Peanut Butter, Banana and Flax Smoothie

Start the morning with a treat (that’s healthy, too!).  Serve with a piece of toast and your child will be ready to start the day!  Makes 2 servings.  Add a splash or two more of milk if it seems too thick.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk (1% or skim)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (now readily available at most grocery stores)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced

What you’ll do:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth!

**Tip:  Avoid reduced-fat peanut butter…they take away good-for-you-fat and add sugar**

Recipe and image fromCooking Light.
So what are you waiting for…Get dinner breakfast on the table!

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Mushroom and Provolone Patty Melts

No one will believe this sandwich is “light.”  Feel free to use beef broth instead of the beer and instead of rye bread, you can substitute whole-wheat bread.  This recipe makes 4 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark beer (such as porter, or sub broth)
  • 8 slices rye bread (or whole-wheat)
  • 4 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese

What you’ll do:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Shape beef into 4 (4-inch) patties.
  • Coat pan with cooking spray and cook about 4 minutes on each side (or until done).
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion, salt, pepper and mushrooms.  Saute 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in beer, cook 30 seconds or until thick.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • When patties are done, remove from large skillet.
  • Wipe pan clean; heat over medium-high heat.
  • Coat 1 side of each piece of bread with cooking spray.
  • Place 4 pieces of bread spray-side down.  Top with a patty, a slice of cheese, and one-fourth of the mushroom mixture.  Top with remaining bread, spray with cooking spray.
  • Cook about 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

 

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!

Ham and Cheese Hash Browns

This made-in-the-microwave dinner is perfect for busy nights.  You could also make this for a weekend breakfast with the family.  Makes 2 servings (so double or triple this recipe).

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes with peppers and onions (such as Ore-Ida potato brand)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup drained canned quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 ounces smoked ham, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar will work)

What you’ll do:

  • Combine the potatoes and chicken broth in a 1-quart microwave-safe container.
  • Cover with a lid and microwave for 12 minutes, stirring after 6 minutes.
  • Uncover the dish and stir in the artichoke hearts, green onions, pepper and ham.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Microwave, uncovered for 1 minute.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!

 

Sausage and Chicken Gumbo

The use of frozen veggies makes this hearty and filling dinner perfect for a weeknight.  Feel free to amp up the spiciness to your liking.  This recipe makes 4 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bag boil-in-the-bag rice (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen cut okra
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (or fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups chopped roasted, skinless, boneless chicken (about 2 breasts)
  • 8 ounces turkey kielbasa, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers and onions
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can fat-free chicken broth

What you do:

  • Cook rice according to the package directions.
  • While rice cooks, combine the flour and oil in a Dutch oven (or deep skillet); saute over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
  • Add onion, bell peppers, okra, celery, garlic, thyme and red pepper.
  • Cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in chicken, kielbasa, tomatoes and broth.
  • Cook 6 minutes or until heated through.
  • Serve over rice.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!

Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Glaze

You’ll only need 5 ingredients for this main course (and 2 of them are salt and pepper!).  Serve with wild rice and green beans for a complete dinner that’s ready in no time.  Recipe serves 6.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (3/4-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • cooking spray

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Combine the juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 8 minutes).
  • Pour half of the glaze into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
  • Plan on a pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Brush pork with the glaze that is in the saucepan.  Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and brush with the remaining glaze in saucepan.
  • Bake for 5 additional minutes (or until 155 degrees inside).
  • Remove pork from the oven and brush with the reserved glaze.  Let pork stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Baked Pasta

Produce is cheaper (and more delicious) when it’s in season.  This pasta bake combines two fall vegetables with cheese to make a warm and inviting meatless dinner.  A serving size is 2 cups and this recipes make 4 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (some stores carry this pre-peeled and chopped, not only is this a time-saver, but it sometimes saves you money since you’re only paying for the edible parts)
  • 1 cup chopped parsnip
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all=purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat milk

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion, red pepper and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add squash and parsnip and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in sage, parsley, nutmeg, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain.
  • Combine squash mixture, cooked pasta and 1/4 cup cheese in an 11×7 cooking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing to combine.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add flour, cook 3 minutes stirring constantly with whisk.
  • Add milk, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with whisk.
  • Gradually add cooking water; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Add in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Pour milk mixture over pasta mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

 

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!

Apple Nachos

Use your imagination when it comes to this Fall snack or sweet treat idea.  If you can, splurge on honey crisp apples – they’re only in season for a short while.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 apples
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

What you’ll do:

  • Slice the apples thinly and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Melt the peanut butter and drizzle over apple slices.
  • Top with the almonds, coconut and chocolate chips (or any other topping).

Image and recipe found on foodgawker.com

So what are you waiting for…Get dinner on the table!