Friday, April 29, 2011

TEX-MEX HAMBURGER BEANS

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can (approx 16 oz)chili beans
1 can (10-oz) enchilada sauce, mild
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

In a large skillet cook the ground beef with the onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water; drain and return to skillet.

Add the chili beans, enchilada sauce, salt, chili powder, and garlic powder to the meat and onion mixture. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with warm tortillas, if desired.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GINGERED SQUASH SAUTE

1/2 lb small zucchini squash, sliced
1 lb yellow squash, sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
4 tsp butter
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, quartered
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground ginger

Cut the lengths of yellow squash into 1/2-inch slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the yellow squash, zucchini, onion, and bell pepper for a minute. Cover and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and ginger. Cover and cook another couple of minutes or until heated through.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

YUMMY BANANA CREAM DESSERT

This recipe has to chill but it does go together in minutes and chills quickly.

1 pkg (4-serving size) instant banana pudding mix, prepared according to pkg directions
1 cup diced bananas
1 cup miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp chopped maraschino cherries

Add the bananas and miniature marshmallows to the prepared pudding; mix well. spoon into dessert dishes and top with the cherries. Chill.

Note: May substitute vanilla pudding for the banana.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

DREAMY HAWAIIAN-STYLE DESSERT

1 pkg (4-servings size) vanilla tapioca pudding mix
1 small can sliced pineapple
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmy packed
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Prepare the pudding mix according to the package directions. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Stir the pudding well and then spoon evenly into 4 dessert dishes. Chill.

Drain the pineapple well, reserving 1/3 cup juice. Cut the pineapple slices in half.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the brown sugar, stirring until softened. Gradually add the reserved pineapple juice while stirring constantly. Add the pineapple and the coconut and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and just simmer for 4 minutes. Serve the pineapple warm over the pudding.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, April 22, 2011

PARMESAN CHICKEN SUPREME

6 round butter crackers, such as Ritz, crushed very fine
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb (4) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tsp canola oil
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup low-fat tub cream cheese with onion & chives

Mix the cracker crumbs and the Parmesan cheese in a pie plate. Rinse chicken in cold water and shake off excess water. Roll chicken in the crumb/cheese mixture until evenly coated. Throw out any left over crumbs!

In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm.

Add the chicken broth and cream cheese to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, until thickened-2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

QUICK PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, and salt; mix together well. Stir the graham cracker crumbs into the peanut butter mixture until well combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls, about 2-inches apart, on cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CHICKEN CHOW MEIN CASSEROLE

This recipe goes together quickly and bakes in a half hour. This recipe is a great way to use left-over chicken (or turkey). Don't have any leftovers? No problem. Purchase a deli roasted chicken and pull the meat off the bones or buy thick sliced chicken at the deli and dice. This dish may be prepared ahead of time, covered and refrigerated. When ready, remove from fridge and bake for an extra 5 minutes or so, if necessary to heat through.

2 tbsp butter
1 cup celery
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, diced or thinly sliced
1 small can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
1 can bean sprouts, drained
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chow mein noodles

In a medium skillet, melt butter and saute the celery, onion, and bell pepper for 5 minutes. Add the drained mushrooms a couple of minutes before done. Add the cornstarch while stirring. Gradually stir in the chicken broth and the milk. Add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper; continue to cook until slightly thickened.

In a buttered 1 1/2-quart casserole dish, alternate layers of chicken, bean sprouts, and the sauce, using half of each per layer. Sprinkle the chow mein noodles over the top.

Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

VEGGIE-PINEAPPLE SALAD

This recipe is included as a quick recipe even though it has to chill for hours. It goes together quickly and is a great "make-ahead" salad as it can be refrigerated overnight.

1 lb button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 cups pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
2/3 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 tsp sugar*

Blend the salad dressing and sugar together in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl that has a lid, combine the mushrooms, pineapple chunks, and the red and green bell peppers. Pour the salad dressing mixture over the vegetable mixture. Toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Stir a couple of times to keep well coated.

*Splenda granular may be substituted for the sugar.

Yield: 4 cups

COLORFUL RAVIOLI

1 pkg (1 lb) fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup frozen cut green beans, thawed
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh asparagus spears
1 large red tomato, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook ravioli according to the package directions and drain well.

While ravioli cooks, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the peas, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus, and tomato to the butter. Saute until tender. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the milk, salt, and pepper to the vegetable mixture; stir to mix. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring often.

Place the drained ravioli in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over all.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, April 18, 2011

QUICK AND EASY STRIP STEAKS

You can enjoy a quick "fancy" dinner with these steaks, a salad, and a crusty bread.

4 strip steaks (approx. 12-oz each)
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp cooking sherry*

Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and cook, turning only one time, to the desired doneness level. This will take about 10 minutes for medium-rare; adjust time accordingly.

Once steaks are done, sprinkle the salt and a teaspoon of the pepper over them. Remove from the skillet to the serving platter. Set platter on the stovetop and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the onion slices, remaining pepper, garlic, and marjoram to the skillet; cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sherry; mix well. Spoon the onion sauce over the steaks and serve immediately.
* White grape juice may be substituted for the cooking sherry, if desired.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

LUAU-STYLE CHICKEN SALAD

4 cups seasoned cooked chicken, diced
1 can (20-oz) chunk pineapple, well drained
1 can (16-oz) mandarin oranges, well drained
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 bottle (8-oz) buttermilk salad dressing
1 firm medium banana
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

In a large bowl, gently toss all ingredients together. Cover and chill for at least an hour. Before serving slice the banana and toss into the salad. Sprinkle the macadamia nuts over the top.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ONION-POTATO AU GRATIN

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup French onion sour cream dip
1 cup mashed potato flakes
1 tbsp chopped green chiles, optional
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Additional shredded Cheddar cheese for topping

Spray an 8-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the dip and mix well. Remove from the heat and add the potato flakes and the green chiles, if using. Mix together well.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Top with the melted butter and the 1/4 cup of cheese. Broil 4 to 6-inches from the heat for less than 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from broiler and sprinkle with additional cheese.

Cut into 4 wedges for serving.

Friday, April 1, 2011

VEGGIE BAKED FLOUNDER

This recipe is quick and easy but it is also a good recipe for those watching their diets whether for reasons of health or weight. For these reasons, nutritional information is included.

1/2 to 2/3 cup sliced green onions (depending on your taste for onion)
1/2 to 34 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms (depending on your love of mushrooms)
2 lbs flounder fillets*
1 tsp dried marjaoram
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp lemon pepper (or black pepper)
2 tbsp chicken broth
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese
1/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400.

Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the green onions over the bottom of the pan. Cover onions with mushrooms. Arrange the fish over the vegetables over lapping the thin part over the thick part of the next fillet. Sprinkle with the salt, marjaoram, and lemon or black pepper. Combine broth and lemon juice and pour over the fish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and cheese. Drizzle with the melted butter. Leave uncovered and bake in a 400 degree oven 10 to 15 minutes until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yield: 6 servings

*Sole also works well.

Per serving: 212 cal, 7 g (4 sat) fat, 86 mg chol, 438 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 31 g protein.
Diabetic exchanges: 4 very lean meat, 1 fat, 1/2 starch