Salmon Lentil Salad with Orange Dressing

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If I’ve learned anything from my short time on planet earth it’s this: Before you do any difficult task, eat something. Before you get started on that long list of chores, eat something. Before you go grocery shopping, eat something. Before you make a trip down to the DMV, eat something.

Because you know what sucks more than doing something you don’t want to do? Doing something you don’t want to do hangry.

I used to try to power through my formidable assignments because I thought I’d enjoy my meal more once my task was complete. I wanted to get my least favorite things out of the way so I could enjoy my most favorite thing – food. I almost always unravel halfway through and end up scarfing my meal with an angry disposition that lasts for the rest of the day.

I found myself facing this eat-first-or-wait-until-the-chores-are-done dilemma today. The lawn needed mowing, the bills needed paying, and the hot water heater needed repair. When I arrived home from work, I put my big girl pants on, fixed myself some avocado toast, and got to work. And yes, mowing the lawn sucked, paying the bills sucked, and our water heater is still out, but not having to face these problems hungry was a very small gift to myself.

So do this. Please. Nothing fancy, event just a small snack before getting down to business.

As much as I love this salad, this is probably not the type of quick-fix meal you want before buckling down and doing your dirty work. However, making this the day before and eating it straight out of the Tupperware while standing in front of the fridge for your pre-chore meal would be perfectly acceptable.

You can eat this salad warm right after you cook everything, but I thought it was even better the next day cold. Enjoy it for dinner one night, then pack up the leftovers and take ’em to work. Or nosh on the leftovers and get to work!

Peppery arugula, a sweet orange dressing, chewy lentils, and delicious salmon makes this salad a new favorite. Try it out and tell me about it in the comments below!

Salmon Lentil Salad with Orange Dressing

Makes 4 Servings

  • 1 Cup French Lentils
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 lb Salmon Fillet (skin on or off)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4-5 Thin Orange Slices
  • 2 Cups Arugula
  • 1 Medium Orange, peeled and segmented
  • Handful of Mint, finely chopped

For the Dressing

  • Juice from 1/2 an Orange
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup, to taste
  • 1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper

Get started by covering the lentils with water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer and cook the lentils for 24-25 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 425. Lay the salmon (skin side down, if using a skin-on fillet) on baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Top with orange slices and bake the salmon for 10-12 minutes, until the salmon is opaque. Once the salmon is cool enough to touch, remove the skin (if any) and gently flake the salmon with a fork.

In a large bowl combine the salmon flakes, cooked lentils, arugula, orange segments, and mints. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the top of the salad. This salad can be served warm or chilled in the fridge.