Vegan, Vegetarian, Spring, Salad, Side, Snack, Dinner, Dairy Free, gluten Free

Mushroom Lentil Salad

Dearest readers,

It’s been ages since I wrote. Many Mondays have passed wherein I arrive at yet another hotel and step out of the cold embrace of an elevator to wander the carpetry in search of a door that awaits my keycard. Nashville, Minneapolis, Spokane, Seattle, Portland, and Tempe, you each cradled my head at night (in variously pillowed hands) and welcomed our show to your stages. Thank you.

I’ve walked to work in every type of weather: sweaty, shivering, yearning for a coat, layered like a fava bean, dry and half naked. Regardless of the climate outside, when we enter the dimly lit atmosphere of backstage I always zip into a little sweatshirt to explore the new moonscape. Theatres and hotels are tuned to the same setting as the abandoned crisper drawer in your refrigerator. I’m well preserved.

It’s become my routine to wander the aisles of whatever local grocery store is nearest our hotel the minute I am settled. To casual shoppers it may appear that I’m unsure of what to buy, that I’m scouring the shelves for a good deal. Untrue. I buy the same items every week, I’m just easily overwhelmed by the packaging and artistry on display under the fluorescent lights. I’m terrible at grocery shopping. Which is why I stick to my well-worn rut:

  • 1 pound Sliced Turkey

  • 1 pound Honey I Shrunk the Carrots

  • 1 pound Something Green (cucumber, snap peas, broccoli)

  • Fruit (mostly bananas, the shellac on conventional apples may be good for checking my mascara but unappealing for a snack)

  • Corn Chips/Pretzels/Rice Cakes

  • 1 container Hummus, size: Embarrassing

These foodstuffs build my breakfast and lunch every day, then I treat myself to a dip of reality for dinner and excurse to a restaurant. It isn’t healthy. But it is routine. And lord knows I love a routine (particularly the opening to Chorus Line).

Now that the weather is cresting Spring everywhere I’m craving a picnic. Gingham lining, a nice dry salami, and a container of this lentil salad; these are the images that soothe my dessicated brain. Invite friends to the green, crack open cool beers or something tall and bubbling, and enjoy a meal in the sun. Soon I shall rejoin you in the proper loop of time and space, until then, best wishes on Springtime picnicking!

I will travel in jealousy.

(and leg warmers)


  • 3 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cups Arrowhead Mills Green Lentils

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 pound Cremini Mushrooms

  • 1 bunch Parsley

  • 5-6 cloves Garlic

  • 2 cups Walnuts

  • 1/4 cup Spectrum Safflower Oil

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup Spectrum Balsamic Vinegar

  • 3 tablespoon Arrowhead Mills Organic Flax Seed



 1. Stir water, lentils and salt in small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid, drop heat to simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes, until water is absorbed and lentils are al dente. Remove from heat.

 2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Crumble mushrooms into large roasting tray.

 3. Roughly chop parsley, garlic and walnuts. Scatter over mushrooms.

 4. Pour oil over vegetables add salt and pepper, stir to combine.

 5. Roast vegetables for 15 minutes, until mushrooms are withered and walnuts are toasted.

 6. Remove vegetables from oven, stir into finished lentils. Add balsamic vinegar and flax seed.