Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tomato, Chickpea and Arugala Salad

I rarely plan meal-sized salads, simply because I have this mental block that salad can't be filling enough on its own. I logically know this is wrong, but I have a lot of trouble getting over it. Hopefully, salads like this one will help with that. This has more than enough protein and other nutrients to fill me up, but it's still light enough to make me feel good about eating it.

Tomato, Chickpea and Arugula Salad

4 c. baby arugula or other mixed greens
1 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. walnuts, toasted if desired
1/2 c. ham, finely diced
2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

1. Combine lettuce, chickpeas, tomatoes, walnuts and ham. Toss.

2. Whisk together vinegar, oil and mustard. Drizzle dressing over salad immediately prior to serving.

Parmesan-crusted Asparagus

I feel like this is a fairly common staple, but I thought I would post it just in case this beauty isn't part of your regular vegetable rotation. My favourite twist is to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the asparagus right before serving.

Parmesan-crusted Asparagus

1 lb. asparagus, washed and trimmed
1/2 c. fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spread asparagus out on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Shake pan to coat spears evenly.

3. Sprinkle cheese on spears. Shake pan to coat evenly. Make sure none of the spears overlap.

4. Bake for 20 mins or until parmesan has formed golden crust. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar immediately prior to serving.

Chicken and Lentil Stew

As I'm sure you can tell from the selection of recipes I've posted so far, I really enjoy so-called 'comfort foods'. The problem with most of them is that they're not usually very healthy, so I'm always looking to find dishes that check both the 'comfort food' and 'healthy' boxes. This certainly fit the bill.

Chicken and Lentil Stew

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3/4 c. dried lentils
1 (14 oz.) can of chicken broth
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tbsp. lemon juice

1. Heat oil over med. heat. Cook chicken 5 mins on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Place onion in skillet. Cook 5 mins. until tender. Mix in carrot and garlic. Stir in lentils and broth and season with salt. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 mins.

3. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and continue cooking 20 mins (add water if too dry). Season with rosemary and basil. Continue cooking for 10 mins. Stir in lemon juice and serve over rice.

Emily's rating: 8 out of 10
Nate's rating: 7 out of 10

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