Italian Lentil Salad

Pregnancy symptom: Constipation
Cure: Italian Lentil Salad

Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in our digestive track, which catches bile that contains cholesterol, and removes it from our body. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation and helps prevent digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since pregnant women are more susceptible to constipation (yay, aren’t we lucky), this is a great recipe we can enjoy that will hopefully help prevent it! I addition, because lentils are high in fiber, eating them helps prevent blood sugar levels from rising after a meal. Plus, lentils contain important minerals, B-vitamins and protein.

1 pound green lentils
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup halved seedless green grapes
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped skinned and toasted hazelnuts
2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. Add the lentils and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 to 20 minutes.
3. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes. Place lentils and remaining salad ingredients in a large salad bowl
4. Place the lemon juice in a small bowl, slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until combined
5. Season with salt and pepper
6. Pour the vinaigrette (lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper) over the salad and toss well

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

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