Low-fat soups, especially varieties that are loaded with nutrient-rich vegetables, are an excellent way to go if you’re looking to lose fat. They are both filling and low in calories.


Vegetables, besides being loaded with vitamins and minerals, primarily consist of water and fibre, which help to curb hunger.


And if you add grains, such as rice or whole-wheat pasta, you get lots of soluble dietary fibre, which have been shown to be appetite-satisfying, while also helping the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels.


Low-fat proteins, such as white-meat chicken and turkey, tofu, low-fat cheese and yogurt, also help to fill you up. Beans and other legumes, such as lentils, are an excellent source of both rib-sticking protein and fibre.


This cheesy baked lentils, rice and turkey casserole is a heartwarming comfort dish that contains a little bit of all these foods.

Lean, ground turkey and rice are combined with canned lentil soup, which in the twist of a can opener provides protein, fibre and flavour to this dish. The recipe calls for fresh spinach, but sauteed Swiss chard or broccoli could be substituted.

Cheesy Baked Lentils, Rice and Turkey Casserole

• 5 ml (1 tsp) extra-virgin olive oil
• 250 g (8 oz) turkey breast, cut into bite-size cubes
• 1 small yellow onion, chopped
• 500 ml (2 cups) fresh spinach, packed
• 1 can (540 ml/19 oz) lentil soup
• 175 ml (3/4 cup) converted (parboiled) brown rice
• 2 ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
• 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
• 1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground black pepper
• 50 ml (1/4 cup) water
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) grated reduced-fat Swiss cheese
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1. Heat oven to 200 C (400 F). Coat a 2-l (8-cup) baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat oil. Add turkey and onion and saute until turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and saute for another minute. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.

3. Add soup, rice, thyme, salt, pepper and water. Stir to combine. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the liquid.

4. Uncover and sprinkle with both cheeses. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheeses have melted.

Makes 4 servings.