Looking for a healthy and delicious meal option? Try this versatile zucchini noodle salad with lentils, avocado, and a flavorful basil dressing. It’s great as a main dish or a side dish for any meal.
About this recipe
This salad is the perfect option for those hot summer days when we are looking for something light but tasty to eat. This is a light, fresh recipe full of vibrant flavors that will make you want to keep eating and eating.
Fresh zucchini when made into noodles becomes a fun and nutritious way to eat vegetables. The creamy basil dressing is very easy to make and can be used for this or many other salads.
Ingredients for making zucchini salad
- Zucchini, zucchini. Use firm zucchini to make the noodles easier. In this post you will find a tutorial on how to make zucchini noodles.
- Avocado use a firm, ripe avocado so you can slice it easily. You could also substitute guacamole with proxies.
- Beluga lentils, you can use another type of lentil or legume. White beans or kidney beans are perfect here. You could also use jarred lentils or canned beans.
- Creamy basil dressing, when you make it, prepare twice as much to use as a dressing for all your salads throughout the week.
How to make the salad
Start by cooking the lentils if you are using dried lentils. If you are going to use canned or jarred lentils (or any other legume) drain and rinse very well.
Then prepare the creamy basil dressing, which is as easy as putting everything in the blender, blending, tasting, adjusting, setting aside and you’re done.
Prepare the zucchini noodles and place them on the platter where you will serve the salad. Top with lentils, drizzle dressing, and finish with avocado slices and slivered almonds.
Benefits of eating raw vegetables
Nutrient-rich: Raw vegetables may have higher levels of certain nutrients compared to cooked vegetables. Some vitamins, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, are sensitive to heat and can be lost during the cooking process. Consuming them raw ensures that we get the maximum benefit from these vitamins.
High fiber content: Raw vegetables are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system, reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and can help maintain a healthy weight.
Hydration: Many vegetables contain a high water content, which can help keep us hydrated.
Lower caloric intake: Raw vegetables are high in volume and low in caloric density, which can help you feel full on fewer calories. This can be beneficial for people looking to lose weight.
Antioxidants: Many raw vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to aging and disease.
Dental health: Chewing raw vegetables can help maintain dental health by stimulating saliva production and helping to clean teeth and gums.
Low in calories: Zucchini is an excellent choice for those who are trying to maintain or reduce their weight due to its low calorie content. It contains approximately 17 calories per 100 grams.
High in water: More than 90% of zucchini is water. Not only does this help keep us hydrated, but it can also help us feel satiated, which can reduce calorie intake.
Dietary fiber: Zucchini is a good source of fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and can help prevent constipation.
Vitamins and minerals: Zucchini is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and folic acid. It also contains important minerals such as potassium and manganese.
Antioxidants: Zucchini contains antioxidants, including carotenoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. These antioxidants can help protect against cell damage and prevent chronic diseases.
How to cook lentils?
Rinse the lentils: Before cooking, be sure to rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold water.
Cook the lentils: Put the lentils in a pot and add about 2-3 cups of water (generally a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of lentils to water is used). It is not necessary to soak the lentils before cooking.
Boil and reduce heat: Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the lentils simmer.
Cook until tender: Cook lentils for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until tender but still holding their shape.
Drain the lentils: Once the lentils are cooked to your liking, drain them well and let them cool before using them in your recipe.
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Zucchini Noodle Salad with creamy basil dressing
- 3/4 cup cooked black lentils or other type
- 3 large zucchinis
Creamy Basil Dressing
- 1 cup basil squeezed
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1/4 cup water or more
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 avocado sliced
For the dressing
- To make the dressing, place the basil, slivered almonds, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, garlic clove and salt in the blender jar.Let it run until everything is well integrated and creamy. If it is too thick, add more water, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Add the zucchini noodles to a large platter, add the cooked beluga lentils, drizzle with the creamy basil dressing and chopped almonds.
- How to make zucchini noodles? In this post, you can find how to make zucchini noodles in several ways, even if you don’t have the spiralizer.
- How to cook lentils? Before cooking, be sure to rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold water. Put the lentils in a pot and add 2-3 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the lentils simmer. Cook the lentils for approximately 25-30 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool.
- Can the salad be stored? This salad is best eaten the day you make it, it does not keep well.
Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.