I got home from work tonight with no idea what I was going to make for dinner. Again my criteria is low fat, lean protein and good complex carbs/vegetables these days. I really have a hard time planning and rarely follow recipes. I usually just forage around the kitchen for ingredients and try to throw something together. Tonight it turned out to be curried chicken salad. I didn't set out to make this but it evolved as I was putting ingredients together.
I started by chopping up some raw broccoli into small bits. I was thinking of making some kind of salad out of it. I grabbed a carrot out of the fridge and diced that up to. Ah, there's garlic on my counter so I chopped up a clove of that and threw it in. I wanted some flavor so I went the fridge and found a jar of dijon mustard. In went a tablespoon. It needed some zing so I splashed in a tablespoon of rice vinegar. I also seasoned with some salt and pepper. I needed some complex carbohydrates. Fortunately I still had some cooked mixed grains that I have been using for everything lately. In went a half cup. I thought I had my salad all ready and I set my mind onto what kind of protein to serve with the salad. I had a chicken quarter leftover from the stewed chicken I talked about a few days ago. But how to serve it? Ah! Let's just throw it into the salad. Tasted ok but it needed a tablespoon of mayo just to hold everything together. But . . it needed something else. Bingo! Madras curry powder. Last but not least was a bit of dried cranberries. Voila! The evolution of dinner.
Well, that's not all. While I was foraging around the kitchen I spotted an eggplant just begging to be used. Now, I love aubergines. I usually slather them well with olive oil. Not that olive oil is bad for you but I need to cut the fat calories down right now. So, how to make a non-fat eggplant dish? Would it taste ok? The answer is yes! I sliced them into thick slices, laid them on a sheet pan, seasoned them with salt, pepper, dried oregano and garlic powder. I then spooned a couple tablespoons of simple canned tomato sauce on top. This was baked in a hot 400 F oven for about 20 minutes until the eggplant was soft and well cooked and the tomato sauce had cooked and caramelized a bit. This was topped with just a touch of fresh grated parmigiano reggiano and melted for just a few minutes more in the oven. Just a touch was enough to flavor it nicely. I have to say it turned out full of flavor and delicious. Who said low fat lean cooking can't taste good?
Oh, and I've lost 5 pounds so far in 2008!
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