The word just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes my stomach rumble at the thought. The word "diet" is not in my vocabulary unless it is being used as an adjective (e.g. diet coke) or to when referring to a person's every day eating habits (e.g. a healthy diet). When it comes to "dieting" to lose weight, my brain doesn't really comprehend the word.
If I've ever tried to diet to lose a couple pounds in order to fit into an old outfit or slim down for bathing suit season, the opposite happens. Just the thought of the word makes me even more hungry and crave all of the junk food that I generally only eat sparingly. If I try to put myself on a diet, I end up gaining as much weight as I'm trying to lose. For me, I'm better off just "eating healthy" and working out. I'd rather run more than try to cut out certain foods. In my opinion, it's better to indulge sparingly than to deprive yourself - at least for me.
Because of that, I make an effort to find flavorful, low-calorie dishes so I feel like I've indulged without having to count my calories, fat, carbs (or whatever the latest diet fad tells you to watch). If I eat food with flavor, I feel like I've had something decadent if it's lower in calories, I can have seconds and not think twice about it! And, because I'm blessed with a health-conscious mom, I have learned to love dishes that include pieces from every food group.
Yesterday, I found this meal from Fitness Magazine (A magazine I love with excellent recipes) and I'm definitely going to give it a try next week (after I get a chance to run by the store and pick up the ingredients!). If you feel like giving it a try before I do, let me know how it goes!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 tablespoons very finely chopped parsley*
2 tablespoons very finely chopped toasted walnuts*
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons diced shallots
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 1/4 cups brown basmati rice, steamed
1. In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, walnuts, and lemon zest. Dust the chicken with the flour and season with the salt and black pepper.
2. In a very large skillet (or two medium-large skillets), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until they begin to turn translucent, 1 minute. Push the shallots to one side of the pan, add the chicken breasts, and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
3. Pour the chicken broth and lemon juice into the pan. Cover, and let simmer over low heat until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced, 3 to 4 more minutes.
4. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a serving dish, leaving the liquid and shallots in the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat and stir until thickened, 1 minute. Stir in the parsley mixture. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve over the rice with the lemon wedges.
*Use a mini food processor to reduce chopping time.
Nutrition facts per serving: 293 calories, 36g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 8g fat (1.3g saturated), 2g fiber