Beef, Cheese and Noddle Bake

This macaroni and cheese casserole is packed with lean sirloin, shredded veggies, and lots of calcium–each serving has 200 milligrams. Serve with a green veggie or side salad.  Recipe serves 8.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package small elbow macaroni (or other small noodle)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose four
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting the fat and salt.
  • Drain and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Heat a Dutch oven (or large pot) over medium-high heat.
  • Coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add the onion and carrot and saute for 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic; saute 1 minute.
  • Add the ground beef and cook for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.
  • Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the pasta to the beef mixture, stirring to combine.
  • Spoon the pasta and beef into an 11 x 7 – inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
  • Place the milk, flour, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan.
  • Stir with a whisk until well blended.
  • Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with the whisk.
  • Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth.
  • Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta; stir.
  • Top evenly 1/2 cup shredded cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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

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Zucchini and Red Pepper Frittata

This time of year there’s usually an abundance of zucchini which means that you can find it fairly cheap at local farmers markets and the grocery store.  Recipe serves 6.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat your oven broiler to high.
  • Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard the seeds and membranes.
  • Place peppers, skin-sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, flatten with hand.
  • Broil 8 minutes or until blackened.
  • Wrap pepper in foil; let stand 15 minutes.
  • Peel and slice.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat a 9-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add oil, swirl to coat.
  • Add zucchini and cook 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the bell pepper; reduce heat to medium.
  • Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add to the zucchini mixture; cook 2 minutes or until edges are set.
  • Bake for 16 minutes or until center is set.
  • Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Here’s a quick and easy swap from traditional tamales that take some time to prepare.  A few canned goods from the grocery store help get this dinner ready in a lot less time than the original.  Recipe serves 8.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine 1/4 cup cheese, skim milk, egg substitute, cumin, ground red pepper, corn, muffin mix and green chiles in a large bowl.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Pour mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Pierce the entire top of the casserole with a fork.
  • Pour the enchilada sauce on top.
  • Top with the shredded chicken and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  • Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving with the sour cream.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

This baked spaghetti dinner is loaded with calcium and protein.  Make it even healthier by using whole-wheat noodles.  Recipe serves 6.

What you’ll need:

  • 9 ounces uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 (14.5 ounces each) cans of stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups cooked and chopped chicken

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions leaving out the added salt and fat.
  • Drain.
  • Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning and salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 cup of cheese, chicken and the cooked spaghetti.
  • Spoon into a casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
  • Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

Recipe and image from Health.

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

Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac and Cheese

Fancy comfort food is on the menu tonight!  Bacon and ranch dressing-inspired seasonings are added to this classic family favorite for a twist your children will love.  Recipe serves 4.

What you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 slice applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup shredded six-cheese Italian blend (such as Sargento)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese

What you’ll do:

  • Cook pasta according to package direction (omitting added salt and fat); drain.
  • Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.
  • Remove bacon and reserve the drippings.
  • Finely chop the bacon and set aside.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high.
  • Add the chicken to the pan with bacon drippings; saute 6 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle the flour evenly into the pan.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Combine the milk and condensed soup, stirring with a whisk and gradually add to the saucepan, continuing to stir with a whisk.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until thick.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 4 minutes.
  • Add the Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt and stir until cheese melts.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and chicken.
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and colby-jack cheese.
  • Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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.

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Easy Ravioli Lasagna

Pre-made ravioli is a short-cut to have lasagna after a busy week full of work and school.  A simple green salad on the side completes this meal.  Recipe serves 6.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 ounces hot pork Italian sausage (or mild)
  • 4 ounces 90% lean ground sirloin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (22-ounce) bag frozen whole-wheat spinach and cheese ravioli
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Coat the pan with cooking spray.
  • Add the sauce, beef and garlic; cook 4 minutes until the meat is browned, stirring to crumble.
  • Stir in the marinara sauce, salt and red pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and add the ravioli; tossing to combine.
  • Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Spoon the ravioli mixture into the dish and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Uncover, sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  • Preheat the broiler (with the dish in the oven) and broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned (about 3 minutes).

Recipe and image from Cooking Light.

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