I love having a well stocked pantry and adore soaking and cooking dry legumes. However it is incredibly satisfying when I rip into a can of something to simplify our midweek meals, which are often thrown together amongst total chaos.
Last year Chantal Organics released BPA-NI (BPA = Bisphenol A + NI = non Intent) cans across its range of canned organic beans and tomatoes. The cans are made free of the hotly debated and potentially extremely risky chemical, BPA, however they are made in a factory that makes BPA cans - so they can not be deemed BPA-free, due to potential contamination. The same as gluten free products, marked with something along the lines of ‘may contain traces of gluten’. While most food manufacturers ensure the safety of its products - this positive change from Chantal Organics sets them miles apart. Keep an eye out for the new BPA-NI label on the reverse of Chantal Organics canned goods, and don't let midweek baked bean toasties worry you any more than they need to!
This salad, using Chantal’s canned lentils in place of the traditional bulgur wheat, is incredibly simple to throw together. It can store in the fridge for several days, perfect for quick lunches or meals prepared ahead. It's a wonderfully wholesome vegetarian meal, without the need for meat - but can easily be added to a toasted pita, for a little more substance. Ensure you make a triple batch of the fiercely delicious pickled onions while you're at it, these will keep in the brine in the fridge for weeks - and are perfect amongst a cheese board or in a quick cheese toasty.
1 medium red onion
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp rice syrup
1 can Chantal Organic Lentils
2 tomatos, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, skin and seeds removed and finely diced
large handful curly parsley, very finely chopped
1/2 tsp good quality olive oil
100g haloumi, roughly half a packet, cut lengthways into four 1cm slices
Finely slice red onion into half rings, place into a small bowl and add vinegar and rice syrup, mix well and top with a little water - ensure the onions are covered in liquid. Cover and set aside.
Drain lentils and add to a large mixing bowl with prepared tomato, cucumber, parsley and a generous pinch of sea salt. Toss well.
Squeeze the soaked onions with your hands to remove excess liquid, add to salad and toss.
Set aside while cooking haloumi. Over a medium high heat, add olive oil and smear across cast iron skillet with a paper towel or grease proof paper. When hot, add haloumi and cook until golden before flipping.
Remove from heat, spoon the salad into bowls and top with haloumi and plenty of black pepper.
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side.
Gluten free, grain free, vegetarian.