You can make this salad without lentils to save time, but they add depth and flavor! I love the colors of this salad. You can also add chicken to it!
You can use a can of chickpeas instead of the uncooked ones, but why? It does not save time and this will taste better! If you want to make this an even more interesting dish, add uncooked eggs (in their shells) to the liquid and let them cook inside the stew. (can add 1 more cup of water too) The eggs will turn a golden brown and taste delicious with a bit of salt!