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Lentil Mediterranean Salad

A large bowl with mediterranean lentil salad sits on top of a blue and white tea towel on a wooden table. To the bottom right of the salad is a smaller salad bowl with the salad. To the left of the small salad bowl are two silver forks.

ABOUT DAMN TIME we are finally bringing out the fabulous summer temperatures! And of course with the gorgeous weather upon us comes summer salads.

This salad brings out all the flares of a Mediterranean dish with colourful veggies, red wine-olive oil dressing, and some creamy *vegan* feta.

The ingredients to the Mediterranean lentil salad lay on a wooden table. The ingredients, from top left to bottom right of the picture include dijon mustard, an English cucumber, a bottle of olive oil, five cherry tomatoes, a can of lentils, a quarter slice of purple onion, Nuts for Cheese "Un-Brie-lievable" fermented cashew product cheese, an orange bell pepper, and a glass pinch bowl of dried parsley.

Did you know that the Mediterranean eating pattern is one of the most studied eating patterns in the world with research dating back to 1986?!

What's most impressive about the Mediterranean diet is that it has some of the best high quality evidence to support its' health benefits. For example, some studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can decrease incidences of cardiovascular events by 30% in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce incidences of diabetes by 52%, and improve blood cholesterol levels. With its' supportive evidence, the Mediterranean diet has been incorporated into many clinical practice guidelines including the Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition Therapy.

What makes the Mediterranean diet so special? Likely its emphasis on high fibre foods like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, use of healthy fats like olive oil, and moderate consumption of lean protein foods. In addition to its' focus on diet, the Mediterranean lifestyle also encourages folks to enjoy meals with others and incorporate daily physical activity.

If you are looking for more support and recipes to implement the principles of the Mediterranean eating pattern, check out Oldways!

Aly's Dietitian Tip: New to Plant-based proteins? Try canned beans and lentils. Canada's Food Guide recommends making a quarter of your plate protein foods - specifically from plant-based sources like beans, lentils, and soy. If you are new to plant-based proteins, start off easy with canned beans and lentils. Canned beans and lentils are versatile and can be used in soups, salads, and casseroles. Make sure to thoroughly drain and rinse your canned beans and lentils to remove excess gas producing starches and drink plenty of water with you real to avoid digestive issues!

A large salad bowl displays the ingredients of the Mediterranean lentil salad before being tossed. To the bottom left of the salad bowl is a glass pinch bowl with dried parsley, a glass pinch bowl of dried oregano, and a glass bowl with the vinaigrette dressing with a small baby whisk sitting on top. The image background is a wooden table.

Looking for other tasty salads. Check out these recipes below:


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