I have been on my holidays for the last week. I didn’t go anywhere but had a blissful week off work which I spent cooking, gardening, baking, working out and getting my island/baking station fixed, during which I discovered I own 56 (yes 56) baking sheets, muffin tins and cake tins.
My week off also allowed me the luxury of working out every day, at whatever time I wanted. I am generally a morning exerciser but at the moment that is not possible with a 5.40am alarm call so that I make the train. This past week has been bliss and has seen me get my sweat on quite a lot. I fitted in a race last weekend, a couple of 5 mile runs, some yoga, a weights session and then this morning I had my ass handed to me in a spinning class.
Now I haven’t done a spinning class in about 2 years, and I am ashamed to say that I rocked into the class like I did them in my sleep. I mean how hard could it be right? I work out a lot, I am fit, I can run 5 miles without trouble. A spin class will be a piece of cake right? Wrong….
To say I nearly died may be a slight exaggeration but not much. The instructor barely broke a sweat while screaming orders at us to stand up, sit down, sprint, sprint, sprint, while I was nearly passing out. I had jelly legs after the class but in a super good way. I will definitely be back. But when I have regained the use of my legs.
Almost instantly after getting off the bike, my appetite came out of nowhere and floored me. I had the perfect thing in the fridge to recharge my batteries. After a heavy work out, a mixture of carbs and protein is the best way to repair your muscles and body. This French Lentil, Beetroot and Red Onion salad is a lovely snack with some Rye Sourdough bread, or as a side salad with some tasty burgers.
Once made, it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
To make the salad you will need
190g French or Green Lentils (Use these over the red lentils as they will hold their shape and texture once cooked)
One Bay Leaf
One medium red onion, diced
One cooked beetroot, diced (I use the ones that come in a vaccuum pack from supermarkets)
Salt and Pepper
For the dressing you will need
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I use a lovely Jerez Sherry Vinegar I picked up in Madrid last year)
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
To cook the lentils, Measure them in a cup or measuring jug. Rinse them in cold water in a colander and place in a large saucepan with the bay leaf. Cover in double the volume of cold water as they measured in the cup/jug. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes over a med – high heat. Test after about 15 minutes to see if they are close to being done. THey should be soft but still have a bite to them.
Once cooked, drain into a colander, remove the bay leaf & discard, and rinse again in cold water to stop them cooking.
Leave to one side to cool.
While the lentils are cooking chop your red onion & beetroot into small dice and set aside.
To make your dressing, simply add the wine vinegar of your choice to the olive oil & mustard and whisk. Taste and add salt and pepper until seasoned as you like it.
To assemble add the beet and onion to the cooked lentils in a large bowl, and pour over the dressing and mix gently ensuring that the lentils are coated.
Taste again and season if necessary.
This salad makes a perfect snack, or side dish for summer parties and gatherings and I can guarantee you that everyone will love it.
To make it even more decadent, crumble some yummy feta over the top & mix in – if you are adding feta however, don’t season until you have added the cheese as feta is salty & it could throw the seasoning. For all you meat eaters out there, you could add some fried and diced bacon but again, don’t season until you have added the bacon.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If it lasts that long.
On that note, I am off to ice my legs. And everything else. I have a feeling that my first day back at work tomorrow might be a sore one…
Wish me luck!