Tonight’s Menu: Protein packed vegetarian bolognese on brown rice penne pasta (spiked with turkey sausage for us meat eaters)
I love a good meat sauce but let’s be honest, Nona’s classic can be loaded with fat and calories. Although I have a few favorite lower fat recipes made with extra-lean beef, this one made with lentils is a great alternative and contains less guilt. Plus, vegetarian friendly for all our meat-free friends.
Good-to-know: Lentils are packed full of cholesterol-lowering fiber making them a great choice for those with blood-sugar disorders as they prevent blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Also great for those watching their waistlines as they are high in protein and low in calories, only 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils.
Prep time: 15 mins. | Cook time: 30 mins.
1/2 c. red lentils (rinsed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 red pepper (sliced)
1 green pepper (sliced)
10 mushrooms (sliced)
2 celery stalks (sliced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
6 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 x 14 oz can diced tomatoes
5 basil leaves (chiffonade)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c. vegetable stock
3 turkey sausage (cooked and thinly sliced) OPTIONAL
Cover lentils with water and boil for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions, peppers and mushrooms and cook until slightly softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes or so. Add tomato paste, mixing in well with the garlic and onions. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan frequently, so the tomato paste is cooked but not burning.
Add the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, deglazing the bottom of the pan a bit. Add diced tomatoes, herbs, paprika and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add lentils (and sausage if desired) and reduce to a low simmer for about 25 minutes, until liquids are reduced and mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Add the cinnamon and season to taste with S&P.
Serve over cooked brown rice pasta or your pasta of choice.
Buon appetito! xO
Tonight’s Menu: Gourmet Turkey Burgers with Thick-Cut Sweet Potato Oven Fries and Chili infused Dipping Sauce.
Yesterday was a lazy one, I’m assuming it was all the rain and cold weather or just me not getting off the couch all day.
Lazy for me = hungry for delicious bad-for-you treats. Instead of running out to my local Gourmet Burger for a double with bacon and brie, I decided to make my own Good-for-You version. Yes, this took all my will power but I am quickly learning my homemade GFYG versions of my favorite foods are better and less expense. Plus what would I write about.
I decided to use lean turkey for the patties, the flavour ended up quite good but please make sure your grill is super hot as they tend to fall through the grill and stick a bit because the lack of fat. I added caramelized onions and hummus to avoid my usual cheese and mayo (which are probably my favorite foods, yes I would eat them together if I knew it wasn’t going to give me a heart attack in 5 years). For the bun I avoided white rolls and bought a flat multi-grain ciabatta and grilled it with a swipe of olive oil. As we all know with the burger must come the fries. Thick cut are the best option for my healthy homemade sweet potato version as SP tends to get mushy when baked (and don’t forget to leave the skin on for added fiber). For the dip, it was as easy as mixing FF sour cream and chili powder, very delicious and won’t stick to your hips (and arteries) like flavoured aioli.
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 20 mins
1 pound ground turkey
2 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 small onion (chopped and sautéed)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. bbq sauce
5 tbsp. panko flakes
2 tsp. chili powder
1 medium onion (sliced and caramelized)
1 tbsp. hummus per burger (store-bought or homemade)
4 small sweet potatoes (thick cut)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
5 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder
Set your grill to high heat and your oven to 400º. Heat a small skillet over low heat and add sliced onions with a tsp. olive oil and S&P. Leave to caramelize stirring occasionally.
Place sliced sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add olive oil & S&P. When all potatoes are coated transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven. Set timer for 20 mins and cook until browned turning half way through. Mix together FF sour cream and chili powder and set aside.
Mix together all turkey burger ingredients. I like to use my hands to make sure it is mixed well. Form into patties and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. When your grill is mighty hot, place patties on grill and do not turn until well cooked. When the burgers are well done place portioned bread on the grill until they form grill marks.
Serve burgers open faced topped with veggies and hummus with oven fries and chili dip on the side.
Hope you enjoy. I sure did! xO