This easy, healthy cold lentil salad recipe has a Caribbean-inspired, tropical twist! It’s a vegan-friendly, gluten free meal that’s packed with plant-based protein!
PIN Caribbean Cold Lentil Salad
This is the moment where this perfect-for-summer lentil salad JUMPS into the scene, hands waving in the air (if lentils had hands. Use your imagination friends) yelling “I WILL. I WILL DO IT.”
Pretending I’m still on a tropical vacay for MAH TASTEBUDS.
Like, we’re heading back from the Dominican Republic TODAY and I’m already eating food that makes me feel like I’m back on a white, sandy beach, feeling the ocean breeze WHIPPING THROUGH MY HAIR.
Like, aint no room for things like vegan coconut curry lentil soup right now. NOT TROPICAL ENOUGH.
So many textures. So many flavors – spicy! Sweet! Savory! – and SO much wholesome, from-the-Earth, plant-based NUTRITION.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
The super-cool-and-exciting things about this salad (aside from that fact that it’s scoring some MAJOR yummy points) is that it’s BEST if you make it ahead and it’s SUPPOSED to be cold.
Plus, it’s gonna make ya feel those toes-in-the-sand-margarita-in-hand vibes.
I actually fell in L-O-V-E with the tangy, zesty and sweet-n-spicy flavors of jerk chicken in Jamaica, on a Caribbean cruise that Mr. FFF and I took a few years back, for our first anniversary. There is something about the flavor combo of warm cinnamon and nutmeg, the herby thyme and the vibrant pineapple that just does MAGICAL things as it dances across your taste buds.
Like the Caribbean chicken bowls from last year, those crave able, addicting flavor profiles are the base of this bowl of tropical BLISS, buuut we’re switching up the protein for the plant-powerhouse that are PULSES. <– Specifically, lentils!
There are roughly 8 grams of protein in a half cup of cooked lentils, which – SPOILER ALERT- just so happens to be a serving size of this easy-breezy-tropical cold lentil salad recipe. If you’re reading this which, ummm, YOU ARE, I can almost 100% guarantee that you’re looking for SUPER EASY, ATTAINBLE ways to eat little healthier. Adopting the “Half-Cup Habit” is JUST THAT.
Just add ½ cup of pulses to your diet 3x per week and VOILA – more nutrients AND plant-based protein!
What You Need to Know About Lentils
- They’re PACKED with fiber which helps with digestion!
- All that fiber? Also gonna help stabilize your blood sugar, so you feel fuller, LONGER
- Because they’re packed with fiber and complex carbs, they give you steady, slow-burning energy to get you through your day!
Don’t mind me, just gonna sit here and eat this lentil salad ALL WEEK LONG.
So, ummm, it’s the greatest thing EVER for wanna-bring-healthy-lunches-to-work-that-keep-you-full-until-dinner Y-O-U. Meal prep WINNER!
It’s also the kind of salad that MEN EAT. WITHOUT complaining. <– Mr. FFF is NOT a salad inclusivist and he HAPPILY ate leftovers for dinner and even asked if he could experience the tongue-tingling, spicy-sweet jerk-inspired salad goodness in his lunch the next day.
You know what I did?
Took after this cold lentil salad, said NO, and kept it ALL TO MYSELF. <– You know, because the salad is a “JERK?”
In the very loosely translated words of Bob Marley:
No sharing. No Cry.
For the salad:
- 1 Cup Brown lentils, uncooked
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 8 oz Can Pineapple tidbits, drained (but keep the juice) About 2/3 cup packed tidbits
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/4 Cup Red onion, minced
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1/2 Cup Coconut chips
For the dressing:
- 1/4 Cup Pineapple juice (from the can of tidbits)
- 1 Tbsp Avocado oil
- 2 tsp Reduced-sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
- 1-2 Large jalapenos, roughly chopped, to desired spiciness.
- 1 1/4 tsp Fresh lime juice
- 3/4 tsp Fresh ginger, minced
- 3/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp Ground allspice
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp Ground thyme
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon
- Rinse the lentils and stir together the water and lentils in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well and add into a large bowl.
- Add all the other salad ingredients, except the coconut chips, into the bowl and stir to combine.
- In a SMALL food processor (mine is 3 cups) process all of the dressing ingredients until the jalapeno is broken down and the dressing is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Pour the dressing over the lentils and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours up to overnight so the lentils can absorb the dressing and develop flavor.
- When ready to serve, stir in the coconut chips* and DEVOUR!
Tips & Notes:
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: FREESTYLE SMARTPOINTS POINTS: 4 POINTS+: 4. OLD POINTS: 3
(per 1/6 of the salad)