Black Lentil Roasted Purple Potatoes Salad with Cilantro Pesto Vinaigrette

This rustic salad is extremely flavorful and satisfying.  It makes a great side dish and is filling enough to be a meal all in of itself!
Four and a half years ago my body changed and I started to gain weight.  First, it was a couple pounds and the next thing I knew, I was 15 pounds overweight. 15 POUNDS!  I
am talking within a month!  I am only 5′ 3 and 3/4, yes I said 3/4 quarters.  When you are my height every 1/4 inch counts, haha!  I have had to change so many things in my diet and I have had to become very diligent with my exercising.  You have to realize, I have never in my whole life had to think about what I was eating.  It really has been a blessing, though.  I have eaten relatively healthy my whole life, but now I had to cut out sugar, wheat, soy and corn for the most part.  I will eat them on occasion.
Lately, I have been eating dishes like this lentil salad as well as kale salads, soups and falafel.  My body seems to like this and I have FINALLY achieved my goal weight.  It only took 4 and 1/2 years but hey, I’ll take it!  Bottom line, there is no such thing as the perfect diet.  You really do have to make lifestyle changes.  Have you struggled with weight?  What’s your story?  And what works for you?
This salad goes great with a nice red Rioja, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, white Rioja, or a Sauvignon Blanc.
6 – 8 servings
Roasted Potatoes
  • 1 lb. Purple Potatoes -1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic and 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Black Lentils – dry
  • 7 Cups Filtered Water

In case you want to make more of the Cilantro Asiago Pesto, here is the whole batch.  I use a half batch for this salad with the addition of the lemon juice, vinegar and a bit more salt.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Cilantro Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Asiago – finely shredded
  • 1/4 Cup +2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 3 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4  – 1/2 Fennel Bulb (about 1 cup) –  thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Fennel Stalks
  • 1 Carrots – (about 3/4 cup) shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – sliced or minced

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the potatoes and dice them into 1/2 inch chunks.  Put potatoes in a Pyrex baking dish and add the olive oil, garlic and salt.  Mix thoroughly, making sure to coat all of the potatoes with the oil.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft enough to pierce with a fork.  Then turn oven to broil and place potatoes under broiler uncovered for 7 minutes.


While potatoes are cooking, sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 15 – 20 minutes, you don’t want them too soft or they will be mushy, so check them at 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking start the vinaigrette.

When the lentils are done, drain them into a mesh colander, rinse with water to help them cool down and allow them to cool to room temperature.


Pick the leaves off of the cilantro stems, finely shred the cheese, measure the cilantro, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and put them into a food processor. Turn the processor on then pour in the lemon juice and vinegar until smooth.  Once the lentils are cool, mix them into the vinaigrette.


Cut the stalks off the fennel and cut in half then cut out the core.  Slice as thin as you can then add them to the lentils.  Thinly slice the fennel stalks and add to lentils.

Shred the carrot and slice or mince the cabbage and add to lentils.

Mix well and serve with the potatoes.


 Health benefits:

 Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years

Purple potatoes are originally from their origins in Peru and Bolivia.  They contain 4 times as much antioxidants as Russet potatoes. The deep blue or purple color produces a flavonoid antioxidant called anthocyanin which helps boost the immune system, the same that can be found it blueberries, blood oranges,  pomegranates and black rice.  They are high in potassium and have anti-inflammatory properties.  Purple potatoes have a high concentration of phytochemicals and one called chlorogenic acid and has been linked to lowering blood pressure.  They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin C, folic acid and iron.

Cilantro is an extreme anti-oxidant immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals.  It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. Cilantro can lower bad cholesterol level and increase the good cholesterol level.  It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K and dietary fiber. It is also an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and calcium.


  1. says

    Congratulations on reaching your ideal weight 🙂 I don’t have any diet regimen because I like to eat everything… hahaha But this recipe looks great, and it COULD definitely be my diet. 🙂

    p.s. I am totally understand the important of 3/4 quarters 🙂

    • wavatarSTEPH says

      Thank you! Hahaha, I wish I could eat everything!!!! : ) I think growing up in a beach community has influenced me to stay fit. It’s not always easy when all I want to eat is mac n cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches, LOL

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