With its heart-healthy benefits, the Mediterranean diet has long been touted as a smart and enjoyable way to eat. A typical meal is primarily made from vegetables, pulses (such as beans), whole grains, and either lean meat or fish with a liberal dose of olive oil. The cooking moves quickly in this dish so it’s best to prep all ingredients before starting.
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces)
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head fennel, cored and thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano leaves
3/4 cup (180 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cups (500 mL) canned lentils, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh mint or basil (optional)
Heat oil in large, wide skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt (if using) and pepper. Add chicken to pan, then reduce heat to medium. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on plate.
Return skillet to medium heat and don’t drain excess fat in pan. Add garlic and fennel. Stir often, just until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sprinkle in oregano. Increase heat to high. Stir often, until tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes.
Pour in orange juice. Bring to a boil, then return chicken to pan. Stir in lentils. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 8 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mint or basil (if using). Divide among bowls and drizzle with more olive oil, if using.
Each serving contains: 238 calories; 19 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 32 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 11 g fibre); 72 mg sodium
source: "30 Minute Meals", alive #371, September 2013
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