and arranged the lettuce on individual plates, followed by the lentils, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes and avocado slices. Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad and season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato, Spinach Bacon Burgers

Feedback is important to any endeavour and food is no exception. I made these burgers about 6 weeks ago and brought some to work for my colleagues to sample. They were really well received and even made by a colleague who hasn't stopped raving about them.

When I was new to the cooking scene, I evaluated recipes based on the number of instruments required to make the dish and the number of ingredients. If the ingredients list has more than 6 items and called for food processors or double boilers, I wasn't making it. If you take the same approach, the burgers may appear daunting at first, but I'd ask you to ignore your initial judgement and persevere. The recipe makes about 15 burgers and they're not the kind of food one would tire of quickly.  I should know. I suffer from leftover phobia and can't stomach eating the same dish more than two or three times. Oy, that sounded like a first world problem, if there ever was one! My point is the effort is definitely worth it. I plan on making these again over the weekend. I've served them neat, on a toasted english muffin and on top of a salad. They are filled with all kinds of great ingredients such as sweet potato and spinach, which makes them even more endearing.

Adapted from:


  • 1 package of bacon
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 t paprika
  • 2 t hot mustard
  • 4 t dried rosemary
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 T all purpose flour
  • 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey


Cook the bacon until crispy, either in a frying pan or my preferred method, on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350F. Once cooked, remove from heat, pat dry and chop into small pieces.

Use a food processor to finely chop the spinach, sweet potato and onion.

In a bowl, combine the bacon, sweet potato, spinach and onion. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form the mixture into about 15 patties. Place the patties on a line cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 375F. Remove from oven, turn the patties over and return to the oven for another ten minutes. Check the centre of a patty to ensure it is cooked through. Remove from oven and serve.