Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

Quinoa with Lentils and Veggies

This dish is packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel full while loading up on some plant-based foods, like veggies, lentils and grains. Using zucchini, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, onions and garlic, this staple packs in flavor, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals. Also, this dish is amazing to have as leftovers – serve it hot the first time and then serve it cold days later with some crumbled feta cheese. Craving some extra protein? I’ve also made this dish using tofu in combination with the lentils, for a heartier meal.

shown with tofu

shown with tofu

Ingredients (serves 5):

1 C quinoa, uncooked

3/4 C lentils, cooked (I like to use lentils that are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. These usually just require 2 minutes in the microwave, or can even be eaten out of the package, cold – just watch out for the sodium content!)

1 medium zucchini squash

1 red bell pepper

2 C spinach, raw

1 small onion (about 1 C chopped)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt (depending on how much salt you prefer)

dash cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter (or Smart Balance or other butter alternative)

1.5 Tbsp olive oil

I added yellow squash this time!

I added yellow squash this time!

Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on box (*note: you may choose to replace the water with low-sodium vegetable broth, which also tastes really good! If you do this, you do not need to add the 1 Tbsp butter – this is used to enhance the flavor when the quinoa is cooked with water)

2. Warm olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

3. Chop onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mince garlic. Add onion to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and spices (black pepper, salt, cayenne and garlic powder) and cook another 8-10 minutes. Add garlic.

4. Microwave lentils in microwave-safe bowl according to directions -usually about 2-4 minutes. (*note if you are soaking your own lentils you can omit this step).

5. Add spinach and sauté  until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and lentils to saucepan and cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot (or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold!)

IMG_0100

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 320, Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 51 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 13 g, Calcium 42, Sodium 70 mg

me leftover lunch - served cold with feta!

my leftover lunch – served cold with feta!

Squeeze Some Flavor On To That Chicken!

Lemon Chicken with Spices

This simple dish is a staple of mine that I rely on when I’m too busy to make an intricate meal. With only a few simple ingredients, this dish manages to have a ton of flavor and skimps on fat. Even though very little oil is used, the chicken stays juicy because of the lemon juice and marinates in flavor while it cooks. Next time you’re in a time crunch, try this simple dish and fuel up with protein! Don’t forget to round out the meal with healthful sides, such as a salad or roasted vegetables, to amp up the fiber, vitamin and mineral content of this dish!

Don't you worry. That's not a pool of oil in the skillet - it's lemon juice!

Don’t you worry. That’s not a pool of oil in the skillet – it’s lemon juice!

Ingredients (serves 2):

8 oz chicken breast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

dash salt

dash cayenne pepper (to taste)

juice from 1 lemon

IMG_0636Directions:

1. Heat oil in medium sized skillet over medium heat.

2. Place chicken in skillet. Slice lemon in half and squeeze the juice from each half over the chicken. A small pool of lemon juice will pool in the skillet.

3. Add spices to chicken. Place cover over skillet and cook for 10 minutes. Remove cover, flip chicken and replace cover. Cook another 5-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (it should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F). Serve.

*note: this dish can also be made in the oven by placing all ingredients in a casserole dish and baking at 350 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 191 calories, Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 66 mg, Carbohydrates 2 g, Fiber 0 g, Sugar 1 g, Protein 26 g, Sodium 152 mg, Calcium 15 mg