Strawberry, Feta, and Lentil Salad

For someone who HATES germs and carries two hand sanitizers around at all times, my home cleaning habits are not quite as predictable.

I don’t make my bed every day. In fact, I make it almost never. I clean my room whenever it suddenly hurts my soul to walk inside of it, which could be at any moment, and at any degree of messiness. Last week, I managed to wait a few days until about 33% of my floor was visible to cave. But today, I walked in at 9:30 PM super exhausted and almost lost it, even though my room wasn’t really that bad… There was a tiny stack of clean laundry that needed to be put away, a few shirts lying around that were rejects from this morning, an opened package from Amazon on my bed, and an empty coffee cup/bag of trail mix next to my stand from when I tried to stay awake while practicing at 4 PM. I would call this a pretty standard Sarah mess. But it all just REALLY NEEDED to go, and it needed to go RIGHT AWAY.

mint

 

 

strawberry copy

 

 

I also only clean my kitchen counters whenever they require it, which usually ends up being once or twice a week, or after I cook meat/fish. Or, let’s be real, whenever I find almond butter on them.

So honestly, I don’t know how my cleaning habits compare to other people’s. If you ask my mom, she’ll tell you my bathroom and floors need to get cleaned more often. But I’d like to think that for a single 20-something trying to juggle graduate school, working part time, and figuring out my life (that last part is NBD, though), I’m doing pretty OK on cleanliness. I could easily just throw stuff everywhere and not care, and never do dishes or clean my counters ever. So I guess you could say my apartment is a microcosm for my life – mostly organized with a good helping of (endearing?) frenzy.

 

avocado

 

I don’t usually do Spring cleaning, but this month, I tried a little. The Recipe ReDux theme was just that – we were encouraged to look in our pantry for things to get rid of, and make a dish out of them. I found a whole ton of lentils that were leftover from soup making this Winter (I made lentil soup so many times, I’m shocked I didn’t turn into one), so I decided to transform them into something a little more summery. I also threw in a bunch of produce from the fridge that needed to be used up.

 

lentils

 

Salads for me are typically difficult to make at home during the week unless I prep a bunch of veggies ahead of time, because the assembly and clean-up can be time consuming. But when you hav e a bunch of things in your fridge that are juuuuust bordering on “too fresh,” I swear to you. Put them in a salad and call it a day. Waste not, want not! πŸ˜‰

 

saladingredients

 

There’s a lot going on in this salad (or at least I think that’s what Scott Conant would say if this were “Chopped”), but it works. And hey, why not use up everything you can? It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, tangy, and fresh. The lentils are kind of like natural croutons, especially if you leave them just slightly undercooked. And the other ingredients in it are getting me so stoked for summer. Strawberries, avocado, mint, lemon, feta? MMM. One of my favorite things about summer is getting to cook at my parent’s house. They have an outdoor grill, an herb garden, and raspberry bushes, which is a luxury I may never know in Manhattan. But the taste of fresh mint and berries in this salad took me there for a minute today, especially with some delicious maple dijon salmon on top. Boy, was it blissful. Can summer be here NOW?! 

 

finishedsalad

 

Strawberry, Lentil, and Feta Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale, finely chopped (~1-2 cups chopped)
  2. 1 1/4 cup strawberries, tops removed and sliced
  3. 1 avocado, diced
  4. 10 sprigs of mint, chopped (~1/3 cup chopped)
  5. 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  6. 1/2 cup dry green lentils
  7. 1 cup water + 1 tbs. oil + salt
Vinaigrette
  1. Juice of 1 lemon
  2. 3 tbs. olive oil
  3. 1/2 tbs. honey
  4. 1/3 red onion, or 1 shallot, minced
  5. Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring the lentils to a boil in the water with the oil and salt. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 mins. Check on them frequently to prevent overcooking.
  2. Drain excess water from lentils, remove from heat, and let cool.
  3. Combine vinaigrette ingredients (lemon juice, oil, honey, onion, salt, pepper).
  4. Toss kale in vinaigrette.
  5. Add strawberries, avocado, feta, lentils, and mint. Toss gently and serve.
The Hungry Musician http://thehungrymusician.com/


Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Jocelyn Kenner
    April 21, 2015

    Yum!!! You “decluttered” your cabinet and fridge and it resulted in this magnificent recipe!! I’m a fan and I’m proud of your cleaning efforts!
    Keep up the great work and come home and cook for us soon :-)!
    With love and pride,
    Your clean, organized mama xoxo

    • Leave a Reply

      Sarah Kenner
      April 23, 2015

      Thought of you a lot in this challenge – now to work on those floors πŸ˜‰ And you know I will – fire up that grill! Love you!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Deanna Segrave-Daly
    April 21, 2015

    I’m with you, girl – I hate hate hate cleaning (even though I want things to be clean and orderly πŸ™‚ But once in awhile I’ll go on a spree – like cleaning out my cupboards. Glad you were inspired this month because digging this salad – love the flavor combo.

    • Leave a Reply

      Sarah Kenner
      April 23, 2015

      Thanks Deanna! Loved the challenge – you never know what forgotten “opportunities” might be hanging out in the back of the pantry/fridge! Glad to know I’m not alone in cleaning them though…

  3. Leave a Reply

    Elana @ The Inventive Vegetarian
    April 22, 2015

    1) This salad looks like springtime in a bowl and I cannot wait to try it! I already have three of the ingredients, so it might be on my rotation this weekend…

    2) Your first paragraph perfectly describes how I feel about mess/cleaning/the sudden urge to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! I wish I could be neat and tidy all the time, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not in my personality….sigh.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Leave a Reply

      Sarah Kenner
      April 23, 2015

      Thanks Elana, let me know if you do make it! Would love to see how it turns out.

      Haha, I truly had a feeling I was not the only one. Maybe one day I’ll start making schedules…. but that probably won’t happen. :p

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