Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thar she blows - Lentil and Chicken Salad

Necessity is the mother of invention.

It's one of those sayings that don't really mean very much until it happens to you.  Well, it happened to me...

Nothing spectacular, mind you. No 'Eureka' moment.  It's just that my oven blew up on the weekend.  I'd just finished baking ANZAC biscuits and kept the oven on so that I could throw a little lamb roast in later.
While the lamb was cooking, there was a funny smell of burning rubber, so I turned the oven off.  The lamb wasn't ready yet.
Then, there was a *POOF!*.  Or, maybe a **pooompf!** and smoke started coming out of the oven.  Dreading the repair bill...

I've been without an oven since, so I've had warm chicken and lentil salad for dinner the last few nights. No baking needed.

It's a fantastic recipe, and very economical.  I didn't invent this dish, but I certainly need it right now.

Warm Chicken and Lentil Salad
serves 2

1  tblsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 x 400g can brown lentils, drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
80g baby spinach leaves
250g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
1/2 cup reduced-fat tzatziki dip, to serve

1.  Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2.  Add lentils and red wine vinegar. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until lentils are heated through. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in spinach. Season with pepper.
3.  Wipe frying pan clean with paper towel. Add remaining oil to the pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Stand for 3 minutes.
4.  Thickly slice chicken. Add to lentil mixture and toss to combine.
5.  Spoon salad into serving bowls. Serve with tzatziki.

Ingredients, including that student staple, brown lentils
After cooking the chicken arrange it over the lentil and spinach

And add a dollop of tzatziki.
This dish is going to sustain me until the oven gets fixed *fingers crossed*


  1. Hey Belle. Good Morning (or Evening-smile), this is my kind of dish. I love lentils, and I firmly believe that meat should always be accompanied by something that is high fiber. Plus, this just looks yum-that top photo makes the lentils looks so satisfying...

  2. oh no! hope it's not too costly to get the oven fixed!! how long had you had it for?
    well i guess you can take a break from baking and make some more nice salads like this one! this looks yum!

  3. E sì...diciamo che hai fatto di "necessità virtù" ed è venuto fuori un bel piatto.
    Devo dire che non ho mai mangiato le lenticchie accostate al pollo in questo modo...ma devo dire che la tua preparazione mi piace molto e sono tentata di provarla, perchè penso che deve essere buona!

  4. Lentils and tatziki sounds heavenly! It's lucky to have found a good standby recipe while your oven is out of action. I hope it's back soon!

  5. Oh no! Poor oven! Well, poor you, more to the point.

    Excellent lentil dish, I love those little pulses.

  6. Lovely. I wish I could have more chickpeas but just found out that my bloodtype should refrain from it but I still

  7. Looks like a quick and yummy dish. If only I could convince my other half to eat lentils!

    Wishing your oven a speedy recovery :D

  8. I only eat lentils in curry so far but this looks very delicious and healthy. I like it.

  9. As a kid our house got struck by lightning and the oven stopped working. We did without an oven for 6 months, it was not a happy time.

  10. I can relate to an oven blowing up. Once I was heating up some water on the stove to make black dye for some fabric. I threw in the black dye powder and it foamed up and basically went everywhere, including the electronic panel in the oven. Fixing it cost more than a new oven. So a new oven we got!
    Nice chicken & lentil dish btw!

  11. Oh no!! Poor oven. And poor you. I hope it gets fixed soon. Meanwhile, I am loving this healthy salad :) Will have to give it a try myself.

  12. What a tasty looking dinner! Something that I would definitely make :)
    Hope the oven gets fixed soon though!

  13. Well, this is pretty much perfect for me right now, what with my house-sitting lack of oven and microwave! And I have that exact can of lentils awaiting me at home for this evening. P.S. That chocolate dessert in your previous looks o-mazing :)

  14. This is healthy and tasty. What's more can you ask, right?

    I am still drooling at the sunken choc cake! Go there and get the recipe now! :P

  15. Oh no Belle! That's no good at all! :( You poor thing! Lucky you have Zumbo nearby for a cake fix. How long until you get a replacement?

  16. Belle! You can come over to use my oven while yours is out of commission! I don't know how I would last without one... well, probably I could go for a few weeks eating your salad! It looks delicious - along with all your other salads!

  17. Is there a new oven yet? In any case, like you said, out of necessity I'm sure you'll discover many delicious things along the way that won't require the use of an oven =)