Super Salad ofButternut Squash, Quinoaand Lentils

A journey of flavour and colour by Alon Lebenthal, London

It’s true. Yoga will give you the toned triceps, and more importantly the strong core you’ve always wanted, but as always, optimal health is just as much about what’s on the inside.

Enter the yogic diet, an ancient way of eating that focuses on whole foods, mindful eating, and nourishing your body. If you’re intrigued to take the principles of yoga off the mat and into the kitchen, Alon Lebenthal, a Drishti Beats friend, gives you everything you need to know to get started.

What is the ingredient that comes first to mind when you hear the term Superfood? Many will say quinoa. Some will say lentils. And maybe some will even say butternut squash. They are all right! Anyway, what if I told you of combining all these three into one healthy, tasty, beautiful and colourful salad?
It may require some patience as each of these three main ingredients will be first handled separately and yet, it is so simple that you just can’t go wrong! Trust me on that.
To soak or not soak? lentils, I mean. You can soak the lentils in water for a couple of hours. It will shorten the cooking time and help getting rid of the anti-nutrients. If you have the time and can plan in advance, why not? I usually do.

Full of protein, packed with fibre and many other vitamins and minerals, this salad can serve either as a side dish or as a main.

Full of protein, packed with fibre and many other vitamins and minerals, this salad can serve either as a side dish or as a main. Serve it with a side of a homemade tahini and a slice of good bread and when asked what did you have for dinner simply say “Just a salad. But what a salad it was”.
Ready to start working on your Super Salad?
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1-2 red onions
  • 1 cup of brown (or green) lentils
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint (optional)
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black pepper
  1. Super-Salad-of-Butternut-Squash,-Quinoa-and-Lentils-2Butternut Squash – Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Halve the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds. Cut the butternut squash halves into wedges of 1cm and spread them out in a baking tray. Cut the red onion(s) into 2-3cm (about an inch) pieces and combine with the butternut squash. Season with the salt, pepper, cumin seeds, chilli and two tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until the butternut squash is golden.
  2. Lentils – Put the lentils in a small-medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Cook the lentils for about 20-25 minutes, until they are tender. Once ready, drain and set aside.
  3. Quinoa – wash the quinoa and put it in a medium saucepan. Add 1.5 cups of cold water and bring to boil. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes and the lower the heat to low-medium. Cover the saucepan and continue cooking for extra 8-10 minutes until the water is fully soaked and the quinoa ready. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
  4. Salad – Assemble all the superfood ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add the parsley, mint and the remaining olive oil. Fix the seasoning as needed with some extra salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy!