Check the lentils over for stones and give them a good rinse, then set them in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 an onion, the smashed garlic clove, and the bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, uncovered, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer with the lid ajar for about 20 minutes.
Start checking them at around the 15 min mark and check every few minutes after that. The lentils should be just barely tender, and still slightly toothsome. Almost all of the water should be absorbed – add more if you need to along the way, the pot shouldn’t run dry.
When the lentils are done, fish out the onion, garlic clove, and bay leaf, and drain well.
Place the lentils in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar, and a little salt. Stir, then let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Give the lentils a taste and decide if you want to use the rest of the oil and vinegar (I usually do). Remember that these are going into a bowl with a lot of flavours, so it isn’t essential that they have huge flavour, but nor should they be bland. Set aside, or refrigerate if you’re not making the bowls immediately.
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they smell nutty and fragrant and are just barely browned – but watch them carefully so they don’t burn – then set aside to cool.
Trim the woody ends from the asparagus and chop it into bite sized pieces. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add the asparagus along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Place a lid over the top, and allow them to steam for 3-5 minutes, until just barely tender. Remove the asparagus from the pan, and set aside to cool.
Heat one Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cubes of halloumi cheese and pan-fry until golden on one side – about 5 minutes. Turn the halloumi and cook for another few minutes until just barely golden on the opposite side. Remove from the heat.
Slice the avocado, rinse and dry the greens and pea shoots.
To assemble the bowls divide the greens evenly among four bowls. Top with a generous serving of the cooled lentils, and then layer the asparagus, halloumi, avocado, sunflower seeds, and pea shoots over top.
Serve immediately, or cover with a lid if you’re packing these for your lunch.