Why Vegetarian Barbecue: When I first stopped eating meat, the thought of summer barbecues made me sad. I knew summer gatherings, would never be the same. And they haven’t been, but I’ve learned that with a little bit of extra effort, they can be just as enjoyable. With that in mind, over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of my favorite recipes and ideas for a Vegetarian Barbecue.
Last Week: Portobello Burgers with Brie
This Week: As a vegetarian, I have to take special care to make sure I get enough protein. Lentils are a great source of protein, because they are inexpensive and easy to cook. When most people hear lentils, they think of soup, and while lentil soup is awesome, they also make a great salad. This salad is so full of Greek flavor that it will make any barbecue guest happy.
The Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked lentils, 4 garlic cloves, 1 cucumber, 2 carrots, a bunch of cherry tomatoes, 2 stalks celery, half a red onion, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup of vinegar, 1/3 cup of olive oil, salt, garlic powder, dried oregano, and fresh parsley.
The Instructions: Put the lentils and garlic cloves in a medium-sized pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about twenty minutes, until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain them and put in a bowl. Remove the garlic. Cut up your vegetables and the olives. Add to cooled lentils. Crumble in the feta. Chop the parsley and add that into the salad. Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, garlic powder, and dried oregano in a covered container. Pour it over the salad and mix everything together. Leave it in the fridge until it’s time to eat. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
Note: Whenever you cook with lentils, make sure you wash them in a strainer first. Run your hands through them to find and remove any tiny rocks that may have made their way into the bag. It’s the worst thing to be chomping on some lentils and find out the hard way that there’s a rock in there too.