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Herby (Vegan) Summer Salad

Summer is here in full force, with camping on weekends, days spent by the lake, and picnics – lots and lots of picnics!

This recipe is one of my favorites for summer because of how easy it is, but also how well it holds up throughout the day. I’ll mix it all together (dressing included) and throw it into my cooler to eat hours later. It’s herby and refreshing, with a slight tang from the mustard vinaigrette, and a pinch of sweetness from the dried cranberries and fresh pomegranate seeds. It is delightful on its own, or with roasted Japanese sweet potatoes and a grilled steak. Or pair it with a simple summer sandwich… delicious.

If you’re a Trader Joe’s regular like me, you can just pick up their already steamed lentils and beets in the refrigerated veggie section, instead of steaming your own. All healthy ingredients, and a real time-saver.

Serves 4

17.6 oz. cooked lentils (1 package of the TJ’s prepared)

8 oz. steamed beets, cut into bite-size pieces (1 package of the TJ’s prepared)

½ c. green onions, finely chopped

1/3 c. dried cranberries

1 tsp. coconut aminos

Juice of half a lemon, about 2 Tbs.

Juice of 1 small orange, or half of a large orange, about 4 Tbs.

½ c. marcona almonds, roughly chopped

¼ c. pomegranate seeds (TJ’s also has these pre-seeded)

½ c. basil, roughly chopped

½ c. Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Mix the lentils, beets, green onions, cranberries, coconut aminos, lemon, and orange juice until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and, before mixing, top with the entire salad dressing. Gently fold in the toppings and dressing. Enjoy!

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Splash of apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Put all salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar with the lid on, and shake, shake, shake until well blended and creamy.

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