After a holiday season full of sweets and treats, many of us are left craving some nutritious fare. The good news is, healthy doesn’t mean bland — this menu is sure to please as much as (if not more than) those holiday goodies.
Whet your appetite with our Curried Lentil Dip. Inspired by Indian dal, this aromatic dip is flavoured with garlic, curry powder, coriander, mustard, and a touch of cayenne. Look for a hot curry powder or increase the amount of cayenne if you like things spicy.
Our buttery Coriander Baked Yams are a hearty and healthy side dish. A touch of citrus helps to brighten the flavours in the dish, bringing out the natural sweetness of the yams.
For a main course, our Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary looks impressive, and is a cinch to make. For extra rosemary flavour, try stuffing fresh rosemary sprigs in the cavity.
CURRIED LENTIL DIP
1 cup (250 mL) dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups (1 L) water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coriander
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dry mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook. Drain immediately; do not allow lentils to sit in hot water. Measure out 2 cups (500 mL) of cooked lentils; reserve any remaining lentils for another use. With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube of a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add cooked lentils and remaining ingredients (oil through cayenne pepper); process until smooth. Transfer to a serving dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Serve with vegetable chips or pita wedges. Makes 1 2/3 cups (400 mL).
CORIANDER BAKED YAMS
10 cups (2.5 L) cubed peeled yams (1 inch/2.5 cm)
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) coriander
1 tbsp (15 mL) packed golden brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Cook yams in boiling salted water just until tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in next 6 ingredients (coriander through cayenne pepper). Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour butter mixture over yams and toss to coat. Spoon mixture into a greased 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) baking dish. May be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F (180°C) for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 10 to 12.
ROASTED CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND ROSEMARY
1 broiler chicken (3 lb/1.5 kg)
1 tbsp (15 mL) rosemary, crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
4 strips lemon peel (1×2 inch/2.5×5 cm)
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
Sprinkle cavity of chicken with rosemary and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with onion wedges and lemon peel. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush chicken with oil. Drizzle lemon juice over chicken. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Roast at 425°F (220°C) for 60 to 70 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into chicken registers 180°F (82°C). Transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving. Serves 4.
ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s column on healthy eating for busy families runs Wednesdays in the Calgary Herald’s food section. For tips on cooking, food safety or household matters, call 1-877-420-9090 toll-free, email firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us live online at ATCOBlueFlameKitchen.com.