The main recipe for this post is an Indian inspired dish that also saves money on meat. As I mentioned before, you don't have to give up meat to eat more balanced. Ground meat, no matter what animal, is one of my favorite ways to have meat in a dish, but increase the amount of grains and vegetables.
The Greek yogurt and cucumber give this dish a really fresh bright flavor, and the pitas just make it fun to eat. It's a fun way to introduce new flavors into dinner.
Sloppy Lentils in Pita
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 filled pita halves)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces lean ground lamb
3/4 cup dried brown lentils
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup water, divided
2 cups diced plum tomatoes or boxed diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, cut in half
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek-style yogurt
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
Chopped fresh mint (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and lamb; cook 5 minutes or until lamb is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble lamb.
2. Add lentils, cumin, and thyme; stir until seasonings become fragrant. Add 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes. Stir lentil mixture; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is thick (add additional water as needed). Discard bay leaf. Fill each pita half with 1/2 cup lentil mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon yogurt into each pita half; top with 2 tablespoons cucumber. Sprinkle with mint, if desired.