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Lentils: Superfood

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Lentils are a Great Substitute for Carbs

As you navigate your weight loss and/or healthy living, sometimes reducing carbohydrates is necessary (even for a short while) to improve weight loss and eat more healthful. If you’re like me, my body thinks it cannot live without an over-abundance of carbs. I love chips, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pasta, bread…oh my goodness, so yummy! BUT when you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, and/or stick to a more diabetic friendly diet, carbohydrates (in excess) are not good for your body. Please note: Your body requires carbohydrates to function but in reasonable amounts, so please do not go “carb free” unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

A great alternative to carbs (and it tricks my body into thinking I’m getting a lot of food) is lentils. Lentils are a superfood and very rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate, and iron. Also, lentils contain potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin, and vitamin K. One cup of lentils contain 63% (16 grams) of your daily fiber as well as 18 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat.

lentils

Lentils are very easy to cook (only 15-20 minutes boiling/simmer). You can add them to soups, have them as a main dish, or prepare them as a side dish. Lentils are versatile and you can add your favorite spices and flavors to compliment any protein or prepare as a meal. Here is a Lentil Superfood Soup that is absolutely delicious and contains additional powerful superfood.

I made Curried Lentils yesterday where I added ginger, curry, onion, and carrots to the lentils. Warning: Cook curry in a well ventilated space or open a window prior to making these lentils (trust me, my house had a strong curry smell for hours LOL).

Curried Lentils

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • Black pepper (flavor to your preference)
  • Lime juice (flavor to your preference, I squeezed a half lime into the pot)
  1. Place the EVOO into a pot and bring heat to medium.
  2. Add garlic and onion to pot. Cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add ground ginger and curry powder. Mix well.
  4. Add carrots, lentils, and broth. Stir.
  5. Add black pepper and lime juice. Stir.
  6. Bring to boil.
  7. Cover, lower heat to strong simmer.
  8. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

I made a double batch in order to eat a cup at a time throughout the week. I ate a cup of the Curried Lentils yesterday with tilapia. I am going to eat a cup of the lentils today as a main dish.

 

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Chicken Pasta Primavera (Healthy)

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I made the most delicious (and super healthy) dinner last night. I made a healthy version of Chicken Pasta Primavera. My husband and I loved the meal; it was scrumptious and so filling.

The Healthy Version of Chicken Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of chicken, cubed small or shredded in small pieces (I used leftover roasted chicken from the night before).
  • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth (I use Swansons 33% less sodium).
  • 2 tsp of cornstarch or flour
  • 6 ounces of pasta (I use Ronzoni Smart Taste Spaghetti; this pasta is fiber and protein enriched).
  • 3 cups of vegetables (I used Archer Farms Mediterranean-Style Blend Steamers; it has zucchini, whole green beans, yellow carrots, and red peppers).
  • 1 T of basil
  • 2 tsp of red pepper flakes (or more or less depending on your preference)
  • 2 tsp of coriander
  • 1/4 tsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of cracked pepper
  • A few sprinkles of parsley

What To Do:

  1. Boil pasta based on the box instructions. Drain and set aside once cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the: chicken broth, basil, red pepper flakes, coriander, lemon juice, parsley, and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in the pan over med-high heat. Once heated, add the chicken and cook thoroughly (or in my case, I just reheated).
  4. Heat/steam the veggies based on the bag instructions (if you use fresh veggies, add the veggies after the chicken is cooked or cook separately the way you like them cooked).
  5. Now that your chicken is cooked and your veggies are cooked, mix them together in the same pan on low heat.
  6. Add the cornstarch or flour to the seasoning broth mixture. Mix well.
  7. Add the seasoning broth mixture to your chicken and veggies pan. Let simmer until seasoning broth starts to thicken.
  8. After the broth begins to thicken, add your pasta. Mix well.
  9. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: Serves 2 people.
404 Calories, 4.2 grams of Fat, 89 mg of Cholesterol, 270 mg of Sodium, 268 mg of Potassium, 52 Carbs, 7 grams of Fiber, 5 grams of sugar, 41 grams of Protein.

I wish I would have remembered to take a picture. Sorry. The next time I make this dish I will be sure to add a picture to this post.