Pumpkin Dip

Take a break from all the Halloween candy with this delicious and super-easy pumpkin dip.  Serve with sliced apples.  Makes 12 servings.

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (100% pure pumpkin)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • apple slices

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all the ingredients (a hand mixer makes this easier).
  • Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with apple slices.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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

Baked Mozzarella Bites

Serve these as an after school snack as an alternative to the traditional fried cheese stick.  Recipe makes 4 servings.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 (1-ounce each) part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 3 tablespoons egg substitute (or 1 egg beaten)
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat and place in a shallow dish.
  • Cut the mozzarella sticks into 1-inch pieces (total of 12 pieces).
  • Working one piece at a time, dip cheese in the egg and then dredge (coat) in panko.
  • Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with warm marinara sauce.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

So what are you waiting for...Get dinner on the table.

 

Maple-Glazed Chicken with Apple-Brussel Sprout Slaw

Dinner in 20 minutes?  You got it.  Don’t be scared of brussel sprouts – when cooked correctly and with apples, they become sweet and delicious.  Recipe serves 4.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 (2-ounce) chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8 ounces brussel sprouts
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or dried cherries or dried cranberries)
  • 1 medium Fuji apple (cut into thin slices)

What you’ll do:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl to coat.
  • Add the chicken and cook 3 minutes per side or until done.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and maple syrup to the pan; bring to a boil.
  • Cook 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan.
  • Cut the brussels in half lengthwise and then thinly slice.
  • Combine the brussels with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add the apples and dried fruit.
  • Serve alongside chicken.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

This meal is healthy, affordable and delicious all because of beans.  Canned beans are a pantry-staple that you should always keep on hand.  Simply rinse the beans before adding to recipes to remove excess sodium.  Recipe serves 4.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving

What you’ll do:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Cook the garlic and chili powder for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes (with their juice), beans, broth, corn and 1 cup of water.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring the soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the tortilla chips, cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve with lime wedges.

Recipe and image from Martha Stewart.  

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

Popcorn Balls

A sweet and salty treat perfect for Halloween.  Recipe makes 16 popcorn balls.

What you’ll need:

  • 3.5-ounce package of plain microwave popcorn
  • 1 cup broken pretzel sticks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered peanuts (or chocolate chips)

What you’ll do:

  • Pop the popcorn according to package directions.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and add the pretzels.
  • Melt the butter, marshmallows and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, 5-7 minutes.
  • Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and pretzels, gently mixing until combined.
  • Fold in the chocolate covered peanuts.
  • With your hands, form the mixture into 16 mounds.

Recipe and image from Real Simple.

**Keep in mind that popcorn is a choking hazard for young children.**

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

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

This rich-and-creamy casserole will warm you up at the end of the day.  Serve this Southern dish with lima beans.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (3-ounce) package of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped (frozen shrimp can be used to save a few dollars – simply thaw in the fridge)
  • cooking spray
  • hot sauce

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine milk and broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.
  • Gradually add grits and salt to the pan, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add in the butter, Parmesan and cream cheese.
  • Stir in the parsley, chives, lemon juice, egg whites and shrimp.
  • Spoon mixture into an 11 X 7 – inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until set.
  • Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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

Asian Tacos

Tacos with a twist!  Serve this 20-minute tacos with some pineapple chunks and you’ll have a happy family.  Recipes makes 4 servings, 2 tacos each.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 bag (1 pound) frozen broccoli, red peppers, onions, mushrooms (or other combo), thawed
  • 1/2 cup stir-fry sauce
  • 8 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inch)

What you’ll do:

  • In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.  Remove from heat.
  • Cut the vegetables so their all the same size (about 1 inch).
  • Add to the chicken in the skillet and cook about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup stir-fry sauce and heat through.
  • Serve about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in each tortilla (warm tortillas, if desired).

Recipe and image from Betty Crocker. 

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