January 24, 2008

Healthy Meal: Champagne Chicken and Baby Beluga Lentil Salad

When I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday, the sample of the day was black beluga lentils on a bed of lettuce, with a balsamic vinaigrette on top. I thought it was delicious, and grabbed a bag of the beluga lentils so I could try making it myself. While I was trying to decide what to pair with it, my mom sent me a link to some recipes from French Women Don’t Get Fat (I had read the book several times before, but not really tried many recipes after trying the leek soup diet for a day or two and hating it). The champagne chicken recipe jumped out at me, and I thought it would pair nicely with the salad, if only for the reason that the lentils look kind of like French caviar to me. I also cooked up some frozen Normandy Blend vegetables and French green beans to go with it.

Salad recipe notes:
I didn’t get the exact recipe from Trader Joe’s, so my version was just to make a bed of mesclun greens, mix 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar with the lentils and put that mixture on top, then sprinkle 1/2 tbsp Trader Joe’s fat-free feta over the whole thing. Very very easy. I had originally planned to make a balsamic vinaigrette, but after mixing just the vinegar with the lentils, I found it was sweet enough and also didn’t need the oil. Healthy! The only strange thing about this to me is that you’re supposed to boil the lentils in the bag. I felt like I was doing it wrong, because the bag kept floating up to the surface of the water, but they tasted fine, so I guess it was okay. I don’t really like cooking in plastic though, what with all the studies that talk about how the chemicals leach into your food…

Chicken recipe notes:
I didn’t broil the chicken breast – just slitted it, tossed some chopped red onions in, poured 1/4 cup of champagne on top, and sprinkled on some herbes de provences. Into the oven it went, at 475 for 20 minutes. I checked it then, and it was done and really juicy and perfect! Seriously, that could not be easier.

Nutrition facts:
237 cals for the lentil salad
294 cals for the chicken (recipe here)
21 cals for the Normandy vegetables and green beans

Review: 4/5
This was a nice dinner that was very fresh and light tasting. It was very easy to make – I’m not sure I would even really call it cooking. Calorie-wise it wasn’t as light as it tasted, but don’t get turned off from it too quickly: it’s a TON of protein and very little fat, so it’s still really really healthy! I used a whole breast, which is actually two servings of chicken, but you could cut it in half if you were really watching your calories. The flavors all went well together as a complete meal, and I’d definitely make it again.


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