This oil-free, vegan, broccoli, lentil, and red onion salad, seasoned with maple syrup and mustard, is as delicious as it is healthy. With the nutrient and fiber density of broccoli, lentils, and red onions, it is an excellent and satisfying main course or substantial side dish. This is an excellent offering for a buffet or a casual gathering and makes a great portable lunch.
This inspiration for this salad came from a magazine we bought years ago. At the time, we were experimenting with fully plant-based meals but were vegetarians. The original dressing was made with honey and, as I recall, had a lot of oil. When we first made it, we were on vacation at a VRBO and thought it was delicious. When we got home and made it again, we didn’t like it as much. I remember thinking that we must have missed something, but now I believe that the difference was being on vacation!
Oil-free Vegan Broccoli, Lentil, and Red Onion Salad on My Mind
Over the years I have, at times, thought about that salad (weird, I know). I decided that I wanted to recreate it as a vegan salad and without the oil. After playing around with it, I have recreated the taste and experience of the original salad, but with cruelty and oil-free dressing – and I am thrilled with it. We love it as much as if we were on vacation!
It’s All About Good Food That’s Good For You
If you follow our blog, you know that we are committed to good food that is easy and tastes good. We also are always mindful of making sure we are getting plenty of good nutrients and fiber in our diet. This recipe checks all the boxes.
A note about lentils: They are about the easiest legume to cook and are a great source of fiber and protein. In one cup of lentils, there are 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein. They require no soaking and can be cooked in about 25-30 minutes. They are a great addition to salads and soups or in a pilaf with rice. While the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cooked lentils, I would encourage you to go ahead and cook a little more and experiment with them. Transform a salad!
My Quick and Easy Way to Cook Lentils
To make about 2 1/2 cups of cooked lentils on the stove, rinse 1 cup of brown or French lentils in a colander and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring just to a gentle boil and then turn it down to a low simmer. Simmer uncovered, adding a little more water if necessary to keep the lentils just barely covered. They are done when they are tender. If you still have water in the pan, simply strain them. They are ready to go.
Time To Make Oil-free Vegan Salad That Tastes Like You’re on Vacation
OK, I think that’s enough information and back-story for one post. It’s time to pull the ingredients from your pantry and fridge and make a bowl of vacation! Oops, I mean, oil-free, vegan, broccoli, lentil, and onion salad 🙂
This oil-free, vegan, broccoli and lentil salad, seasoned with maple syrup and mustard, is as delicious as it is healthy. With the nutrient and fiber density of broccoli, lentils, and red onions, it is an excellent and satisfying main course or substantial side dish. This is an excellent offering for a buffet or a casual gathering and makes a great portable lunch.
1 1/2 cup cooked brown or French lentils
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets (approximately 4 cups)
1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours (or one hour if you start with boiling water)
2 Tbs water
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs real maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon always)
1/4 tsp salt
4–5 grinds of black pepper
To make the dressing, drain the cashews, and then blend all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed and creamy. Set aside.
Steam the broccoli florets with a steamer or cook in a shallow pan of water until just tender and bright green. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
Drain off any liquid from the broccoli and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the lentils and red onion.
Add dressing and toss to coat.
Garnish with almonds.
Serve as is or on a bed of salad greens.
Keywords: broccoli, oil-free, red onion, salad, lentil, high-protein
Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).