Monthly Archives: February 2014

RECIPE – Warm Lentils with Zucchini & Herbs

Warm Lentils with Zucchini & Herbs

Servings:  4                         Time: 30 minutes or fewer

Ingredients

Lentils

  1 cup green or Puy lentils, rinsed and drained
  ¼ cup capers
Vinaigrette
  2 ½ TBS olive oil
  1 TBS lemon juice
  1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  ½ Tsp Dijon mustard
  ½ Tsp honey  (I omit & it’s still delicious!)

Zucchini

  2 medium zucchini, diced (2 cups)
  2 Tsp olive oil
  ½ cup loosely packed mint or basil leaves, thinly sliced
  2 Tsp grated lemon zest
  1 cup crumbled soft goat cheese

 

Preparation

  1. To make lentils:  Bring 2 ¼ cups water to a boil in medium saucepan.  Stir in lentils, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.  Drain; stir in capers.
  2. To make Vinaigrette:  Whisk together all ingredients until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. To make Zucchini:  Toss zucchini with oil in bowl, and season with salt, if desired.  Heat large skillet over high heat.  Add zucchini, and cook 1 minute, then stir, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until zucchini develops sear marks.  Transfer zucchini to large bowl; stir in mint or basil and lemon zest.
  4. Serve Lentils topped with Zucchini and 1 TBS Vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.

Nutrition Info (Per serving):

347 cal; 17 g protein; 19 g total fat (6 g sat fat); 32 g carb; 13 mg cholesterol; 371 mg sodium; 9 g fiber; 4 g sugars

Peggy’s Menu Plan #1

As promised, below is my family’s dinner menu plan for the week.

My modifications to linked recipes are noted directly under the link with the pound (#) symbol.

On days where I list two vegetables, I usually use one fresh & one frozen.  So I’ll mark the frozen ones with “FRO”, and all others are fresh.  Unless otherwise noted, we cook most of our veggies, fresh and frozen, in a steamer pot, sprinkled with a little garlic salt and/or our favorite dried herbs.

So here goes for this week…

Monday – Baked Chicken w/Spinach & Pears, Asparagus – roasted w/ garlic & olive oil (or steamed)
#Omit bleu cheese or substitute goat cheese (It’s delicious without any cheese.)
Tuesday – Sweet Potatoes w/ Collards & Adzuki beans, FRO California-blend veggies
# I originally doubled the recipe because it said it serves 2 and we are 3.  But it made way too much.  I now sometimes double the beans (for more protein) & collards only.
Weds – Baked salmon, Stir-fried Bok Choy, FRO Haricots Verts (green beans)
Just brush fish with lemon juice and/or olive oil & sprinkle with your favorite seasonings or herbs.  We discovered McCormick’s Mediterranean Sea Salt is fabulous for fish (& more).
Thursday – Lentils with Zucchini & Herbs, FRO Brussels Sprouts
# I’ll post this recipe separately, because it’s from a magazine.
Friday – Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps, Broccoli, FRO Succotash*
#We always omit the peanuts, because there’s already plenty of protein.
Saturday – Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup & Salad
# We always use 3 or 4 (not 2) large, FRESH carrots, and 2 cans of beans for added protein.  If it’s too thick, just add water or more broth.
Sunday – Stir Fried Shrimp & Vegetables, Brown Rice
#You can substitute pretty much any veggies you like with this recipe, which I recommend for this week if you are going to do the Lentils w/ Zucchini.  For example, we’ve made this with bell peppers, snow peas & carrots.

* What I call “succotash” is some combination of peas, carrots & corn, sometimes green beans. That is just what my Mom always called it, but they’re usually called Mixed Vegetables on the package.  I like these with vegetarian meals especially because you get a little more protein from the peas.

Happy Eating!

What’s for Dinner?

Well I wrote my 1st blog, got it posted and then BAM!  Three months flew by!  Between the holidays and preparing for my new weight loss classes, Peggy’s Scoop got lost in the shuffle.

But I’m back with a new theme that I hope you’ll like and take advantage of.  I’ve decided that one way to keep me honest, and posting more regularly is to share something that I’m already doing, and would also be of benefit to you.  And one thing I do every Sunday (sometimes Monday), is to create a dinner menu plan for my family for the upcoming week.  It’s taken me several years, but I have finally amassed a fairly large repertoire of recipes that fit my three most important criteria.  They are:

1) Healthy – according to the low glycemic & balanced menu planning I teach in my Healthy Living & 10 Day Jump Start programs.

2) Simple – I really hate to cook, so the less time prepping, cooking & cleaning up the better.

3) Delicious – I’ve convinced my husband and daughter, and now I like to show you that healthy eating can not only be delicious, but is usually more satisfying than anything else.

So starting this weekend, I’ll be posting my personal menu plan, with recipes, for you to use as is or tweak according to your personal tastes and schedules.

But first, let me give you some insight into how I try to structure these plans, mostly so that it’s easier for me to come up with something that’s balanced and has variety each week.  When I first started doing this over six years ago, I struggled for many months until I finally hit on the idea of a menu plan “template” so-to-speak.  It goes like this…

Day 1 – Fish/ seafood

Day 2 -Vegetarian / vegan
Day 3 – Poultry
Day 4 – Vegetarian / vegan
Day 5 – Fish/seafood
Day 6 – Beef or lamb
Day 7 – Soup & salad

Obviously, these can be moved around as needed to fit the current week’s schedule, tastes, items in the pantry, etc.  But the idea is 2 nights of seafood, 2 nights vegetarian, 2 nights poultry, 1 night beef or lamb.  It’s turned out to be a great starting point for me, because now I don’t feel like I have to pull things out of the air quite so much.

So keep your eye out in the next few days for my next post, with 7 days of great eating!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you handle meal planning at your home.  Does the question “What’s for dinner?” make you cringe (like it used to for me)?