Play it cool, [wo]man . . . .

It's summer. It can get HOT. You might be cranky. You definitely don't want to turn on your oven, or even stand over your stovetop. But you want fresh food that's good for you, right? Here's a recipe that solves all the problems. It's vegetarian, but has a lot of protein for those hung up on that stuff (I admit, I am). You could even veganize it if you wanted to (take out the cheese - the horror!). This is a 30 minute deal that'll leave you cool, calm, collected & satisfied.

Feta, Lentil & Cilantro Salad

2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
8 oz. black lentils, rinsed and picked over
8 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (if you can get multi-colored ones, this looks very pretty against the black lentils!)
2 t. extra-virgin olive oil (if you'd like, you could easily double this amount, it'll be a richer flavor - I am watching calories right now, so I kept the oil minimal)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 t. minced garlic
juice of 1 lemon
2 oz. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


Cook the lentils according to package directions until tender, but still a bit firm to the bite, about 20 minutes.

Drain the lentils, place them in a large bowl, and dress with the olive oil, lemon juice and the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 generously as a main dish, 4 as a side dish. Can easily be doubled.