Brussels Sprout, Lentil and Quinoa Salad

By January 22, 2014 nourish 2 Comments

For the long weekend, I headed to Charleston, SC for my friends Tyler and John’s wedding. As a bonus, I also got to see my parents, who moved to Myrtle Beach a couple of months ago. I actually flew into MB and then borrowed their car the next day to make the 2-hour drive to Charleston for the weekend.

I had planned to make dinner for my parents the day I arrived but, unfortunately, my flight got delayed by almost 2 hours so we instead opted for a larger late lunch. Fortunately, it was at their tasty natural market (Bay Naturals) that has a pretty awesome menu that is friendly to people who are vegan and gluten-free. I got the Apple Mimi juice (Green Apple, Carrot, Kale, Celery, and Parsley) and the Bay “Chef” Salad with Grilled Tofu and a side of Quinoa Salad. My parents love this place as much as I do and so we really enjoyed our lunch. 

My parents’ friends were coming over later for dessert, so I grabbed some healthier options for myself at the market to snack on later (roasted red pepper hummus, crackers, kale salad and beet slaw). Those yummies and some red wine made for a lovely evening of hanging in and playing dominos, which I hadn’t played in years but thoroughly enjoyed. Plus I won (can you tell I’m competitive).

I headed to Charleston the next day and made it first to my home for the weekend, the 1837 Bed and Breakfast. Located only a few blocks from King Street, the main hub of the city, 1837 B&B is a lovely, lovely gem. It has 9 rooms total and I stayed in one in the back carriage house, originally built as the kitchen and servants’ quarters. The brick and stucco walls, along with the lacy canopy bed and tiled bathroom, were nothing short of charming. On top of the decor, the owners and staff were warm and welcoming. Although I told them not to worry about making anything special for me for breakfast (I brought nut butters to have with fruit just in case), Erin (the sweet chef) cooked up delicious herbed tofu and vegetable scrambles both mornings I was there. For everyone else there were frittatas, monkey bread and other yummy looking goodies. I highly recommend 1837 B&B for anyone heading to visit Charleston. 

Speaking of accommodating food needs, Butcher and Bee, where the rehearsal dinner was held, also left an imprint. Rather than be inflexible when told that I (and some others) had food allergies and sensitivities, they did everything they could ensure that we enjoyed our meals. A pulled squash slider appetizer (a veg version of a pulled pork sandwich) was deconstructed and placed in bowls for us. Since I was not eating the main dish of chicken, they brought me a large plate full of the sesame collard greens and roasted cauliflower with tahini sides.  The food was really yummy to boot.

The weather was a little cooler than I would have liked having headed South from NYC, but it was still nice to get away for a few days and explore the city. Between the beautiful homes and waterfront views, the history, hospitality and some yummy food, I really enjoyed it. On top of that, I got to share in a really special day with some of my favorite people.

{I posted more pics of the food and sights on my Instagram, so peek over there if you want to check them out}.

So, now for the yummy brussels, lentil and quinoa recipe I made last night by adapting this one from Golubka Kitchen. I swapped sprouted quinoa for the edamame, sprouted green lentils for the black or french ones and blackstrap molasses for the pomegranate molasses. You don’t have to use the sprouted versions of lentils and quinoa, but many people find them easier to digest. In addition, sprouting boosts their nutritional profile by increasing vitamins and micronutrients and activating digestive enzymes.

Unprocessed Tip: Blackstrap molasses, a by-product of processing sugar cane or beet into table sugar, is a nutrient-dense natural sweetener – high in iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, folate, zinc and B vitamins.

The salad at first ended up a little sweeter than I expected, but actually mellowed out overnight and was a good balance when I ate it for lunch today over arugula. I also thinking choosing to garnish with the pomegranate seeds versus mix them throughout helped keep it from being too sweet. Enjoy!

Brussels Sprout, Lentil and Quinoa Salad
Serves 8
Allergens: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free
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For the salad
  1. 1 cup sprouted green lentils
  2. 1 cup sprouted quinoa
  3. 10-15 brussels sprouts
  4. 1/4 kabocha squash, shredded
  5. 1 pomegranate, seeded
  6. Pumpkin seeds (I used sprouted)
For the dressing
  1. 5 Tbs grape seed or olive oil
  2. 3 Tbs maple syrup
  3. 2 Tbs blackstrap molasses
  4. 1 Tbs mustard
  5. Juice of 1 lemon
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. 1. In a pot, bring water to boil. Add salt and sprouted green lentils to boiling water. Turn off heat, cover with a lid and rest for about 5 minutes. Check lentils and drain excess liquid once the desired consistency has been reached.
  2. 2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa (rinse if using non-sprouted). Bring back to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Take off heat and fluff with a fork.
  3. 3. Trim the brussels sprouts and either slice thin or shred in a food processor with a shredding attachment.
  4. 4. Combine all salad ingredients except the final 2, in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl until smooth.
  5. 5. Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to coat and serve. Garnish with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds.
  1. I used both sprouted lentils and quinoa, but you could choose not to. Cook according to package directions.
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