This year I won’t be celebrating Christmas (well, if we don’t count my affluent advent celebrations, weekly Christmas cookie baking, Christmas decorating, the hyacinth smell in my apartment and the, like, a zillion candles I’ve consumed, that is). Because in two days time I’ll be on a plane to Australia!!! Me and my family will spend three weeks (!) exploring Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns, and completely forget about winter & work. We have decided not to give any presents this year and instead focusing on doing this trip together. I’ll bring my camera and computer obviously, and I’m hoping to have some time for blogging, other than what I already prepared for you. I can’t help but to feel a little bad about flying such a long distance. It certainly isn’t good for the environment. I’m telling myself that I live fairly environmentally friendly otherwise, even though I know it isn’t enough. What are your thoughts on travelling and the environment?
Some of you already gave me some great tips on what to do whilst in Sydney and Melbourne, like going to flee markets in New Town and visit a couple of raw food cafés. But if you have any more tips, please let me know! WHaaa SO excited about this trip! For once I’m actually well prepared and have had my shirts ironed and neatly folded, sneakers cleaned, items sorted and laid out, blog posts scheduled and raw food energy balls for the flight prepped *strong emoji arm*. Now I can relax and spend the rest of the evening eating pomelo and reading teenage fantasy <3 (remember this? Yeah, I had to go ahead and read the novel before watching the movie).
Those of you who celebrate Christmas, how does your Christmas dinner typically look like? How do you feel about incorporating more vegetarian dishes? I know our Christmas dinner usually circles around lots of charcuterie and cheese, as well as pickled herring, sausages and meatballs. Of course we have some dishes that traditionally are vegetarian, like sautéed kale and beetroot salad, but that’s about it. However, over the years that I’ve been a vegetarian we’ve slowly adapted to a greener Christmas. This Herbed Beluga Lentil Salad has appeared on the menu for the past years, and I actually don’t remember were it came from? Perhaps it was just a lucky experiment that stuck. I guess you could say it’s a kind of tabbouleh but with lentils instead of bulgur?
I know I say this all the time, but this dish truly is sooo super simple, just like the rest of them! You really can’t fail with it. It is fresh and tangy, with a little punch from the red onion. I love how it works all year around! It’s perfect for a summer’s potluck picnic, or Midsummer’s lunch, as well as a nice addition to the Christmas buffet. On busy weeks you can keep a bowl of pre cooked lentils in the fridge, ready to throw together this salad for lunch, perhaps along with some kale or spinach, chopped tomatoes and avocado.
That’s it for me for now. Next time you see a post appearing here on the blog I’ll be scavenging Sydney’s flee markets!
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, whatever you’re doing or whoever you’re with. I hope you can relax, slow down and enjoy your company. If you have the ability, give your spare coins to those on streets, or perhaps send your old clothes to people in need.
Eat well, take care of each other and have a great holiday!
Herbed Beluga Lentil Salad
serves 4-6 as side dish
5 dl / 2 cups cooked beluga lentils
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 heaping dl / 1/2 cup chopped mint
1 heaping dl / 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp agave syrup
1 lemon, juice
herbal salt & pepper
Notes: I forgot to measure the dry weight of the lentils! But I would say it’s about 1-1/2 cup dry lentils for 2 cups cooked? Anyway this recipe is no rocket science so it doesn’t really matter!
Cook lentils according to the instructions on the package. Generally I find it better to cook them a little shorter than advised, to make sure they are al dente.
Coarsely chop mint and parsley. Very finely chop red onion. Mix herbs, onion and the lukewarm lentils with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and agave syrup. Season to taste with herbal salt and black pepper. Done!
Serve for example with roasted veggies, a green salad, some hummus and a piece of bread.
The lentil salad can easily be prepared a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge. It will taste even better day two :) Lasts for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Tips! Switch lentils for bulgur and add some chopped tomatoes and cucumber, and you have a nice tabbouleh instead ;)
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