(Lentils Salad with Avocado, Kale, Walnuts and Mango)
Do you like avocado? Of course you do.
Do you like avocado as much as Yaje Popson does? Probably not.
Is your Instagram handle a pun on the word avocado? Is a considerable amount of your feed dedicated to avocado? Do you have an avocado Alien Workshop board? Is your love of avocado so apparent that it was the theme of a Skate Nerd question?
Hailing from Brazil, Yaje is well-known as an east coast powerhouse who captures the long-sought essence of NYC skateboarding; that is to say, if you’re looking for quick feet and a penchant for esoteric spots that a vast majority of people wouldn’t consider skateable, then look no further than Yaje. Killing spots from the deceptively difficult Popeye’s ledge to the Columbus rail, Yaje embodies the chill of a Tompkins Square Park session, but isn’t afraid to throw down his share of insanity. His whole part from TWS’ recently-released Riddles in Mathematics is sick, but that ender is some next-level moxie.
In addition to his unfathomable acrobatics (arguably the best f/s 180 fakie 5-0 in the game), Yaje is a vegetarian with a firm belief in the adage health is wealth. In several of his interviews he discusses how his diet impacts his skateboarding, a fact well illustrated by his journey to health after a long-standing latent knee injury.
In honor Yaje’s love of avocado and health-oriented diet, I present to you, Yaje-Inspired Avocado Lentils: lentils with mashed avocado, kale, walnuts and mango. This seemingly crazy concoction is not only inspired by Yaje’s undying love for avocado (in addition to the avocado, could the mango be seen as a tribute to his signature orange pants?), but also by a lesser-known (by skateboarders, at least) east coast staple, The Little Beet, co-founded by famed chef, Franklin Becker. This dish, seasonally served at the Little Beet, fueled many a fast-paced lunch in my past life as an attorney and I’m proud to modify it to optimize it even further for skateboarding.
The lentil base of this dish serves as a great source of carbs for either before or after your sesh, as well as a good serving of protein, fiber and iron. As you probably already know, avocado is laden with health benefits; often known as a “good” fat, avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (which has been shown to reduce inflammation), fiber and antioxidants. Additionally, there is ample evidence that avocados can lead to healthier skin and a lower risk of cancer. Adding to the healthy fats, this recipe contains walnuts, which are another great source of omega-3 healthy fats and antioxidants. Throw in some kale and mango for more fiber and vitamin C and the result is a ridiculously healthy, delicious dish that can be served warm or cold.
- 1 cup brown or green lentils (dry)
- 2 regular avocados (or 1 large avocado)
- 1 large mango (diced)
- 1 cup kale (chopped)
- ½ cup walnuts (chopped)
- squeeze of ½ lemon
- sea salt (to taste)
- 1 cup vegetable broth (optional)
- Using a strainer, rinse your lentils to get out any dirt. Then add the lentils to a medium pot and add one cup of water and one cup of vegetable broth to the pot (or two cups of water, if not using the broth). Bring the lentils to a boil on high heat, then bring down to a simmer on low heat (should be some bubbling, but very little) and leave uncovered for 25-30 minutes. You may need to occasionally add a splash of water to ensure that the lentils are covered by water. Once the lentils are tender and no longer crunchy, drain the lentils using a strainer and set them aside to cool.
- While the lentils are boiling, cut up your avocados and place them in a medium small bowl. For a refresher on picking and cutting avocados, check here. Mash the avocados using a masher or a fork until there are only a few small chunks remaining. Mix in the lemon juice and set aside. Next, cut up your mango and chop up your kale. For a refresher on cutting up mangos, check here.
- Once the lentils have cooled for a few minutes, mix in the avocado, kale, mango and walnuts and stir until it is an even mixture. Add some sea salt to taste. This dish can either be served warm (after letting the lentils cool for a few minutes), or chilled, by letting it refrigerate for 30 minutes. Either way, it is delicious and nutritious!
- Go learn some 180 fakie 5-0s and check Yaje’s Riddles.