RECIPE: Cook From The Heart Cookbook’s Crunchy Lentil Salad


Right about this time, a lot of people cannot wait for the year to be over.   Some are already in holiday mode making a list of all the things they will do with their time as well as their bonuses.  That’s not a bad thing.   Making plans for tomorrow never hurt anybody.  Besides, the idea of a holiday is alluring even the thought of a mighty cobra slithering away at Hout Bay Beach can’t dampen the anticipation……

Just don’t forget to take care of yourself today in order to get to tomorrow in a fine fit form.  I came across a Crunchy Lentil Salad from the Cook from the heart cookbook.  Lentils are a good source of dietary fibre which among other benefits helps to relieve constipation.   The salad makes a perfect side dish or lunchbox item.


Other tips for a balanced, healthy lunch box from the Cook from the Heart cookbook:


  • Reduced-fat dairy – such as low-fat milk, unsweetened yoghurt or reduced-fat cheese.
  • A lean, protein-rich food – anything from tinned fish, a boiled egg, beans or lentils to lean meats, such as skinless chicken or trimmed beef.
  • Healthier nibbles – include healthy snacks in your lunch box so you are ready for the whole day. Try to include at least two different colours of fruits or fresh vegetables in your lunch box. Nuts and seeds are also healthy options.
  • An unrefined starch – choose high-fibre or wholegrain starches, such as wholewheat bread or seed breads, wholewheat pitas or wraps, wholewheat crackers or wholewheat pasta.
  • Water is still the best drink to include in a lunch box for children and adults alike. Add some fresh lemon slices or mint leaves.  Freeze the bottle overnight as this makes for a refreshing drink, especially on hot summer days. Or see the ice tea recipe.

Hope you get to try out the recipe!

Crunchy Lentil Salad

Serves: 4

Ready in 1 hour


1 cup (250 ml) uncooked brown lentils

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

2 tsp (10 ml) dried origanum

2 tbsp (30 ml) sunflower or olive oil

1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar

½ tsp (2.5 ml) sugar

black pepper to taste

3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh chopped parsley

3 medium carrots, coarsely grated

2 tomatoes, halved and sliced

3 large spinach leaves, shredded


  1. Place lentils, half the salt and half the origanum with 3 cups (750 ml) water in a pot. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until just cooked.
  2. Drain lentils, rinse with cold water and drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing. Mix remaining salt and origanum with the oil, vinegar and sugar and season with pepper.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the cold lentils and mix well. Add the dressing just before serving. Pack with some extra fruit for a filling meal.



  1. This salad will also be perfect for a side dish at a braai.
  2. Avocado will be great in this salad. When in season, cut into cubes and add at the end.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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