Basic French Lentils

A few weeks ago I made an odd impulse purchase–French lentils from the bulk section at the Santa Monica Coop–sometimes I get a bit overzealous in the bulk section so I had these around for a few weeks and didnt know what to do with them.  Since I am looking for more nutrient dense foods to eat while on this 1200 calorie diet I thought I would whip this into something that tastes good but doesnt have too many calories.

Ingredients:

1 cup french lentils

1 small onion

Handful of baby carrots, slivered

4 cloves garlic

2 tbsp Olive oil

Salt

Rosemary

Dill

Oregano

Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven.  I used my Le Creuset dutch oven for this. Chop up the onion, sliver the carrots, and mince the garlic add to the hot oil.  Add a pinch of salt, pinch of rosemary, dill and oregano.  Let this sauté for about 10 minutes uncovered.

Add the rinsed off lentils and saute for another minute.  Then add either 2 3/4 cups of water and a cup of chicken stock or if you’re going veggie use veggie stock or just add 3 and 3/4 cups water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat.  I had to leave it simmering for about an hour before the lentils were the right consistency for me, soft but still keeping their form.  

This recipe makes about four cups when cooked.  A one cup serving should have about 147 calories and its packed with protein.  This is great as a side dish, a main feature or as part of a salad.  Serve warm or cold. It’s also good with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of soft cheese on top.

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Lemon and Artichoke Chicken

My partner is always on a 1200 calorie diet, and she gets frustrated with me when I am always whipping up all kinds of meals and desserts and making her try them.  So tonight I made her a great Low-Cal, High Protein Dinner which is actually only about 200 calories if you eat it alone, or you could add 200 cals worth of veggies and carbs.

You will need:

Olive oil

1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

3/4 cup chicken stock

2 lemons–the juice of one lemon, and the other thinly sliced

2 tablespoons capers

1 jar/can of marinated artichoke hearts

salt and pepper to taste

First heat a layer of olive oil in a skillet, once its hot add the pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Cook about 5 minutes on med/high heat, on each side or until golden brown, add lemon juice and scrape any of the browned bits that have stuck to the pan.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, turn down to med and add the lemon slices–try to place some above and some below the chicken. Add the capers, cover and simmer for about 10 mins.

Add the artichokes, cover and cook for another five minutes.

Remove the chicken and lemon slices from the sauce, sprinkle in about 1 tablespoon of flour to help the sauce thicken.  Cook uncovered for another five minutes or until you have the desired thickness.

If you just eat the chicken with the sauce its about 185 calories per serving! and its super yummy too.