FROM CHEF CYNTHIA MONROE:
"I'm a meat-etarian. I grew up on meat, potatoes and things like that. But I value other diets. I find it awesome to be able to make vegan food fun and approachable. For me, I'm not one of those ones where you'll insult me because you don't want the chicken on your plate.
"I want people to see that [lentils] aren't just what you think. I had 5-year-olds eating this because it just looked pretty and they didn't know, right?"
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup (can use honey, agave or other liquid sweeteners)
- ¼ cups neutral oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and sweetener.
- Drizzle in the oil while whisking and continue to whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Alternatively, combine everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine.
- If your dressing is too tangy, add more oil, to taste. Season to taste. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. The oil will solidify a bit in the fridge. To soften, let the dressing sit at room temp for a few minutes and stir before using.
Mushroom and Lentil Salad
- 4 tablespoons oil, divided
- 16 ounces mixed mushrooms, sliced about ¼ inch thick
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 8 ounces choice of mixed vegetables (suggested: carrots, red bell peppers, celery)
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups cooked lentils (canned or cooked from dry)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- 8 cups spinach, kale, beets greens, any leafy green that you can wilt in a pan
- 1 teaspoon oil (for wilting greens)
- Garnish: variety of microgreens
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add vegetable mixture, green onion and seasoning, toss to combine, and continue cooking until mushrooms are golden and carrots are soft, about 5 to 7 more minutes.
2. Add additional 2 tablespoons oil, along with lemon juice, lentils, salt and black pepper; cook 2 more minutes.
3. Pull mixture from pan, add a splash of oil back to pan, and add greens. Season with one sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dash of granulated garlic. Greens will wilt in two or three minutes. Make sure to stir them around.
4. Add greens to bottom of bowl, top with lentil and mushroom mixture. Drizzle on dressing, add microgreens on top, and enjoy.
For this recipe, the microgreens were from Kerr Microgreens, other greens and carrots were from Courage to Grow Farms, and mushrooms were from Gem State Mushrooms.
— RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF CYNTHIA MONROE