Tasty red lentil salad close up with kale, carrots and vegan mango mayo

Indian red lentil salad with delicious kale, carrots and zingy plant-based mango mayonnaise is a must-try. It’s our go-to salad this spring. 

Healthy red lentil salad recipe

When it comes to barmy spring and summer days your appetite definitely starts to become a bit pernickety and food needs to be more quenching and satisfying rather than hearty and filling. We think that warm salads are the perfect prescription for this seasonal dilemma. What’s more, just because you may be eating more salads, it doesn’t mean that you are now going to feel hungry all the time as the ingredients for some fabulous dishes are full of nutrients, fibre and proteins which is exactly what your body needs.

Inspired by the Indian cuisine

With this easy, warm, plant-based red lentil salad we’ve taken inspiration from Indian cuisine to jazz up some everyday pulses, fruit and vegetables to create a really flavoursome meal. In addition to the flavours introduced to this recipe, what’s also easy to see is that all of these everyday fruit and vegetables take on a very different dimension when other classic herb and spice combinations are added, and we’ve put in a few ideas for you to try.

ORAC and antioxidants

What we are doing is following a simple format using the ORAC score of fruit and vegetables which is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity score. Each vegetable is graded on its antioxidant potency and it is the reason that the phrase “your 5 a day” came about. The average person should be aiming for at least 7000 ORAC units per day but optimally a lot higher at 20,000 ORAC units per day. Looking at a chart of produce and their scores you can almost follow a formula that will allow you to optimise your daily antioxidant intake by creating a warm salad with a diversity of ingredients that span the chart. The important part of this formula is to aim for the optimal score as you could just end up with an extremely high score but with a very bizarre unsustainable mix of ingredients. The formula if roughly followed will see you taking an ingredient with a high ORAC score. In this salad we have opted for red lentils. Then use a couple of ingredients with medium ORAC scores. Here we have bulked out the salad with Kale and used lime in the dressing. The bulk of your salad will most likely come from down towards the bottom of chart. These tend to be more everyday items, we’ve used carrots, shallots and to give a fresh Indian flavour we’ve used mango. The reason that you should aim to balance your food intake to cover the ORAC scores from high to low is to incorporate as many vegetables as possible. Even though fruit tend to be higher on the ORAC score, your body needs other important nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre which tend to be more concentrated in vegetables as they contain less water and sugars.

How to make the best Indian red lentil salad

As we said earlier once you have selected your red lentil salad ingredients spanning the chart you can now start to add the flavours to add a specific dimension to the dish. As this red lentil salad has Indian influences we have opted for beautifully aromatic spices in the form of cumin, ginger and turmeric to flavour the lentils. This holy trinity of ingredients are in itself a powerhouse of anti-cancer ingredients.

Anti-cancer spice – turmeric and curcumin

Turmeric, which contains a highly anti-inflammatory antioxidant called curcumin that research has shown actually merge into the body’s cells helping them to stabilise and aid the cell’s ability to stave off infection making them more resistant to inflammation and mutation. There is a reason why these ingredients have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. If you want to go for a Chinese flavour, you could add cinnamon, star anise and chilli and soy. To make this salad with a Mediterranean twist, you could flavour with herbs like sage, basil and oregano. As we said, once you know the formula it will make healthy anti-cancer salads a doddle.

Cooking the kale, carrots and shallots are also very simple steps and easily interchangeable with other similar ingredients, cauliflower and broccoli for example would be obvious choices. These are the lower scoring vegetables on the ORAC score but they have massive other benefits for the body such as containing anthocyanins, carotenoids and flavonoids which amongst other actions work by turning off genes involved in mutation, all very important to your health.

That is the body for the salad and the key flavours but a salad is not a salad without a dressing.   

The best plant-based mango mayonnaise

For this salad we have created a wonderful flavoursome dressing in the form of a plant-based mango mayonnaise.

This is a strong fruity dressing that works just as well as a dip but tossed through a salad really introduces a sweet and zingy additional dimension. Fresh mango is blended with olive oil and red wine vinegar and lime to make a thick unctuous mayo that contain great antioxidants such as quercetin, fistin, isoquercetin, astragalin, gallic acid and methyl gallate that protect the body against cancers.

This is definitely a dressing that you may be asking to be served on the side of more than just this salad. Instead of mango try using blueberries for a massive antioxidant hit or if you want a middle-eastern feel use dates or figs. Look down the chart below for more inspiration.

ORAC scoring fruit and vegetables per 100g

Acai pulp/ powder 161,400
Dark chocolate 103,971
Goji berries 25,300
Pecan nuts 17,940
Red kidney beans 14,413
Walnuts 13,541
Pinto beans 12,359
Pomegranate 10,500
Red lentils 9,766
Hazelnuts 9,645
Cranberries 9,456
Blueberries 9,260
Prunes 8,578
Black beans 8,040
Pistachios 7,983
Black plums 7,339
Globe artichoke 6,552
Red plums 6,239
Blackberries 5,348
Almonds 4,454
Red apples 4,275
Garden peas 4,039
Chickpeas 4,030
Dates 3,895
Strawberries 3,577
Figs 3,383
Cherries 3,361
Peanuts 3,166
Red cabbage 3,146
Raisins 3,037
Gala apple 2,828
Beetroot 2,774
Golden delicious apple 2,670
Spinach 2,640
Aubergine/ Eggplant 2,533
Lemons/ limes 2,412
Avocado 1,933
Pears 1,911
Oranges 1,814
Peaches 1,863
Red leaf lettuce 1,785
Macadamias 1,695
Tangerines 1,620
Russet potatoes 1,555
Grapefruit 1,548
Green cabbage 1,359
Red grapes 1,260
Broccoli 1,259
Onions 1,220
Carrots 1,215
Green grapes 1,118
Mangoes 1,002
Kiwi 918
Cauliflower 647
Iceberg lettuce 451
Tomatoes 337
Watermelon 142
Cucumber 115

Source: Wu X et al. j Agric Food Chem 2004;52:4026-4037

Have you made this delicious red lentil salad recipe?

We’d love to see your salad creations! Please leave a comment below, share or tag using @anticancerkitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #anticancerkitchen.

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Tasty red lentil salad close up with kale, carrots and vegan mango mayo


Indian red lentil salad with delicious kale, carrots and zingy plant-based mango mayonnaise is a must-try. It’s our go-to salad this spring. … Cancer-Fighting Main Courses RED LENTIL SALAD WITH KALE AND VEGAN MANGO MAYONNAISE European Print This
Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.8/5
( 4 voted )


  • ½ a cup of red lentils
  • 150g of baby carrots or sliced regular carrots
  • 3 cups of kale
  • 3 banana shallots
  • 2 teaspoons of date nectar
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon of mint
  • For the dressing / mayonnaise:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ of a cup of fresh mango
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil


Wash the lentils and cover in cold water in a pan. Add the cumin, ginger and turmeric and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes until cooked. Set aside

Cut the banana shallots in half and peel. Brush on the date nectar and grill under a high heat for 10 minutes until caramelised

Boil the carrots for 3 minutes. Drain and stir fry with the mint with a little olive oil for 3 minutes until slightly browned.    

Stir-fry the kale in a little olive oil with the masala powder for 5 minutes.

For the dressing/ mayonnaise

Combine the lime juice, mango, olive oil, garlic, chilli and red wine vinegar together in a blender and process until smooth.

To serve, simply combine all the ingredients together whilst still warm and garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro).

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