Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Try to Catch Up

I thought I would start the post with an updated picture of the garden. The lettuce is out of hand, and I cannot eat it fast enough! Those huge plants? The broccoli. And apparently they don't flower until July. I can't believe how large they've gotten!

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.

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