If you need another quick healthy meal, I have a recipe for you! I often get a rotisserie chicken when I shop at Costco because they are so inexpensive, and I can use the chicken in so many recipes and salads. I especially love doing this during the summer when it is hot and the last thing I feel like doing is turning on my oven and baking a meal. This roasted chicken dal recipe is one way to use it, and it is also my hubby’s favorite!
Roasted Chicken Dal:
1 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, minced
2 tsp. curry powder
2 cups cooked lentils
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
1lb rotisserie chicken
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup plain yogurt
Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add curry powder, stirring with onion for 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, chicken, and salt and, cook until heated through. Remove from heat, and stir in yogurt.
Chicken, like most meat, is a great source of protein. But, one thing that is unique about chicken is how lean it is. In just a 4oz portion there is 26gm of protein and only about 1.5gm of fat. This helps keep weight gain in check as fat contains more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates and protein do. Protein needs increase by about 25gm/d during pregnancy so it’s important to include a rich source of protein at every meal. Chicken is also a great source of niacin, vitamin B6, and selenium.
Lentils are not only great sources of fiber, protein, zinc, iron, and folate, but they are high in antioxidants. In fact, in a 2004 USDA survey of the most common fruits and vegetables, legumes were three of the top 4 foods for the highest phytonutrient content—with lentils being the most nutritious. Another highlight is they are very inexpensive and can fit any budget. Some other ideas on ways to use lentils are to add them to soups, salads, dips, pasta dishes, ground beef including tacos, burgers, and lasagna.
Tomatoes are most well known for their high lycopene content. Lycopene is a carotenoid with high antioxidant activity. Their anti-inflammatory properties are even more important during pregnancy as inflammation is linked to many health problems during pregnancy including preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Tomatoes are one of those foods that actually get most nutritious when they are cooked. Cooked tomatoes have significantly higher lycopene levels because it is more bioavailable. Cooked tomato products like canned tomatoes are actually the highest in lycopene content. Tomatoes are also rich in potassium, a mineral that most Americans don’t get enough of. Potassium is important for heart health as it is an essential contributor to normal blood pressure.