Quick & Easy Lunch Salads

Hi. Do you ever get that? Deeply immersed in work one second, on the verge of starvation the next? Here are a few ideas for quick, tasty and easy to make meals. You will need to be near a kitchen – if you’re not, these wholesome more-than-snacks will have to wait until it’s time for dinner.

1. Asian-Style Lentil and Rice Salad

(makes 2 helpings – takes 20-25 minutes to prepare)

1 cup of lentils (red, beluga or any other kind your pantry has in store)

1 cup of rice

2 green onions


1 carrot

Olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, sesame oil and fish sauce

Steam/boil rice, when half done, add lentils. Do _not_ salt the water until the lentils are done – for some reason they won’t cook properly and stay a sad, chewy substance instead of becoming that delicious, slightly soft and creamy legume texture that makes lentils so great. All your seasoning will have to wait.

But you can prepare the other ingredients as you wait for your carbs and proteins to cook. Chop 2 green onions and a few parsley leaves (even better with cilantro, if you have it), finely slice 1 carrot and mix with 3 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP vinegar, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add a few splashes of sesame oil and (careful) fish sauce to taste. You can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice if you like. Personally, I find that lentils benefit from vinegar rather than from citric acid. Adding a bit of soy sauce can work nicely.

Drain rice and lentils, and mix all your ingredients in a bowl. If you’re really hungry, you can dig right in now. But to my taste, the salad is even better after a few minutes of cooling. You know, slightly warm, but not hot – that in-between temperature sort of complements the in-between texture of the lentils, if that makes any sense to anyone but myself.