- serves 3
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 lb green beans
- 1/2 cup dried lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 lemon’s juice (about 3 Tbsp)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp water
- salt to taste
Good evening! I’ve got some great news: I’m participating in the annual Vegan Month of Food. Every post in September will not only be the usual vegetarian and dairy-free, but also egg- and honey-free. I’m excited to see what changes this will bring in my diet, and what new ingredients I’ll try over the next 26 days.
An app I’m loving that helps me discover new vegan dishes is Vegan Delish, by sweet Carrie at Carrie on Vegan. I’ve already tried two of the recipes: Avocado Chocolate Pudding and Zesty Tomato & Almond Butter Dressing. Both were delicious, and I’m psyched to try more. If you’re interested in using the app, just leave a comment below by Monday, September 9th at 12pm EST! Three lucky winners will get a redemption code for a free download. Two small requirements: you must reside in the U.S. and have an iPad or iPhone for the code to work. For more information, check out the Facebook Page.
So whilst preparing and planning meals recently, I realized September is my favorite month. The late summer, early fall period yields crisp breezes and wonderful produce. I was in love with the bounty of tomatoes coming in, but I’ve got extra room in my heart (and stomach) for fresh zucchini and green beans, too. Combine both veggies with peppery basil, and you have the makings of a flavorful, hearty salad.
I enjoy the balance of texture and flavor in this dish. The dense squash offsets the crunchy green beans, while the basil sauce brightens up the sautéed zucchini coins. The salad is great by itself too, as the lentils add a bunch of extra fiber and protein. On the chance you’re looking for just a good dressing, the basil vinaigrette goes with almost anything and lasts 2-3 days in the fridge. Try it over chopped kale with toasted almonds for a satisfying side.
Along with tasting great, this salad delivers nutrients. Zucchini is high in carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (key antioxidant nutrients), while green beans have lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin. Add the Vitamin K in basil, and you’ve got a healthful meal. Awesome!
Summer Squash and Green Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
1. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of salted water to boil. (Just a pinch of salt will do it.) Add in the lentils and bay leaf, and bring the heat down to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 40 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Drain and discard the leaf. (Out of curiosity, does anyone reuse their leaves?) Salt to taste and add to a large salad bowl.
2. Cut off stem from zucchini. Slice squash into 1/2-inch sections on the bias. Warm up the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, sauté the squash for 5 minutes or until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Salt to taste, and transfer to the bowl.
3. On each green bean, find the point where the row of peas stops and slice off the excess pod after it. Repeat on the opposite end. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and blanch all the beans for 3 minutes. Place in ice bath for a minute. Drain, salt to taste, then add to the lentils and zucchini.
4. In a food processor, purée the remaining ingredients except for olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the oil, and blend until emulsified. Toss this dressing with the salad mix, and salt to taste. Enjoy immediately!