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Warm Lentil Salad with Sausage & Apple

Posted Dec 20 2011 8:00am
This is one of those weeks that simple and delicious meals is the name of the game because all my other time will be spent making a flour and sugar wind storm in my kitchen. It's that time of year when whether I am eating goodies or not, it is always such a blast to bake up an abundance of gingerbread, peanut butter kiss and sugar snowflake cookies to put you in the holiday spirit and share the love {the sweets love}.

So needless to say this dinner was an excellent choice because it was simple to throw together, not a lot of prep time and the hearty texture of this salad sticks with you without a lot of carbs.
Sausage and lentils together have a fabulous taste, lots of protein and really fill you up. Add salad and some healthy veggies and fruit and you have a very well balanced meal.

Natural salts from the mean and sugars in the fruit in this dinner create a warming dish that surely made Paul and I happy, especially after a very long weekend.

Now get ready, because the rest of this week is going to be filled with holiday treats, cookies, some DIY gift ideas and of course a few guest postings with some fabulous blogger friends of mine. Have a great week!
Warm Lentil Salad with Sausage & Apple
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 
Recipe adopted from  Eating Well


4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 links hot or sweet turkey sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked or canned (rinsed) lentils (see Tip)
1 gala apple, finely diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, finely diced
6 cups arugula or spinach greens

Whisk 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook, stirring often and breaking up, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds more. Stir in 5 tablespoons of the dressing and remove from the heat. Stir in fennel, apple and celery.
Toss greens with the remaining dressing. Serve with the warm lentil mixture on top.

Tip: To cook lentils, place in a saucepan, cover with at least 1 inch of water, bring to a simmer and cook until just tender, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of lentil. Drain and rinse with cold water. 1 cup dry lentils = about 2 1/2 cups cooked. Or use canned lentils: 15-ounce can = 1 1/2 cups. Rinse canned lentils before cooking with them to reduce the sodium by about 35%.

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