Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turkey, Spinach, and Lentil Stew over Creamy Polenta

Sorry this one doesn't have a picture. It was a busy night (kids had a band concert) and we were in a hurry to eat, finish homework, and get to bed at a decent hour.

I had bought a package of pre-cooked lentils at Trader Joe's because they caught my eye. I had a bunch of spinach and a tube of pre-made polenta to use, so I concocted this hearty dinner. It was perfect on a cold night. Full of protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins, it is power-packed and filling. The kids had no complaints, even though it featured onions and tomatoes, two ingredients that sometimes earn me an earful of complaints.

Vegetarians could definitely adapt this easily - just leave out the turkey and use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth. The lentils, spinach, tomato, and corn provide all the proteins and stuff you need to make it a complete meal.

Turkey, Spinach, and Lentil Stew over Creamy Polenta

1 tube pre-made polenta
2/3 cup nonfat milk
1/2 pound extra lean ground turkey breast
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots or 8 baby carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large bag (12 ounces) baby spinach leaves
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup nonfat chicken broth
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 package pre-cooked lentils (about 1.5 cups)
3 Tbsp. assorted chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, Thyme, and Italian Parsley)

Slice Polenta into thick rounds. Place in a 2-quart sauce pan with the milk. Cover, cook on low 10 minutes or until polenta is softened. Use a potato masher to mash the polenta, then use an immersion blender or hand beater to whip it until free of lumps and creamy (consistency like that of mashed potatoes). Set aside with lid on to keep warm.

Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Brown the ground turkey, using a wooden spatula to break up lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the meat using a slotted spoon and set aside.

In same pan, warm the olive oil. Add garlic, onion, and carrot, and sautee for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the wine. Return the turkey to the pan and stir to combine. Place the spinach on top, cover, and allow to steap for a few minutes until the spinach is just wilted.

Add tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, and lentils. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. (I heated the lentils first in the microwave for a minute to soften them a little). Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in fresh herbs right before serving.

To serve, spoon about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of polenta into a shallow bowl, and put a generous serving of the stew on top (a little more than 1 cup).

Makes 6 servings at 5 WW Points each.


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