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Cucumber Pear Juice & Siesta Lentil Salad

Posted Aug 26 2011 7:49pm
Now that I'm home from vacation, I am back to my daily juicing! (Something I missed terribly). I never thought I'd get so attached to my juicer but I sure do love that thing. I juice because I want to. I can. And I love it. Drinking fresh juice once or twice a day is a perfect energy and nutrient boost. I came up with a super simple and amazing combo yesterday.

Cucumber, pear and lemon juice.

Yep, it's that easy. I used 2 cukes, 2 pears, and juice from half a lemon. It comes out a beautiful shade of green and the flavor is... divine. Yes, you heard me. Magical. Heavenly.
Actually, I think it might be one of my all time favorite juices. And that's saying a lot!
Even kitty wanted to try. hehe.

Cucumbers are super hydrating and the juice has a wonderfully delicious flavor. So I usually add a cuke or two almost every time I juice! I've had a few people ask me about the best way to store juice if you make it ahead of time. Ideally, fresh juice is best when consumed within minutes of juicing because at this point it has optimal nutrient quality. But let's face it, we can't always be ideal. Plus sometimes I make more than I can drink and have leftovers. So what's the best way to store the stuff?
In an airtight glass container. I use mason jars. Also be sure to fill the jar to the tippy top to prevent oxidation. Another hint I've heard through blog reading and juicing research is to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before you store it, which further helps to preserve the nutrients. This is the method that I've been using, and it works pretty well. You may have some separation in the juice if it sits in the fridge for awhile, but just shake it up before you drink and it should be okay.

I also have a new recipe to share! This summer I've been hooked on lentils. (I know I said black beans yesterday but truth be told I can't get enough of either!) I've been doing a lot of experimenting with lentils because they are so versatile! Two of my favorite lentil recipes are lentil sloppy joes and lentil vegan lasagna . Mmmm. But sometimes I like to keep things a bit simpler with the lentil.

Introducing, Siesta Lentil Salad. This recipe is relatively quick and easy, and the flavor combination is fabulous. It's also perfect for packing in to-go lunch boxes or piling on top of salad beasts if you need a little extra protein and fiber.
Siesta Lentil Salad
Ingredients:
2 c. cooked and drained lentils
1/2 c. chopped carrots
1/2 c. chopped zucchini
1/2 lg. red pepper, chopped
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, diced
2 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to flavor
Print this recipe

1. Wash, prep and chop veggies. Add olive oil to small saute pan and saute garlic, sweet onion and zucchini until veggies are soft. Set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl combine lentils with remaining veggies, fresh herbs and spices. Add lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.
3. Add cooked veggies to lentil mixture and stir to combine.

*optional: add a squeeze of agave nectar or orange juice to make it slightly sweeter
This recipe is pretty versatile. You may substitute or add any veggies that you prefer. I prefer the sweet onion, garlic and zucchini slightly cooked, but you can use all raw ingredients if you like. This salad stores really well and it makes a great side dish or meal in itself!

I've been trying to come up with easier meals to transport for lunch while at work or school. Yes, this is a slightly new concept for me. All of a sudden I have a day job I have to travel to, as well as day classes, and I prefer to bring my own eats rather than dine out. One of my fav bloggers, Elise @ Hungry Hungry Hippie , has some great tips and ideas for packing healthy vegan eats on the go, so her blog is a great inspiration.

I have week one of classes down, and the studying has already begun! Thank goodness for study buddies!
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

~Peace, Love & Veggies
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