warm lentils salad on plate with carrots

Some recipe submissions just give us that ‘we need this right now’ impulse and this warm lentils salad is one of them! This protein and antioxidant-rich plate comes to us from the new Los Angeles’ wellness eatery, Grain Traders.

Despite grain being an actual part of the restaurant’s name, Grain Traders accommodates all the dietary preferences including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan. Executive Chef Gisela Salazar-Golding focuses on nutrient density no matter their guest’s preferences, offering lean proteins for omnivores which are sourced locally, utilizing grass-fed, free range, and organic where possible.

This warm lentils salad is exactly what we want to be eating now; light, but nourishing and packed with flavor. Try Chef Gisela’s recipe for yourself and, if you’re in L.A., consider ordering out to support a new restaurant that is moving the ball forward on what it looks like to eat healthfully in 2021.

Warm Lentils Salad with Baby Carrots + Feta Crumble

For the Spiced Lentils 
1 lb of Puy lentils or beluga lentils and the following ‘sofrito’ ingredients:
6 oz diced red onion
2 tbsp garlic finely chopped
8 oz diced roma tomatoes (with skin and seed)
4 oz diced red pepper
2 jalapenos finely slice (keep the seeds if you like it extra spicy)
2 tsp ginger finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp fine salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

6 oz extra virgin olive oil

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and fry until it starts getting a golden colour. Add the onion and ginger and let the mix caramelise with the salt. When the onion is transparent, add the rest of the vegetables and spices and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.

Add the lentils, mix and cover with 6 to 8 cups of water. Let it cook at medium heat until the lentils are tender. Adjust the salt if necessary, and if there is excess water you can pour it out or let it boil for a few minutes on high heat to reduce the liquid.

For the Glazed Baby Carrots 
1 lb baby carrots clean and peeled and the following dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tamari sauce
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pinch of black pepper

sliced sage or any other fresh herbs you would like to add


Preheat the oven to 400F. In a roasting pan, mix all the ingredients and add the carrots. Marinate for 30-45 minutes. Roast the carrots in the oven until tender and slightly charred, around 20-30 minutes.

Final Step  

On a serving tray, serve the lentils and arrange the carrots on top, then garnish with fresh mint leaf, feta cheese crumble, and a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top.

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  1. I cannot wait to try. I have always been taught not to brown garlic. It is supposed to tast bad. So I am hesitant to add garlic until the end of cooking .

    Marsha Gibbons | 01.14.2021 | Reply
  2. This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Blythe | 01.15.2021 | Reply

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