spiced lamb and lentil salad for salad week

Howdy friends!

Today is the day. The grand finale. The piece de resistance.  
Over the course of this week, eight other foodie bloggers and I have tossed, whipped, and chopped our way through six salad recipes. We’ve managed to keep all ten fingers, grow closer, and gain an appreciation for all things salad. 
Let me give you a little recap:
MondayAllison Decadent Philistines Save the Word  The Tabbouleh That Made Me Cry
TuesdayJeanneInside NanaBread’s Head – Toughie’s Apple Salad
Wednesday – Yours Truly – Parmesan Salad Cups
Thursday – Kat @ Tenaciously Yours  – Party Salad 
Friday – Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic Simple Caesar Salad 
                 Megan @ Wanna Be a Country Cleaver – Chicken Mole Salad

But these past five days were just a warm up. Something to wet your palate. Something to jump-start your taste buds. You’ve kicked your preconceived salad-ish notions out the window, and now it all comes down to this…
I welcome you to…Salad-Link-Polooza! 
Today, all of our foodie bloggers will be featuring their very favorite salad – each sure to knock your socks off. Check them out! Then immediately head on over to Allison’s blog for the Link Party where you can see all of these salads, but also add your own favorite recipe! 
Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World Cabbage-Ramen Salad
Jeanne  @ Inside NanaBread’s HeadCreole Potato Salad
Kat  @ Tenaciously YoursCheese and Calaro Salad
Kirsten @ Comfortably DomesticGreek Quinoa Salad
Megan  @ Wanna Be a Country CleaverWanna Be a Waldorf Salad
Madelyn @ La Petite Pancake – Zesty Steak and Arugula Salad
Monica @ The GrommomTropical Chicken Salad in Papaya “Boat”
Carrie @ Bakeaholic MamaRanch BLT Salad in Bacon Cups
I can’t even begin to explain how jazz-hands excited I am to try these recipes. All of these women are truly remarkable, witty, and share the same passion for food as I do. A round of applause please for these hip chicks! 

Oh, and before I forget, I probably should tell you about that grand-finale salad. Right?
After I posted my Parmesan salad cups, I knew I wanted my piece de resistance to be something other than mixed greens. Don’t get me wrong, I love leafy greens, but a girl needs to spice things up every once in awhile. That, and if I made the husband eat two salads for dinner in the same week, things would get ugly. 
So being considerate in nature (at least I think so 🙂 ), I knew protein was a must. I started down the typical path of turkey, chicken, pork, but those meats weren’t cutting it for me. Then I asked myself, what about lamb? (Do you see a theme here? I tend to talk to myself a lot. It happens. Just go with it.) 
Lamb, lentils, dill: lean, healthy, refreshing. By George, I think she’s got it! 

Not only is the meal healthy, but it packs a ton of flavor. There’s cinnamon to add a perfect touch of warmth to the lamb, while a layer of garnished vegetables brings this simmered dish back to earth. 
And the best thing about this salad? It’s even better the next day! And the day after that! This salad is definitely a keeper – unlike those pre-assembled, store-bought attempts that dare to call themselves real salad. Will they ever learn?
Happy Salad Week, folks! 

Spiced Lamb and Lentil Salad 
Serves 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes 
Ingredients:
3 cups chicken stock
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (plus a little extra for garnish)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup green lentils
1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
Greek yogurt, garnish
Directions: 
Bring 1/2 cup broth to simmer in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lamb, dill, oregano, cinnamon and cook for another 7 minutes. Stir in the lentils and the remaining 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate medium saucepan, bring rice and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is just tender, approximately 40 minutes.
To serve, spoon lamb and lentils over rice and top with cucumber, tomato, dill, squeeze of lemon juice, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.