I have been a vegetarian for quite a long time, which has given me a Love-Hate relationship with salads.
For about 10 years I just flat refused to eat them out of some kind of angsty, entitled indignation over being offered a dinner salad for every single meal. People of my community (and the businesses who catered to them) could not imagine anything else a vegetarian would possibly eat. And once I started exploring nutrition, I was aghast to realize that the “salads” (usually a plate of iceberg lettuce with a couple of croutons and Fatty McFatFat Ranch Dressing) could hardly be categorized as real, quality food, anyway!
I eventually recognized that there are times I still reeeeeally want to eat a cold, raw food dish (generally considered a “salad”), but by Gawd: I want it to be interesting and make me feel good!
A fantastically supportive friend gave me a SUPER FANCY electrified, hydroponic sprouter a few years ago. It is a magical contraption that monopolizes quite a bit of counter space, and its sound of trickling water makes me feel the urge to pee; but it has completely revolutionized my sprouting ability and my willingness to experiment with them.
However, since most people do not have the Amazing Sprouting Machine (totally fictitious name): I made a batch of sprouts using the most basic method as well as a batch in my Glorious Sprout Farm (totally fictitious name) to verify that this recipe could be accomplished without all my extravagant equipment.
Here are some nice sprouting instructions provided by The Lean Green Bean.
My manual attempt at sprouting didn’t exactly produce magazine quality sprouts, but they had the desired flavor and a nice, fresh texture. The Fancy Gadget (totally fictitious name) produced gorgeous sprouts that were ready to Work the Cat Walk.
In the end I combined both versions to create this invigorating salad.
3 cups sprouted crimson (whole) lentils (about 1 cup dry)
3 cups diced cucumber (peeled and seeded)
3 cups shredded fresh basil
1 1/2 -2 cups fresh (or frozen and thawed) blueberries
2 Tbs ume plum vinegar
Gently combine all ingredients and chill for at least one hour.
The flavors are even more enhanced the next day.
This salad travels well and would make an enviable bag lunch!