Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year, An Old Resolution.

I'm not really one to make new year's resolutions. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

I moved four months ago. And somehow, with my move, my disciplined healthy eating went out the window (for the most part). Last week, I noticed that my vegetable consumption was disappointingly low, and it has been for quite awhile. So I made a small intention to increase my vegetable intake and decrease my sugar intake. I think that's a pretty doable goal considering I've done it before!

The "hardest" part about healthy eating is meal planning. Which I find kind of fun. I plan lunch, dinner, and a variety of snacks for the week. Usually, figuring out snacks is the hard part because I run out of ideas. However, I found a new favorite snack this weekend!

Toast with fig butter and swiss cheese. Strange combination, but so very delicious.

(Side note: fig butter does not contain butter. It's basically like jelly, but with a lot less sugar and a lot more figs!).

Back to the vegetable consumption. I have a veggie-full lunch planned for this week, but will tell you about it after I take a picture sometime this week. But here's a hint: it involves two of my favorite winter vegetables! Hooray.

As for dinner this week, I wanted Indian food that involved lots of protein. And really, there are two ways to make that happen.

Dal and paneer.

So...I combined the two. Yeah. I made dal. I'm pretty happy about it.

I used green lentils because they cook quickly.

Step 1: Soak 1 1/4 cups green lentils in 4 cups of water for several hours or overnight.
Step 2: Add 2 cups vegetable broth or water and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
Step 3: Add four chopped tomatoes and 2 chopped garlic cloves and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add spices of choice (salt/ground cumin/ground coriander/turmeric/chili powder/etc).* I used a spice packet which included most of the above plus ground cashews.
Step 5: Add paneer.**
Step 6: Turn heat down to low and stir well. Allow to simmer for another several minutes. The consistency should be thick and slightly soupy.

*If adding spices separately, add about 2 teaspoons each of the cumin, coriander, and turmeric, and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder depending on desired spiciness.
**This can be purchased in the frozen section at any Indian store.

Serve with rice of choice. Preferably brown rice, of course! I used a brown rice and wild rice mixture. 

Delicious way to start my old resolution, if I say so myself.

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