Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables

Plus 101 Diet & Weight Loss Lessons from My Dog

Here's the salad that brought out my "Inner Puppy" all summer long and now again, into the fall. It's a concept recipe, starting with meaty lentils and whatever vegetables are on hand or appeal, topped, if you like, with a soft-centered egg.

Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables, another concept recipe ♥, a vegan supper salad with meaty lentils and  whatever vegetables are on hand or appeal.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal & Flexible. Budget Friendly. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Great for Meatless Monday. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

101 Diet and Weight Loss Lessons Learned from My Dog.

I could write a book of lessons, I really could, thanks to the wisdom of a certain Lady, the "100% American pound hound" who makes life so fun around here.

LESSON ONE "Boring Is Delicious" aka "Hunger Is the Best Sauce".

You see, Lady LOVES her kibble. It may be the same kibble morning after morning, night after night, week after week, year after year and STILL she wriggles and dances in anticipation, digs in with gusto, then licks her chops with obvious appreciation for the finest fare.

And this Lady? She’s kept her girlish figure, despite now being almost my equivalent in dog years.

It’s an easy diet, hers. Before each meal, I run my hand down her spine. If she feels a little bony, I give her a tad more kibble; if she feels meaty, her bowl gets a smidgin less.

Following this diet, call it such, she’s weighed a healthy 49 pounds for eight years.

LESSON TWO “Falling for Temptation” aka “Scammed by a Dog”.

Even my healthy-thin Lady can't resist. One morning, she did her usual “Oh-goody!-It’s-time-for-breakfast!” dance, twirling in the kitchen so happily it made me laugh. No wonder she was so happy: unbeknownst to me, she’d already HAD breakfast and was about to gulp down a second.

LESSON THREE “Second Helpings Add Up”.

At the vet last month, Lady weighed in at 54 pounds! In just two months, she gained five pounds, ten percent of her body weight.

Turns out, Lady hung out with a bad crowd all summer. Her sweet nature earned her extra treats. But most of all, she ate Cookie all summer, well, not Cookie per se since Cookie is a Cat, but Cookie’s cat food.

Sure, Lady could snarf down the equivalent of a sugary doggie donut once in awhile, no harm, no foul. But every day intake of calorie-dense cat food? Instant weight gain.

LESSON FOUR "Take Control Right Away".

Alarmed by Lady’s sudden weight gain, I put her on a diet.

One sunny Sunday afternoon, the woman at the Custard Stop offered her a mini cone as a treat. “No!” I objected. “She’s on a diet.”

My own small mini cone was eaten with a chocolate dip of irony.

Meet Lady Koira!

My dog Lady wading in the river

She's getting all white and grizzled looking under her chin and on her belly but keeps the spirit of a puppy. She l-o-v-e-s her kibble – and going to the country where she can run and explore.

Summer Deliciousness, Winter Savoriness

This Simple Lentil Salad brought out my Inner Dog all summer long and now into the fall, making me a happy pup one delicious salad after another, a meal made with meaty lentils and fresh vegetables.

Start with the lentils, then add vegetables from the garden, your CSA, the farmers market, even the grocery’s produce section.

Given its flexibility, this salad is anything but "boring" but maybe, just maybe, it fits into Skinny Habit #3, Eat a Boring Diet, in this fascinating list of 20 Habits Skinny People Live By. The list is common sense – but also provocative, not the sameold-sameold weight loss tips – from the same folks that wrote the cookbook Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals (affiliate link) that I wrote about last winter with the recipe for Easy Margarita Chicken.

Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables, another concept recipe ♥, a supper salad with meaty lentils and  whatever vegetables are on hand or appeal.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 5
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup meaty lentils (such as French or Beluga, more information)
  • 2 tablespoons good vinegar (what is good vinegar?)
  • 1 tablespoon good mustard (what is good mustard?)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    (for example, as pictured)
  • 1 pound butternut squash, diced small
  • 1/2 pound turnip, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 globe eggplant, trimmed, skins left on, cut into five ¾-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    (for example, as pictured)
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled or striped, seeds removed if large, flesh diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Fresh dill, chopped

LENTIL SALAD Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan. Add the lentils, cover and return to a boil, then adjust the temperature to maintain a slow simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked but not mushy. If needed, drain off the excess water and then return to the hot saucepan.

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper, then turn into the warm lentils. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Makes 2-1/2 cups. Can be made ahead of time and be served either warm or cold.


Toss the butternut squash and turnip with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. (These can be turned into the Lentil Salad but the color gets muddied.)

Brush the eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Season the top side with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, turn over and roast another 30 minutes.

WARM-WEATHER VEGETABLES Combine all green onion, cucumber, tomato and dill into a sort of tomato relish. (If you like, turn these into the Lentil Salad.)

TO SERVE Arrange the Lentil Salad on serving plates with seasonal vegetables alongside. Top each plate with a poached egg and nuts, fruit and cheese if using.

ALANNA's TIPS Year-round, the roasted eggplant slices make for a wonderful “base” and take just seconds to prep. During warm weather, you can easily roast other vegetables alongside on the same tray. Just don't crowd the vegetables and check for doneness after 15 and 30 minutes in case the other vegetables require less time than the eggplant. For a vegetarian or Meatless Monday supper, I love this salad with a soft-centered egg over top (poached or cooked over easy) but it makes for a hearty vegan salad, too.
NUTRITION ESTIMATES (Obviously, actual nutrition/calorie impact will vary based on your own choices but I’ll provide some basics here.)

Full Meal (Lentil Salad, Cool-Weather Vegetables & Egg): 356 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 211mg Cholesterol; 143mg Sodium; 42g Carb; 18g Fiber; 7g Sugar; 19g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 7 & PointsPlus 8 & SmartPoints 11 & Freestyle 2 & myWW green 8 & blue 2 & purple 2

Full Meal (Lentil Salad, Warm-Weather Vegetables & Egg): 251 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 211mg Cholesterol; 111mg Sodium; 28g Carb; 13g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 17g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 6 & blue 1 & purple 1

Put an Egg On Top!

~ main dish egg recipes ~
Easy Egg Recipes ♥, an inspiring collection with how-to's and recipes

Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥, homemade spinach soup on the table in 30 minutes, including still-warm easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs.

A BATTLE Sandwich, it's a BLT on Steroids ♥ Fresh & Casual. A Summer Family Tradition. Easy to Make, Worth a Celebration.

More Salad Supper Recipes

~ main dish salads ~
Chicken Greek Salad ♥, it's a Greek salad with chicken, extra easy with a rotisserie chicken.

Smoked Salmon Salad ♥, a simple cold salad, smoked salmon with cucumbers and red peppers, takes just a few minutes to assemble.

Grilled Steak with Tomato-Avocado Salad in a Warm Poblano-Bacon Vinaigrette ♥, grilled steak atop a wet and messy salad of tomatoes, avocado and lettuce, slightly wilted in an onion-bacon-poblano vinaigrette.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Excellent post! I love lentils, and I always appreciate notes about the flexibility of recipes, to use whatever you have. (For instance, for me, "good mustard" includes the cheapest plain yellow mustard on the shelf! Mustard is really good cooked into lentils!) I enjoyed the lessons from the dog, too!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna