Friday, July 18, 2014

French Lentil Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & A Plant-Powered Giveaway!

A few nights ago, my friend and colleague Sharon Palmer celebrated the release of her second book, Plant-Powered for Life at Real Food Daily in Pasadena. 

Sharon and I, selling her two books, The Plant-Powered Diet & Plant-Powered for Life, as well as her (super cute!) organic "I AM Plant-Powered" tees
I worked with Sharon to organize the event and we were so happy to see such a positive turnout.

I absolutely love that plant-based eating is really starting to make waves.

Lisa and I are both “plant-powered omnivores,” as Sharon calls it. While we both eat animal products, plants usually have the starring role on our plates at each meal. And I think that’s really what it boils down to. Americans tend to revolve our menu planning around animal protein first – fish, pork, chicken, or beef. But, all it takes to become a plant-powered eater is a subtle change in mindset. Think of plant foods first.

For example, this time of year, there’s nothing better than sweet summertime corn. Maybe you’ll cook up some cobs of corn, mix the kernels with in-season avocado, heirloom tomatoes, and red wine vinegar. You can serve the mixture over black beans and quinoa, and serve with a ounce or two of salmon. You see? The plants take the starring role, and the salmon is the meal’s accessory.

Below is a plant-powered recipe Sharon offered to share with us. And don’t forget to scroll down to the very bottom of today’s blog for your chance to win a copy of Plant-Powered for Life!

French Lentil Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

  • Active preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Total preparation time: 30 minutes (not including chilling time)

Beans aren’t the only member of the legume family worth celebrating. Lentils, packed with fiber and protein, are just as nutritious. Plus they cook up—no soaking required—in only 15 to 20 minutes. A French ami shared her mother’s traditional recipe for lentil salad with me years ago. This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is a classic dish in France. It makes a wonderful, protein-rich highlight of any meal. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day.

Makes 6 servings (about 1 cup each)
1 pound (454 g) dried lentils (or 3 cups cooked; see Note)
4 cups (948 ml) water
2 teaspoons reduced sodium vegetable broth base
4 celery stalks, diced (160 g or about 1½ cups)
1½ cups (224 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium shallots, finely diced
¼ cup (15 g) packed chopped fresh parsley
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (see page 000)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium garlic clove, minced
Pinch of sea salt, optional

  1. Place the lentils, water, and broth base in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but firm.
  2. Remove from the heat, drain any remaining liquid, and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the celery, tomatoes, shallots, and parsley.
  4. In a small dish, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, herbes de Provence, black pepper, and garlic.
  5. Add the dressing to the lentil mixture and toss. Taste and season with sea salt, if desired. Chill until serving time.

Note: If you’re in a rush, use precooked, refrigerated lentils, available at many stores. Although a classic French lentil salad uses lentils du puys (small, dark green lentils), try other varieties for a colorful twist, such as yellow, beluga (black), or multicolored lentils.

Variation: Substitute cooked beans, such as white, fava, or cranberry beans, for the lentils.

Per Serving: 136 calories, 8 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 55 mg sodium

Star Nutrients: vitamin A (13% DV), thiamine (10% DV), vitamin B6 (11% DV), folate: (40% DV), vitamin C (19% DV), vitamin K (67% DV), copper (13% DV), iron (16% DV) magnesium (10% DV), manganese (24% DV), phosphorus (16% DV), potassium (14% DV)

From Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes Copyright © 2014 Sharon Palmer

Enter to win your own copy of Plant-Powered for Life, Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes (The Experiment, 2014)

Plant-Powered for Life is a cookbook-slash-handbook to help anybody make plant-powered eating a habit and enjoy lasting, vibrant health—the fun way! In Plant-Powered for Life, Sharon presents a straightforward, delicious way to meet the challenge. She urges readers to set a personal goal and take one step closer to it every week. Each chapter—from “Aim for at least 6 servings of veggies” to “Give sprouted grains a try”—includes a call to action, a clear, concise explanation, and two to three globally inspired recipes, which cover every meal, course, and season. With this guide, anyone can forge new habits, cook great food, and enjoy a healthy plant-powered life—one tasty step at a time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ is a writer and author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Over 850 of her articles have been published in national publications, including Prevention, Better Homes and Gardens and Today’s Dietitian. She is also the editor of the award-winning publication Environmental Nutrition and writes for her blog, The Plant-Powered Blog. Her specific expertise is in plant-based nutrition, including Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets. Her second book, Plant-Powered For Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes is now in stores!

Disclaimer: While I am Sharon’s Media Relations Manager, I was not compensated for this post. I truly love this book and have already made several of the recipes. And I love being a plant-powered omnivore, too!


  1. Eggplant and kale salad would be delightful. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. During the summer, I love a cold salad with beans, corn, tomatoes and cilantro.