Eating healthy on a limited budget can be an overwhelming task-the food that we can afford often tends to be packaged in cardboard and is traffic cone orange. While “eating a rainbow everyday” is a wonderful theory, sometimes it is just not possible.
After rent is due and the bills are paid, eating whatever is left in the cupboards is sometimes the only option. If you’re lucky enough to have a little spice left in your kitchen, adding dried lentils (which usually sell for less than $2/bag!) and frozen chicken (buy it on sale & freeze it.) makes eating healthy on a budget seem not so stingy.
4 C. Water>
1.5 t. Salt, divided
1/2 lb. Dried Brown Lentils, rinsed & drained
1/2 C. plus 1 T. Olive Oil
1/4 C. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 T. Cumin, divided
1 T. plus 1 t. Chili Powder
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 lg. Onion, chopped
1 lb. Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast halves, thinly sliced
1/4 t. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 C Fresh Parsley, Chopped for (optional) garnish
1. Combine 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well; rinse with cold water and drain again. Place in large bowl.
2. Whisk 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 tablespoons chili powder, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large measuring cup. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over warm lentils and toss. Cool.
3. Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until dark brown and soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoons chili powder, and cinnamon. Sauté until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.
4. Arrange lentils on large platter. Place sliced chicken atop lentils. Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parsley.