Food & Drink

Turkey meatballs, lentils make quick, low-fat meal

Here is a low-budget, healthy dinner. Ground white-meat turkey, well-seasoned and served in a light tomato sauce, makes a delicious complement for spicy lentils. Be sure the package says white meat turkey only. It’s available in most markets.

Canned lentils are used in the side dish. Look for canned lentils with no added salt.

Serve this quick meal with some warm crusty bread.

Helpful Hints

▪  Minced garlic can be found in the produce section of the market. One teaspoon is equivalent to 2 cloves crushed garlic.

▪  Frozen chopped onion is used in both recipes. Measure at one time and divide accordingly.

Countdown

▪  Preheat oven to 350 degrees to warm bread.

▪  Make lentils.

▪  Prepare meatballs.

Wine suggestions: Savory meatballs go nicely with a nice, rich, soft, nontannic cabernet sauvignon from Chile or maybe Australia.

Shopping List

Here are the ingredients you'll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 can no-salt-added lentils, 2 ounces mushrooms, 1 small bottle no-sugar-added, low sodium pasta sauce,  1/2 pound ground white meat turkey breast, 1 small jar fennel seeds, 1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 small jar crushed red pepper flakes, 1 small bunch parsley and 1 small loaf whole grain bread.

Staples: Minced garlic; fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, plain breadcrumbs, balsamic vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.

HERBED MEATBALLS

 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 1/2-cups no-sugar-added, low sodium pasta sauce

1/2 pound ground white meat turkey breast

1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 slices whole grain bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees to warm bread. Place onion, garlic, mushrooms and pasta sauce in a medium nonstick skillet and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes while you prepare the meatballs. Mix turkey, fennel seeds, breadcrumbs and balsamic vinegar together. Add a little salt and pepper. Roll into small meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. There should be about 8 meatballs. Add to skillet and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Warm the bread in oven. Turn meatballs over and cook, covered, another 3 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees. Taste sauce and add salt and pepper, if needed. Remove bread from oven and serve with meatballs and lentils. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 360 calories (18 percent from fat), 7.3 g fat (1.1 g saturated, 1.5 g monounsaturated), 64 mg cholesterol, 34.9 g protein, 39.4 g carbohydrates, 7.2 g fiber, 302 mg sodium.

HOT PEPPER LENTILS

1 cup rinsed and drained canned lentils

1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Place lentils and broth in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and crushed red pepper. Simmer 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with parsley and serve with the meatballs. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 143 calories (3 percent from fat), 0.5 g fat (0.1 g saturated, 0.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 12.0 g protein, 24.5 g carbohydrates, 8.6 g fiber, 81 mg sodium.

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