This healthy side dish with lentils, cauliflower, fresh thyme and balsamic vinaigrette can serve double-duty as a meat-free meal too!
I’m always looking for ways to pump up the protein in my meals, especially if the meal is meat-free. This healthy side dish is a terrific example of my protein packing quest since lentils contain 18 grams of protein per cup, not to mention 16 grams of fiber. Mind Body Green shares the top 7 reasons (fiber and protein are in the list) you should add lentils to your diet, and since they’re completely affordable and quick cooking, why not?
As I said, lentils are affordable and quick cooking and so are the bits of cauliflower and kale. I purchased pre-chopped cauliflower for $1.99 a bag – a terrific deal, right? Why chop cauliflower if I don’t have too!
I keep fresh thyme on hand purchased in those small containers at the grocery store and put the bunch in a wrap of paper towel and zip lock bag. It lasts for at least a week that way, and adds lift to lentils which can be a bit heavy tasting.
A quick balsamic vinaigrette keeps my healthy side dish from drying out with all those beans and veggies and adds extra flavor needed to turn this side dish into a meat-free meal for my vegetarian friends.
With holiday gatherings going on all over the place, if you’re hosting, this side dish recipe gives non-meat eaters a hearty option for their plates too. We served it with roasted chicken, making this a protein-packed dinner that kept me from wanting to snack as the evening rolled on.
Before I leave you this lovely Monday morning, don’t forget to sign up for our RC Garcia Sweet Potato Cracker giveaway! We pick a winner Thursday and these crackers are very tasty and perfect for a New Year’s Eve gathering, so don’t wait!
Happy holidays! ~Kristi
Hearty and Healthy Lentil and Cauliflower Side Dish with Thyme and Balsamic Vinaigrette
15 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium white onion, chopped
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped in small pieces
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 large bay leaf
- ½ tablespoon thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups lentils, cooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Start lentils cooking according to package directions. Drain when cooked and set aside.
- Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 3 - 4 minutes to soften.
- Add vegetable broth, cauliflower, kale, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is just soft, but not mushy.
- While vegetables cook, mix 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey in a bowl.
- Toss lentils into cooked vegetables with sauce.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Food energy: 129kcal Weight Watchers Smartpoints 4 Saturated fatty acids: 0.56g Total fat: 3.59g Carbohydrate, by difference: 18.53g Total dietary fiber: 6.28g Protein: 6.89g Total sugars: 3.98g Potassium: 374mg Sodium: 178mg
If you’re a Pinterest fan, don’t forget to pin this to your favorite recipe board!