Archive | January, 2011

For the Love of Lentils

6 Jan

In the last week, I have gotten two lentil recipes either emailed to me or in my blog feed.  Since I don’t really know much about the lentil, I did a little research to find out more about what I only know as a soup staple.

lentil

Lentils, often found in vegetarian dishes, get a quarter of their calories come from protein.  According to Alton Brown, that’s as much as a steak. Except a 4 oz. tenderloin nets you about 250 calories and 12 grams of fat compared to the 115 calories and negligible fat from the same amount of lentils.  If mixed with rice, you get a complete protein (all nine essential amino acids needed by animals…thank you college health class!).  Lentils are also excellent sources for iron, fiber, folate, magnesium, and thiamine.

So they’re good for you…what can you do with them?  Here are the two recipes that floated my way recently as well as a few others that are not soups. Because seriously, three posts in on the blog and only soups?!!?

Lentil & Vegetable Stew from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Lentil & Root Vegetable Soup from Cannelle et Vanille

Lentil Quinoa Salad from Melissa d’Arabian

Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes from Smitten Kitchen

A Lentil Roundup of Recipes from the kitchn

Soups from Picky Palate

4 Jan

Jenny from Picky Palate has five brothy chicken soup recipes up right now. They all sound delicious and easy.  I often use a rotisserie chicken for soups to make them quick.  These are on sale on Sundays at our local Harris Teeter grocery.  Alternately, if I plan ahead, we cook an extra chicken breast or two when making chicken during the week.  Heating the oven once to make several meals…how energy-efficient of me!

Since there are just two of us at my house, I like to make a big batch of soup. Half of it gets frozen and the other half gets eaten, usually for dinner one night and lunch the next day. From my experience, I recommend freezing soup separate from the rice or pasta. The starchy ingredients tend to soak up all the liquid leaving a mushy brothless mess. Also, I double bag my soup and lay it flat to freeze. It makes it easy to stack in the freezer that way.

Turkey & White Bean Chili

3 Jan

We tried this last night and it was awesome!

Turkey & White Bean Chili  (adapted from Cooking Light)
1 cup choppped red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt & pepper
1 can rinsed cannellini beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 cup fat free chicken broth
 
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft.  Add the garlic and turkey and cook for 6 minutes or until turkey is done.  Add chili powder, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper and stir.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until flavors are incoprorated.  Add beans, tomatoes, Rotel and chicken broth.  Simmer on low until chili cooks down. 
 
Serving size:  1 cup chili
Calories:  211
Fat:  6.5 grams