This is a deliciously healthy and filling salad. The lentils are cooked with garlic and lemon plus a pinch of cumin, then dressed while warm. Mixed peppers and broccoli florets add colour, and the salad is finished with dried apricots, goat's cheese and toasted sunflower seeds. Serve with toasted pitta bread.
Instead of goat's cheese, top the salad with 4 sliced hard-boiled eggs. * Use 150 g (5½ oz) frozen broad beans instead of broccoli florets. Cook the beans in boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain, then refresh under cold running water.
Like all pulses, lentils are a good source of soluble fibre, which can help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels. Lentils also offer protein, starchy carbohydrate and B vitamins. * Dried apricots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and a useful source of calcium. * The sunflower was first brought to Europe around 1510 as a decorative plant and it wasn't until the 18th century that sunflowers began to be grown as a crop for the production of sunflower oil. Sunflower seeds are rich in healthy polyunsaturated fats and they are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps to protect cell membranes from damage by free radicals and vitamin B1. They also provide useful amounts of the minerals zinc, iron, copper, phosphorus, selenium and magnesium.
B1, B6, C, E, folate, niacin, iron, selenium * A, B2, potassium, zinc * B12, calcium