Halloumi & Lentil Salad
Vegetarian with vegan option
I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and modified it slightly to be more versatile for whatever is in your fridge or pantry and for those following a vegetarian, mostly vegetarian, or vegan eating plan. I used brown lentils, but any lentils will do. You can also substitute cooked quinoa if you don't eat lentils. Feel free to use any vegetables you may have on hand in your fridge too – substitutions are the mainstay of the home cook! This dish is a good source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and protein and won't spike your blood sugar. Long lasting fuel in this dish.
Halloumi cheese is usually made from goat and sheep’s milk, but sometimes cow milk can be mixed in. If you have a cow dairy allergy or sensitivity, you may tolerate goat/sheep’s milk. The beta A1 casein (protein) content of cow dairy can be hard to digest. Sheep milk does not contain A1 casein and goat milk is very low in it, hence why it may be tolerated better in some people.
Halloumi is a harder cheese that can be grilled or sautéed for nice flavor. If you are completely dairy free, feel free to add a vegan cheese of your choosing (may not sauté well however, so perhaps just dice non-dairy versions and add directly to bowl, skipping the sauté).
2 ¼ cups cooked lentils
¼ onion, sliced
½ cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
4 cups greens, washed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
4-6 oz. halloumi cheese, sliced into 8 pieces, about ¼” thick
1-2 lemons, juiced (use 2 if you like lemon flavor)
Fresh herbs, parsley works well
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the lentils according to package directions, drain. Sauté the onions in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and mix with the cooked lentils in a bowl. Add the prepared tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, greens, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and lemon juice to the lentils. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently, then portion out into bowls. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the sauté pan and then add cheese and fry until lightly browned on each side. Add cheese to the salad (see above for vegan option). Garnish with some fresh herbs. Enjoy!