This Mexican style lentil detox salad recipe is just what the doctor ordered, only made DELICIOUS and satisfying! Tender soft cooked green lentils flavored with cilantro and lime juice, paired with a bunch of kale goodness, sweet corn, sweet tomatoes, crunchy purple cabbage and sweet apples and mangoes. This vibrant salad is dressed up with a silky smooth creamy guacamole dressing to perfectly round off the sweetness and textures!
So DETOX is the word on the street now. I meet friends, all I hear is detox detox detox. I go to pick up the girls from school, all the moms are into detox. The Mr. comes back from work and says everyone asked him what he’s doing to detox.. OK I officially give up, it’s DETOX time for me too!!
So take a look at this gorgeous, vibrant and lick your plate delicious Mexican style lentil detox salad—why would this salad feel like a chore when it’s actually a pleasure! Now back to my thoughts on “detox”—I have absolutely nothing against detox, I’m ALL for healthy and detox more often days than others—but I’m not for making it feel like a punishment. So aside from vibes and chores happening, this salad is absolutely yummy and absolutely good for you!
Let’s start by how you can make this your own and make it different each time! Use different veggies and fruits every time, so substitute pears, cucumbers, onions, white cabbage, soy beans, berries, pomegranate, sliced avocados, roast veggies and more! If you’re not a kale-ish person, use spinach or salad greens, although if I were you—I would give kale second, third, fourth and hundred more chances! It’s really good for you, it has a nice bitter taste which offsets it from other salad greens, and it has a nice bite too! Another thing I love adding here often is nuts—walnuts, almonds, pecans—whatever you have on hand.
When it comes to the lentils—this Mexican style lentil detox salad is all about the lentils—but that’s not to say you can’t go for chickpeas, black beans or white navy beans—or a combo!
I might admit that when I’m rushed I’ll open a can of chickpeas, drain, rinse and use them, but I really urge you to try the lentils! So how to cook lentils? The PERFECT way to cook lentils is to start by rinsing your lentils under tap water in a strainer. Make sure the water runs clear before taking them off the strainer. Then the water ratio I prefer is always 1:2 that’s double the water cups to lentil cups (so the 1 cup lentils will need 2 cups water). Add the rinsed lentils and water in a pot and bring the water to boil, then lower the heat for about 20-30 mins max. until the lentils are tender. AVOID ever adding salt or lemon juice, or vinegar to the water before cooking the lentils—this will make your lentils hard. ALWAYS add the salt right after the lentils are fully cooked, but still hot enough to absorb the seasoning.
For extra flavor, I always add a clove of crushed garlic in my lentil water, you can skip this or add more flavor—like onions, herbs, spices (not salt). Once the lentils are fully cooked, I salt them, add in olive oil, juice of half a lime and plenty of minced cilantro. And just like that lentils are done! In the meantime, you could prepare your veggies and fruits, so that assembling your Mexican style lentil detox salad takes only a minute. Oh but what about the dressing? For the record, a simple splash of lime, olive oil and salt will work great, or this honey Greek salad dressing if you have it handy. Ok maybe any other handy dressing can work good enough, but can you spare an extra 60 seconds to make this incredible guacamole dressing?
You will thank me for this 60 second dressing later. I use a mini food processor, I add in a peeled avocado (whole as it is), a bunch of cilantro leaves, a couple scallions torn by hand, a pinch of salt, juice of 1 lime, a teaspoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water..Process it and you’re done! This AMAZING avocado cream, guacamole dressing, green goodness dressing, whatever however you wish to call it is absolutely worth every second and ABSOLUTELY what makes this Mexican style lentil detox salad standout from the rest! So if I had to pick one thing for you not to skip or change in the recipe—it would be the dressing!! PS—I used this dressing before in this 10 min shrimp salad with avocado dressing, another Mexican style salad worth making on busy nights!
Detox-ing or not, make this really delicious salad and Enjoy! 🙂
- 1½ cups of green lentils
- 3 cups of water
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste)
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- ¼ cup of minced cilantro leaves
- 1 small mango sliced thinly
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- ½ cup of grape tomatoes
- 1 cup of purple cabbage sliced
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels
- 2 cups of sliced fresh kale (stems removed)
- Guacamole Dressing:
- 1 avocado, peeled and deseeded
- 3 scallions
- ½ cup of cilantro leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of water (use sour cream for a more creamy effect)
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste)
- Start by rinsing your lentils under tap water in a strainer. Make sure the water runs clear before taking them off the strainer.
- Add in the rinsed lentils, garlic clove and water in a pot and bring the water to boil, then lower the heat for about 20-30 mins max. until the lentils are tender.
- In the meantime, start preparing your fruits ad veggies ( substitutions like pears, cucumbers, onions, white cabbage, soy beans, berries, pomegranate, sliced avocados, roast veggies, spinach or salad greens are great!)
- Then make the guacamole dressing: Add in all the ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if you prefer a thinner dressing, adjusting more salt, lime juice if you prefer and garlic!
- Assemble the salad and drizzle the guacamole dressing on top.