Lentils and Chickpeas with a Mediterranean Flair

Sometimes all you want to do is whip up a quick, nourishing meal that is filled with protein and nutrients. Well, maybe it’s not just sometimes but always! That’s when recipes such as this one come in handy because they require no specialty ingredients and just a few fresh vegetables that allow you to create a vibrant, delicious plate.

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Ingredients:

> 1 cup green lentils
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 3 cups spinach
> salt and pepper
> 1 can chickpeas
> 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
> juice from 1 lemon

Instructions:

Cook lentils in a medium saucepan for 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add spinach. Cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine lentils, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, spinach and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Mediterranean Crunch Salad

Greek salads are always a go-to for me, whether I’m whipping up a quick bite at home or am ordering at a restaurant. When I came across this recipe , I knew I had to try it. The classic ingredients of a greek salad (tomato, cucumber, onion and feta) get a makeover with broccoli, chickpeas and kale. This easy-to-make salad is great for entertaining or for taking to work for lunch.

Mediterranean Crunch Salad

Ingredients:

> 1 can garbanzo beans
> 1 cucumber, chopped
> 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
> 1 cup tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
> 1 cup kale, sliced
> 1/2 cup onion, chopped
> 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
> goat cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and toss in balsamic vinegar. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

To liven it up, add a soft cheese (I added crumbled goat cheese) or quinoa.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Whole Foods Market.