Need an easy and amazing dish that will feed a hungry crowd? My “Cheesy” Plant-based Popped Lentil & Broccoli Salad Recipe just may be the dish you’re looking for!
Filled with a surprising cheesy substitute and loaded with foods that will optimize digestion, your friends and family will wonder what’s in this amazing salad that has them feeling content and not bloated! ;)
Don’t worry…we haven’t fallen off the wagon. There is no dairy in this recipe whatsoever. We gain the cheesy flavors from the amazing power of nutritional yeast!
Nutritional yeast has often been referred to as a superfood, and for good reason! It is very rich in many basic nutrients such as:
- A full spectrum of B vitamins
- Chromium, which can aid with weight loss
- Protein rich- with sixteen different amino acids, excellent for muscle-building and repair
- Over fourteen key minerals
- Seventeen vitamins (not including vitamins A, C and E).
- Rich source of phosphorous
Nutritional yeast is that it contains 71% protein, by weight and its balanced amino acid composition, coupled with its protein ratio can help your brain, body and muscles tremendously.
Nutritional yeast is truly a high protein food, low in fat, and carbohydrates, and very easily digested.
Nutritional yeast has become a great friend when it comes to creating flavorful and textured dishes that need flavor reminiscent to that of those cheesy dishes we may have been use to prior to The Beauty Detox Solution.
You can find nutritional yeast in most stores but definitely most health food stores. Be sure to place them in a cool dry place or the refrigerator or freezer, and it will last for months.
Note: Even though the word “yeast” is in its name, it is a totally different kind of genus and species and is not the kind of yeast that will contribute to candida!
Popped Beauty Legumes: Lentils
Popped Lentils?! That’s right! When you add these guys to a bit of coconut oil, and they start to heat up, they will plump up and look like they’re about to pop! Pretty cool, right? (I know you want popcorn now, don’t you?).
I love adding lentils to my stews. They’re so versatile, I even sprinkle lentils on my salads! They’re super-quick and easy to prepare, which will make meal prep that much easier, and absorbs any flavor you wish to add, readily.
Lentils are available throughout the year, which is great, since it’s an excellent way to receive their high nutritional value—one cup of lentils has a whopping 18 grams of easy to digest and assimilate plant protein. So add these babies to whatever dish you want and get creative.
They are rich in dietary fiber—both the soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that grabs bile and pushes it out of the body, whereas, insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation.
I suggest soaking lentils overnight and rinsing them well before you consume them. I suggest soaking because legumes and beans are nature’s “oops”, and what I mean by that is—they contain both protein and starch, and therefore, can be more difficult to digest. Yes you can soak them before popping!!
Lentils are sold whole or split into halves (brown and green varieties retain their shape after cooking better than others). They are available in prepackaged containers but I usually try to buy them in the bulk bins as they tend to be less expensive that way. I seal a lot of my bulk items and store them in the freezer to retain freshness.
Even though canned lentils can be found in some grocery stores, I don’t encourage ever getting canned, since they lose much of their nutritional value. Because they cook pretty easily and fairly quickly, try to make them yourself whenever possible!
Dynamic Beauty Food: Broccoli
As you know, I’m all about incorporating foods that optimize digestion—it’s really the key to improving our body’s detoxification system and avoiding inflammatory issues.
There is dynamic trio that is able to support all steps in the body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. This trio includes glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin, which are three glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli.
What this dynamic trio does is, support all steps in the body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.
Broccoli is rich in a phytonutrient (a flavonol) called kaempferol. Inside of our digestive tract, kaempferol has the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances. This is accomplished by it’s lowering the immune system’s production of IgE-antibodies. When the impact of allergy-related substances is lessened, the kaempferol in broccoli can help lower our risk of chronic inflammation .
Broccoli is know as the premiere example of a vegetable providing all three types of antioxidants—vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients—all contributing to antioxidant benefits. In fact, broccoli represents 3rd best source for vitamin C,10th best source of vitamin E, and 16th best source of vitamin A.
Broccoli really is an amazing vegetable to add to our arsenal of greens, so let’s get to it!
See full recipe below…
- 2 cups yellow or red lentils
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp coconut oil (or a bit more as needed, to help with the crispy edges while cooking)
- 1 cup steamed broccoli heads
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook lentils by package directions until just tender (do not overcook!). Strain immediately.
- Steam broccoli until just tender.
- Warm a large skillet over high heat. Add coconut oil.
- When oil is hot, add lentils. Move them through the oil a bit and let them sit there sizzling in the pan. They will start to plump up and almost look like they are about to pop. Shake the pan a bit to toss the lentils for even cooking.
- Add black pepper and nutritional yeast over the lentils. Salt to taste.
- Add in the steamed broccoli and chopped cilantro and cook for 1 minute.
- Serve warm.