Greek Lentil Salad! This healthy, vegetable packed salad is so delicious! Lentils, Quinoa, Veggies in a tangy lemon dressing. Vegan & Gluten-Free.
I’m here to prove that salads can be main meals, especially when they are as delicious as this one. Salty olives, juicy tomatoes, crunchy raw zucchini, and crisp red onion just for starters. Because when I make a salad into a meal, I want as many textures as possible.
I’m on a personal mission to make vegetarian eating not only sooooo freaking delicious but also affordable. Did you know that most people associate plant-based eating with higher grocery bills? Crazy but true. I was at a conference last week where they shared this stat, and I was blown away by how many people in the audience were nodding their heads in agreement.
Plants? Expensive? Well, okay, yeah. I can see how that could be perceived. However, I can attest to the fact that I have helped hundreds of clients not only change their diet for the better, but reduce their grocery bill to boot.
The key to healthier (and affordable) eating? Switch up your protein sources. You don’t have to be full-on vegetarian to make this change. You can start to see benefits in swapping animal protein for plant protein just a few times a week. Considering the price of meat averages around $3/lb., plant-based proteins tend to run approximately 1/3 of the cost. I bought this bag of French Green Lentils (the filet mignon of lentils) for a little over a dollar a bag.
Per cooked serving, that equates to $0.13 per serving for lentils, $0.75 for the meat. Multiply that by a few meals a week and you can see how swapping in plant-based proteins for meat can have a significant impact on the grocery budget.
Health benefits rock too! One serving of lentils contains 15g fiber, 13g protein, 3.2mg iron, and only 1g of fat.
To make healthy eating even more affordable, I head to a variety of grocery stores to make sure that I am getting the biggest bang for my buck. Even though we are only a family of two, I spend most of my days testing recipe after recipe, which means my grocery bill can get out of control if I’m not careful.
One of my favorite hidden gems is Grocery Outlet (GO) where products are sold 40-70% off retail price. We are lucky to live just a few blocks from one so I can pop in on the way home from yoga class to peek around and see what’s new on the shelves.
They just launched a “NOSH” section which has been my go-to place to stock up on goods. Natural, Organic, Specialty and Healthy, which rocks. My latest finds include Amy’s frozen meals ($2 each!), MaraNatha Almond Butter ($3.99), and frozen blueberries ($2.99). All products I would normally buy at Safeway or the like, but so happy that I can find them at Grocery Outlet instead.
I created this recipe using all ingredients I found at GO. Lentils, quinoa and extra-virgin California olive oil from their NOSH section, vegetables from the produce section.
Ok, money aside- this salad is so flavorful. I love summer salads that get better the longer they marinate, and this salad is no exception. I can see making this salad in the morning before friends arrive and enjoying a casual BBQ hours later.
Greek Salad was one of my favorite dishes growing up, and I love that I’ve recreated a healthier version here. I kept it dairy-free but if you want a little more tang, feel free to throw in some feta cubes. Go ahead and make extra of the dressing, it’s so versatile and tastes great anywhere you would use a vinaigrette.
To make this recipe even more special, I’m giving away TWO gift cards ($25 each) to Grocery Outlet to make healthy eating even sweeter. To enter, comment below referencing if you’ve ever shopped at a Grocery Outlet before! Two winners will be selected at random on June 15th.
If you have a Grocery Outlet near you, be sure to sign up for the WOW deals email– you’ll get alerted anytime they have a exciting new product in stock! It’s how I knew to stock up on Amy’s meals last week before they ran out.
Enjoy. I’m off to restock!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Greek Lentil Salad
Yield 4 servings
- 1/2 cup French (du Puy) lentils
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 small/medium zucchini or 1 large, cubed
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved and pitted
- 4 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse and drain the lentils. Place in a saucepan and cover by 2 inches with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 20-25 minutes until tender. Strain and set aside.
- While the lentils are cooking, make the quinoa. Place quinoa in a small sauce pot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, keep the lid on and let sit another 2-3 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Once the lentils and quinoa have cooled, place in a bowl with the tomatoes, zucchini, red onion and olives.
- Whisk together the oregano, salt, ground pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with salad.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Grocery Outlet. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make DK possible.