Recipe by Triad to Wellness Consulting – Photo Courtesy of Kristen Massad
Perfect Healthy Potato Salad
Potato salad is one of summer’s reliable essentials, however most classic recipes fall into the category of salads that are deceptively unhealthy. Our Potato, Beet and Lentil Salad is a non-traditional potato salad exception; our version decreases the amount of potatoes and bulks it up with nutritious lentils and one of our favorite summer foods, beets. Adding beets to potatoes creates a sweet flavor and renders a beautiful pink color that perks up this dish when served over a bed of chopped kale. Besides its pretty hue, what makes this potato salad so special is the amazing health benefits that the vegetables provide. Root vegetables absorb an enormous amount of essential everyday nutrients from the soil that are needed for a healthy heart and body. And because fiber-filled lentils are high in plant-protein, adding them to our root vegetable combination makes our salad a complete vegan meal that fuels the mind and body. We love the robust flavor and firm texture of the lentils, especially in combination with the sweet, earthy, and tender root vegetables. We then mix these veggies with a vegan mayonnaise and bolster it with Dijon mustard and lemon juice which keeps our potato salad creamy with a touch of zest in every delicious bite. While our healthy Potato, Beet and Lentil Salad is creamy, savory, and hearty, just like the traditional version, there is nothing traditional about this salad’s tasty nutrition.
Nutrient Booster: Potatoes, Beets, and Lentils
Potatoes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals and are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. This root vegetable contains resistant starch which can help improve blood sugar control and digestive health. Red potatoes, like those used in this salad, are particularly healthy because of their nutrient-filled skins, which are loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron, and potassium. Not only are potatoes nutritious, but they are also delicious, versatile and incredibly satiating.
Beets boast an impressive nutritional profile and contain a bit of almost all the vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health. Beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, which help lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain. This may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke as well as improve cognitive function. Studies also show that dietary nitrates may enhance athletic performance by increasing endurance and stamina. This root vegetable is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, which makes this food a great candidate for cancer risk reduction.
Lentils are a highly nutritious food and are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. This legume is a great source of plant-based iron, protein and fiber. In fact, they are made up of over 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative. Lentils contain health-promoting polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with potential cancer-cell inhibiting effects. High in soluble fiber, they provide a steady supply of energy that helps to regulate blood glucose levels and increase satiety. Eating lentils may also lower the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Every summer barbecue needs a healthy side salad, especially one that pairs deliciously with your grilled fare. Our Potato, Beet and Lentil Salad is the perfect side for outdoor entertaining because it is dairy-free and egg-free so it won’t spoil in the heat. We love serving this salad with some of our favorite BBQ recipes, like our Black Bean Burgers, or our Vegan Steak. Our warm-weather make-ahead desserts offer a refreshing ending to any summer meal. For a delicious and nutritious after-dinner treat, try our Basil and Lime Watermelon Slushie, or our Pineapple Coconut Ice Pops. No matter how you pair it, our Potato, Beet and Lentil Salad is special enough to make your basic BBQ food a meal to remember.
Potato-Beet and Lentil Salad
- 1 pound red potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and cut into bite size cubes
- 1 ¼ cup beets, rinsed, peeled, and cut into bite site cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup cooked, small green lentils
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonaisse
- 1 ½ teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped kale
- Place potatoes and beets in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add enough cold water to completely cover vegetables, add salt, and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer; do not cover. Cook vegetables approximately 25 minutes or until potatoes and beets are tender. Once done, place potatoes and beets in a strainer to drain water; run cold water over potatoes and beets until cooled.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cooled potatoes and beets, lentils, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and ground pepper together. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potato and beet mixture; combine well.
- Potato-Beet Lentil Salad can be refrigerated up to 3 days before serving. Serve on top of chopped kale.
Craving a salad? You can find all of our salad and veggie recipes here.
(1) Ulta-long-term human salt balance studies reveal interrelations between sodium, potassium, and chloride intake and excretion. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/104/1/49.full?sid=0ad6f574-088a-4ae8-b12b-786e08803c09