Cumin Roasted Beetroot & Puy lentil Salad

Cumin Roasted Beetroot & Puy lentil Salad


Do you what is really challenging? Taking photos of red and dark coloured foods! I don’t know if it is just my camera that is struggling with the light / contrast or if there’s something else contributing, which I don’t know about… It just feels a little unfair as the pictures doesn’t truly do the dish justice.

This salad is kind of a classic pairing, beetroot and feta. I bet if you Goolgle it you’ll find hundreds of ideas for a salad like this. A very similar recipe to this one, was one of the first recipes that I added to my first website. But when I moved on to this website, I left it behind.

So here’s a new version!

Speaking of Googling recipes… Sometimes when I see a new ingredient that I would like to try make something with, this is exactly what I do. You usually get endless results which = endless ideas to try. Is this how you approach it too? Or are you more inclined to pull out a recipe book and decide that you are going to try a new recipe and then shop accordingly?

When I first decided to extend my recipe repertoire I went looking for cookbooks (back then I just had a few…), then I would pick a recipe that looked good, shop the ingredients and then get stuck in. At one stage I decided to learn one new one / week.

To be honest that is probably an enough amount to focus on, because it takes a bit of mental energy to learn a new recipe. It is so easy to try to do everything all at once, but that’s often what makes it so challenging to then make changes that stick.

Our lives are so full already, which is why it is so much easier to stick to what we already know.  I think this is why we can get stuck in food ruts too. It’s safe, easy and convenient. Like I said, our lives are already full and learning new things requires mental energy. And when my life is way off, I don’t usually cook at all… But that’s an entirely different story… They don’t call it convenience food for nothing, do they?

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Before I share this recipe with you, I want to invite you to think of some other beetroot combinations to test out.

One of my favourite books for getting creative when it comes to flavour pairings is The Flavour Thesaurus.  It is a small book, well worth adding to your cookbook collection / kitchen. This book as helped me get a lot braver and creative when it comes to testing out new flavours and food combinations. As if this book was not enough, I recently invested in this book called Kitchen CreativitySo far I have only flickered through it, but I think it will be prove a worthwhile purchase 🙂

So if you want to change this salad up, consider pairing beetroot with either fresh orange + some fried halloumi, or some crisp thinly sliced apples + some goat’s cheese / blue cheese with walnuts.

If you cook the beetroot (leave skin on so they bleed less) you will end up with a different texture. A lot softer. Or you can use it grated, raw like I did in this salad.

Now let’s get to today’s recipe!


Cumin Roasted Beetroot & Puy Lentil Salad

Serves 2

2 large beetroots (or 4 small ones), peeled & cut into small quarters

2 tsp cumin seeds, ground

100g dried puy lentils (beluga lentils are fine too), rinsed 

100g good quality feta cheese

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

A handful of green salad leaves, washed & dried 

Olive oil, for roasting



4 tbsp good quality olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp clear honey

sea salt & black pepper to season


Heat oven to 180°C. Place your quartered beetroot on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and then scatter the cumin seeds over. Season with sea salt and black pepper and then toss it all with your hands to that the beetroot are well coated in seasoning and oil.

Roast for about 35-40 min until soft. 

To cook the lentils, rinse them well to remove any dust as well as pick through to make sure there’s no stones in there. Then place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for about 30-35 min until they are soft but still hold their shape. When they mush easily with a squeeze between your fingers, they are done. Drain, rinse and drain well.

You can serve this salad warm or cold. Since it is still cold here, at this time of the year I would personally prefer it warm. The warm lentils will make a nice contrast to the cold salty feta and the sweet and crunchy pomegranate seeds.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing together and season to taste. Add the dressing to the warm lentils. 

On a plate add some salad leaves, the warm lentil and some roasted beetroot. Then scatter some crumbled feta and some pomegranate seeds. Tuck in!

winter salad


Watermelon & Feta Salad with Mint

Watermelon & Feta Salad with Mint

This recipe is a really simple refreshing salad. Good on its own or as part of a BBQ. Watermelon makes the perfect summer food as it has a really high water content and is naturally sweet so pretty compelling to eat. It is certainly a food I crave once the temperatures rises above twenty. Not that it is a common occurrence in this country though… And it is certainly not a fruit which in on my mind in Dec when we are busy eating oranges and drinking mulled wine.

When I spotted a nice looking watermelon in the shop I immediately thought of this salad combination. Especially since I hadn’t enjoyed it in ages. I always have some feta cheese in my fridge simply #becauseeverythingtastesbetterwithfeta. I love adding some of its saltiness to salads, as a topping on homemade pizza or on roasted veg. If you are following me on Instagram, you probably know this buy now. We also have some mint growing in the garden and a various amount of seeds can always be found in my pantry. If you don’t have mint, basil will work really well too.

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Apart from being a totally yummy summery fruit, watermelon also has a couple of useful health benefits. Because it is naturally sweet and because we nowadays seem to associate sweet things as being bad for us, many might avoid watermelon because they believe it is high in sugar. The fact is though that the fruit is almost 96% water and a cup of diced watermelon is only 9g of sugar compared to your 100g bag of sweets which might be about 40g of sugar. Due to its really high water content it is the perfect food for warm summer weather we inevitably sweat more and thus fore need to increase our fluid intake.

It contains sodium which we also tend to loose when we sweat. To top it all off it is high in Vitamin C  and Vitamin A both strong antioxidants which are never a bad idea, which will hopefully protect us from aging damages from the sun. See nature really has created cleaver ways of foods to work with the seasons and according to our varying needs.

You’ll have this salad done in a matter of minutes, perfect while someone else is sorting out the BBQ. Make a much of it as you like depending on how many people you intend to feed. I enjoyed my bowl all to myself as a refreshing lunch. Probably no harm in adding a few more greens on the side if you so wish. Turn any leftover watermelon that you don’t use for the salad in to a smoothie the following day. (Recipe to follow!)


Watermelon Salad with Feta & Fresh Mint

Serves 2

2 cups fresh watermelon, diced, seeds removed if needed

70 g good quality feta cheese

a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves

some raw pumpkin seeds – or use any other nut or seed you fancy

Place the diced watermelon in a large bowl. Mix with a few shredded mint leaves and top with some crumbled feta cheese and a few pumpkin seeds. As easy as that!


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