I got the idea for creating this lentil dish after getting tired of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while eating vegan for a month. I went to the grocery store and they had a sale on both oranges and lentils. I decided to add walnuts because I wanted the protein. I also wanted at least one vegetable in the recipe and I thought cauliflower would complement the dish.
Click here to read the part one of Naa Ako-Adjei's four-part series documenting a month of eating vegan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the oranges face down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and then roast for 45 minutes. Remove the oranges from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Scoop out the pulp into a blender and blend on high speed for about 1 minute. Lower the speed to medium then slowly add the oil and vinegar while the blender is still on and continue to blend until the ingredients are emulsified. Add salt to taste.
Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and salt. Place the cauliflower on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the florets over and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is crisp and brown around the edges.
While your cauliflower is roasting, put your lentils in a large pot and put in enough cold water so that it’s 3 inches above the lentils. Add a tablespoon of salt then bring the water to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are soft. (Older lentils take longer to cook so depending on how old the lentils are, they may take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.) Drain the lentils and spread them on a baking sheet so they cool quickly.
Leave the oven on 350 degrees for the walnuts. Bake the walnuts in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.
Once the lentils, cauliflower, and walnuts have cooled, mix the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the vinaigrette to the lentils and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.