Recipe: $5.18 | Per Serving: $1.30 | Yield: 4
So this is my current obsession: french green lentils mixed with simple bruschetta and arugula, stuffed into a whole wheat pita, and topped with just enough feta cheese to remember that you’re not a vegan. (So, seriously, vegans, you can skip the cheese and you won’t be mad.) The easiest Vegetarian/Vegan Salad of all time, thanks to Trader Joe’s!
I ❤ Trader Joe’s, and that’s no surprise, since I’ve written them love letter blogs before. This recipe was inspired by their 1-Minute Lentil Salad, but with significantly less feta, significantly more greens, and an optional pita pocket! Bruschetta is one of the best late-summer dips on the planet, and I remember my mom making it for years when I was a picky adolescent who didn’t think she liked tomatoes. Finally, after much cajoling, sometime in the high-school // college years, I tasted a fresh summer tomato from my parents’ garden and HOLY SMOKES I had really been missing out on the good stuff. Bruschetta and Caprese (and caprese garlic bread) are some of my bestest buds in August and September, and I just can’t wait to hit up the farmer’s market this year for the real deal.
However, this particular time around I used a store-bought bruschetta dip, which seems like something that I would not normally ever do. But newsflash: life is hard and sometimes you NEED bruschetta at a time when your motivation for MAKING bruschetta does not exist.
On the note of life being hard, I would just like to embed this great image, from one of my favorite Instagram accounts – @bymariandrew because sometimes we see our friends and our family members and think they’ve got it all figured out and we’re the idiots dragging behind, but we’re all really just figuring this out. Everybody’s got stuff. Nobody’s stuff is bigger or deeper or darker or more important than anybody else’s stuff, and no matter how we feel, we’re never actually alone in dealing with the stuff. It’s just important to remember this: we’re only the center of our own universe, but at the same time, no man is an island, and we’re all orbiting the same sun together. You’re not alone.
AND WE’RE BACK. This is a self-portrait of me going back into the world for the first time while recovering from paralysis of my arms and legs. It was so hard and frustrating just to walk a couple steps, and everyone around me seemed so happy. Life seemed perfectly easy for everybody else, while I felt so isolated. I had to continually remind myself that you never know what others are going through. • I still can’t walk or draw very well (this doodle took me forever and my hand shook the whole time) but I’m going to try my best to get back to doing the things I used to love, starting now. • I started drawing in late 2015 after the hardest time of my life, and it was a safe happy haven for me. Through drawing every day, I was able to lift myself out of despair. I’m once again in a tough place, and drawing is a difficult task, but sitting down to make this today felt like coming back home to my safe happy haven that had been waiting for me all along. • Thank you so much for providing me with this happy creative home, and thank you for all your recent emails, messages, and comments that have encouraged me to pick up a pen again. My mom and I read them together while I was in the hospital and were moved beyond words. You provided a lot of comfort and laughter to a scared and lonely person, and that is a profound accomplishment. • Whatever you’re going through today, know that you are not alone, and there are many very kind people in this world.
If you don’t have too much hard stuff right now, consider following in Pinch of Yum‘s footsteps and making food for those who DO have stuff. Or even if you DO have hard stuff, consider making food for others anyway, because there are benefits reaped in cooking for other people.
This incredibly easy peasy salad is a good and simple place to start. :) Be well.
Paleo: NO! I would probably mix up some chicken with the bruschetta and arugula and skip the pita and the feta and the lentils.
- 2 cups cooked green/french lentils (from 3/4 cup dry)
- 1 cup bruschetta (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2–4 cups arugula
- optional: 2 large whole wheat pitas
- Combine the lentils, bruschetta, and feta cheese in a large bowl. Mix with arugula and serve as a salad or stuff in half a large whole wheat pita.
If you’re making this ahead of time, combine the bruschetta, lentils, and feta, (and maybe even the arugula if you don’t mind a little sag), but definitely keep the pita on the side. It absorbs all that liquid in a heartbeat and will get soggy far too fast for reliable transport. :)