I really love salads! In fact, I love vegetables in general…much more so than fruit. And not just because I am a dietitian. I love the taste and texture combinations in salads and if you happen to add some sort of citrus in the dressing, that’s a cherry on top for me!
Summer is a great time to enjoy different types of salads because so many veggies are in season. So, I thought I would highlight a few of my favourite salads throughout the next few months. Salads are not only a great side dish but also can be made into complete meals by adding a protein and grain option.
To launch the series, I decided to start with Lentil & BBQ Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. This recipe comes from Dietitians of Canada Cookspiration App.
(Quick tip-Don’t let the BBQ corn stop you! I have never used BBQ corn for it! Canned or frozen corn works great.)
4 whole cobs of corn, husks on (approx. 3½ cups (875 mL) corn kernels) **
1 cup cooked or canned green lentils, drained and rinsed
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbsp green onion
1 Tbsp minced jalapeno pepper
4 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp lime zest
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
**see my note above….3 ½ cups of canned or frozen corn works well!
Preheat your grill to 400° F (200° C)
To prepare corn, gently pull back husks and remove inside silk. Place husks back around the corn. Soak cobs of corn in lightly salted water for 10 minutes (this will help to keep kernels juicy when grilling). Once 10 minutes have passed, shake off excess water and put corn on the grill. Cook with BBQ lid down for 15-20 minutes turning every 5 minutes. Husks should be charred and the kernels tender. Remove from grill and set aside to cool. Once cooled enough so that you can handle, remove husks from corn and cut off kernels. Toss kernels with lentils, peppers, and onion.
In a small bowl whisk jalapeno pepper, lime juice and zest, cilantro, canola oil, salt and pepper together and toss with corn and lentil mixtures.
Serve warm or cold
There is something about the cilantro, lime and corn combination that I love! Once you have tried the salad, you can decide if you want to personalize it a bit. You could easily substitute chickpeas or another pulse for the lentils. Tomatoes could also easily be added into the mix. If you want to boost the protein, you could top with roast chicken. That is the beauty of salads (and soups for that matter), they can easily be adjusted to satisfy your taste and to use what you have on hand.