Spicy Roasted Winter Vegetable Lentil Salad

Spicy Roasted Winter Vegetable Lentil Salad

You know when you eat one thing so many times until that one day when it makes you feel sick and you can’t face it ever again? That is how I feel about soups in general at the moment. I had been scouting for new ideas for cheap winter vegetables when I came across this recipe for a winter salad. It contains all my winter favourites, such as kumara, carrots and parsnips. I took some creative liberty and added cauliflower because roasted cauliflower is amazing. I also added chicken for an extra protein boost since I am all about them #gainz at the moment. Leave the chicken out if you plan on just having this as a light salad or side to accompany something else. Also leave it out if you don’t eat chicken. 

It is really easy; I feel like it’s a good ’un for the week’s lunches. Roast up a big lot of vegies on a Sunday and each night just toss them together with some baby spinach, lentils, chicken pieces, coriander and a dollop of the dressing. Wham! You have lunch that doesn’t consist of porridge or some unidentified green soup day in and day out. The vegetables this salad calls for are ALL in season at the moment so get amongst.


Adapted from Angela Redfern’s
Ripe Recipes: A Fresh Batch

Serves 4 (or makes a week's worth of lunches for one)


  • 4 fist-sized kumara (sweet potato), cut into small wedges
  • 2 medium-sized parsnips, sliced lengthways then into thirds
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, sliced lengthways then into thirds
  • ½ a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¼ C sweet chilli sauce
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 400g can brown lentils, drained
  • 1 small bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper

Yoghurt dressing

  • 1 ½ C Greek yoghurt
  • small handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
  • 3 small cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce 
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • salt and pepper

Chicken (optional)

  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground chilli
  • ½ C sweet chilli sauce
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 800g chicken tenderloins (or breast cut into chunky strips)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. To make the roast vegetables, mix together the sweet chilli sauce, olive oil, curry powder, cumin and chilli together in a large bowl. Add in all the chopped kumara, parsnip, carrot and cauliflower and toss to coat in the spice mix. Spread out onto the baking tray then bake for 30–40 minutes until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven.
  3. To make the yoghurt dressing, just mix together all the ingredients.
  4. To make the chicken, mix together the spices, sweet chilli, lemon juice and water, add the tenderloins and stir to coat, then season lightly. In a frying pan set to a medium heat, pan fry the tenderloins until just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook them and dry them out.
  5. To assemble the salad, start by tossing the vegetables in a couple of spoonfuls of the yoghurt dressing. To my plate I started layering on the baby spinach leaves, drained lentils, coriander leaves and roast vegetables, then dotting a few blobs of dressing around here and there. Toss the pile of vegetables lightly to gently mix things through. Top the salad with a few tenderloins, a good squeeze of that half lemon and a dollop of yoghurt dressing and serve while still warm.
This article first appeared in Issue 16, 2015.
Posted 1:23pm Sunday 19th July 2015 by Sophie Edmonds.