>> Saturday, January 17
Last year I was left flat broke with nothing but a ticket for the Sziget festival when my wallet was stolen in Poland. I decided, 'well, there are worse places to be money-less than an awesome festival,' so I continued on to Hungary and camped out with Couchsurfers. As I had accommodation costs covered with my borrowed tent (thank you Gregoire!), I was left with no worries. Except...what to eat...
Well, to be honest, with all the drunken festival-goers buying food and leaving it literally untouched on the picknick tables around, all I really had to do was sit at one and wait for a steaming plate of food to be stumbled away from. Which I did a few times. But with so many eating peculiarities (just try not eating dairy or meat at a festival in hungary...), and a sturdy craving for something better, I scraped together my change and trekked off Margit-Sziget to the Auchan supermarket in search of a good meal.
I returned, after a thorough perusal of the food aisles, with the cheapest "meal ingredients" in the place (at least, from things that didn't need to be cooked): canned lentils, tomatoes, carrots, a lemon (my luxury item), and garlic. This was to be the beginning of a long series of lentil salads which kept me going happily through even the weirdest circumstances in my travels.
The recipe here is a more domestic adaptation, including things like (gasp!) salt and other luxuries travellers rarely posess. It is extremely flexible, and is a fantastic way to eat a satisfying meal in summer that still keeps your stomach light and unburdened. Fresh herbs and seasonal veggies are always, always better, so if you can manage to get to somewhere other than the bargain section of Auchan, I reccommend varying to fit your environment!
Summery Lemon-Lentil Salad (serves 6 as a side salad.)
Ingredients (like I said, I'm lenient-be creative):
- 4 cups cooked lentils, cooled (the small dark ones, dunno what they're called. just not any that will get mushy! you want them firm; aldente, we'll say)
- 2 large carrots
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (firm is best)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 small onion
- fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, marjoram...whatever, it's all good
- juice of 1 whole lemon, and a dash of grated zest if it's organic
- 2 tbps of your favorite salad oil (sesame is delicious)
- 1/2 tsp Braggs liquid amino acid, if you have it. Otherwise, soy sauce, tamari or salt to taste
- 2 tbsp apple cider or light wine vinegar
- a splash of balsamic vinegar
- as much garlic as you like raw
- add your own special seasoning-miso, paprika, curry, mustard, cumin, cardamom...
- Wash carrots and tomatoes, and any other veggies you're using.
- Chop tomatoes, carrots, and cucumber into small cubes (creative carrot chopping techniques look nice too)
- Finely dice the onion and herbs
- Combine all of the above in a bowl
- Press the garlic, mix up your dressing and add some water if needed to get a light, thin consistency.
- Mix the dressing with the salad and chill. It tastes better after a few hours to combine flavors. Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.
Serve with bresh bread, on rice cakes, in wraps, over rice, and/or with the amazingly yummy Tahini Whip (highly reccommended)!