Warm Lentil Salad: a BBQ leftovers recipe hack
My favorite part about the Austin barbecue experience is over ordering. When you order meats by the pound, a quarter pound sounds kinda minuscule right? And a pound of brisket per person is clearly reasonable. It is that kind of thinking that brings butcher wrapped leftovers to my fridge. Don’t weep too hard for me.
Now one can easily reheat that barbecue in a cast iron skillet or low and slow in an oven. But here is a better idea: Leftover BBQ healthy hack recipes. Sounds far fetched? Well, keep this number in mind: 251 calories.
That is how many calories are in a single serving of this warm lentil salad made with leftover coarse ground sausage link from Micklethwait BBQ, one of the best barbecue joints in Austin, which means pretty much anywhere.
Here is what you will need . . .
- 3 oz of smoked sausage
- 1 cup lentils + 2 cups water
- 1 bunch of collar greens, leaved coarsely chopped, stems minced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup pickled red onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- a large skillet
- rice cooker
I went ahead and precooked my lentils in a rice cooker. A 2:1 ratio of water/broth to lentils will get the job done. Beyond a couple slices of that hearty smoked sausage, I saved some pickled red onions from my Micklthewait feast. I removed the stem from the collard greens and chopped them finely. After watching Chef Enrique Olvera praise a chef for using cilantro stems in an episode of Final Table, I have been open to trying that with other greens.
I heated a large skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive and sautéed the collard stems, garlic and pickled red onions. Once they became fragrant I added the collard green leaves and diced sausage.
Since you are basically reheating the sausage and the lentils, this process is quick. Grab yourself a bowl and for bonus points consider topping with salsa . . . because everything is better with salsa, even a warm lentil salad.
The beauty of this warm lentil salad is that it is a feel good meal to make up for the meats sweats you no doubt encountered when you ordered up a fat slab of this:
I love a big plate of barbecue but I also like to find balance in my diet with regard to overall health. This warm lentil salad brings in potassium, calcium, Vitamin A and dietary fiber to a leftovers meal one would think would just protein, sodium and saturated fat. I’m no dietician but I do know that adding healthy elements to flavors we love means meals we will eat again and again.
So the next time you are staring at this:
Think how good some leftover links would be in this:
Happy and healthy eating! Hope you enjoyed this healthy hack for leftover bbq and I do hope you give it a try!