I’ve hit that point during the winter that I feel okay to say, “I’m over it.” I usually don’t mind winter but this year has been a bit strange- no snow and bitter cold, windy days intertwined with random 60˚ afternoons. If I at least had snow I could go snow shoeing or snowboarding (yes, there are ski hills in Illinois- note I said “hills”) Yet for the most part, I’d rather stay snuggled, tucked away under my blankets, dreaming of warmer spring days.
I can feel the winter blues and I sometimes forget it is an actual thing. I feel tired all day, I cry at random things (like an NPR ted talk lunch hour tid-bit), and my eating habits have been less than stellar. I’m craving a spring hike in the woods, a bit of sun on my face, and endless salads for lunch.
While I can’t have sunny spring days, I can have salad.
This salad was a bit of crapshoot if I’m being honest (of course, if I was really being honest, most of my meals are that way). Very rarely do I plan. My methodology is more of wandering into the kitchen, pulling out whatever random ingredients I bought at the store, and assembling them into some semblance of a meal. In this case, I was craving a big pile of green items: lettuce, Brussels Sprouts, and lentils.
The day I ate this, I was having an exceptionally “blue” day. My to-do list seemed extra long (urging me to procrastinate) and I felt off. There was suppose to be a rather large winter storm blow through and I couldn’t decide whether or not to drive to work, for fear of being stranded (only once I got to work, had a flat tire, and was almost late to class did I realize I probably made the wrong decision). But two things saved that day: this salad and a simple text from M that said, “I love you- have a beautiful day.”
And then I remembered, it’s good to have love (and salads).
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Lentil Salad
- 1/2lb Brussels Sprouts
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup Puy Lentils
- 2 cups water
- 3-4 handfuls lettuce
- 2-3 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons vinegar*
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
- Preheat oven to 400˚. Cut off stems and slice Brussels Sprouts in half. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Roast until tender and browned, 25-30 minutes.
- Rinse lentils and combine with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tende5; 25-35 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Assemble salad by tossing lettuce, lentils, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and roasted Brussels Sprouts. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice if using. Toss with salad.
by Erin Alderson