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New mums will love this salad. It’s easy to make, filling, and packed with nutritious ingredients like iron-boosting lentils, pumpkin seeds full of zinc and goat’s cheese full of calcium.

Ingredients

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For the salad

  • 180g green lentils
  • 700ml water
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1tsp paprika and a few sprigs of fresh thyme – or any other spices and herbs of your choice
  • 200g purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli, or ½ head of broccoli cut into florets
  • ½tsp olive oil
  • 100g goat's cheese (in a log)
  • ½tsp sumac
  • 2tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • ½tsp tamari

For the pickled red onion dressing

  • ½red onion, peeled
  • 3tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½tsp sea salt
  • 1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/Gas 9.
  2. Pour the green lentils into a medium-sized saucepan, cover with 700ml of water and add the chopped onion, 1 bay leaf, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the thyme and paprika – or any other fresh herbs and spices of your choice. Bring to the boil, before lowering the heat and simmering for 25 minutes with the lid half on.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, slice the red onion into thin circles.
  4. Bring the red wine vinegar and salt to the boil in a small pan. Remove from the heat, add the onions and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Steam the broccoli over a few inches on boiling water in a steamer (or metal sieve with a lid) for 3 minutes. Then remove from the heat and run under cold water, before patting dry. Pour ½tsp olive oil onto clean hands, and rub onto the broccoli. Place in an ovenproof dish and bake for 5 mins, remove, then set aside. Lower the heat to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas 7.
  6. Remove the now pickled onions from the vinegar, and chop finely. Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the pickling vinegar, return the chopped onions and mix well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Once the lentils are done (they should be firm but cooked), drain well. Keep the cooked onions and discard any herbs, then mix the lentils with the pickled onion dressing while still warm. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the broccoli.
  8. Cut the goat’s cheese log into 4 rounds and place on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a metal tray. Bake for 5 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes to harden slightly, before placing the rounds on top of the lentils. Sprinkle with ½tsp sumac.
  9. Add the pumpkin seeds to a small frying pan, on a high heat. When the pumpkin seeds start to get hot (a minute or so), add the tamari and continue cooking until it is absorbed and the seeds start to ‘pop’. Sprinkle on top of the salad, and serve.

Find out about the three key nutrients in this dish in this video.

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