Sometimes all it takes is a little sunshine and a warm breeze to inspire you to eat healthier, and with the new season approaching in less than 10 days, we can expect to crave light and refreshing meals for Spring.

Today's Recipe of the Day is a salad bowl full of plant-based protein and fresh greens loaded with vitamins and minerals. The base of your salad is a bed of spinach, a natural source of iron that will help boost your energy. Then, on one side of the bowl, you will add chopped sweet potatoes which are loaded with fiber and will help you feel fuller longer so that around 3 pm you avoid overdoing it on processed snacks. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin A, C, and E, essential nutrients to improve your skin, hair, and strengthen your immune system.

Next to the potatoes, you'll savor a scoop of warm, crisp lentils with 9 grams of plant-based protein, a handful of sweet cherry tomatoes which contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene which is known for its cancer-fighting properties, and finely sliced cucumbers which are excellent for hydration because the crunchy and refreshing veggie is 95 percent water.

@the_bananadiaires

After you place your vegetables and proteins on the salad, finish your meal with a scoop of hummus, the icing on the cake. With the fresh taste of mashed chickpeas and light seasoning, there's no need for dressing. Hummus adds a smooth, creamy texture to the salad, similar texture to a ranch-style dressing, and pairs perfectly with all the vegetables in this bowl. The base of hummus is chickpeas, a mighty source of protein and fiber, a weight-loss and muscle-building combination which may make this bean a perfect food.

Before you get started, preheat the oven and work on chopping the sweet potatoes. If you don't like the skin, feel free to peel or shave the potato, but note that most of the vitamins and nutrients in the sweet potato live in the skin. Meanwhile, when your potatoes roast, gather your lentils, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and hummus and assemble your salad. When the potatoes are done and your house smells like Sweetgreen, add the potatoes to the mix and finish with a generous helping of hummus.

After your last bite of the salad, you will feel great about your decision to eat a healthy bowl of fresh vegetables and plant-based proteins. Your body will feel nourished, energized, and sated. For more delicious salad bowls, check back to next week for another healthy meal similar to this one, and if you make this recipe, don't forget to tag us, @thebeet.

Recipe Developer: Britt Berlin, @the_bananadiaries

Lentil & Sweet Potato Bowl

Serves 1

Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • ½ cup cooked lentils
  • ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped cucumber
  • 1-2 tbsp hummus
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Dice the sweet potato and place into a small casserole dish. Top with the coconut oil and sea salt, and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. Once roasted, build your bowl. Place the spinach in a bowl, along with the lentils, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.
  4. Top with hummus and more sea salt to taste.