Beef Enchiladas

Olive oil

1 onion, diced, divided use

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2-1 cup water

1 heaping teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

Black pepper (to taste)

Salt (to taste)

1 pound ground meat

8 oz shredded cheese*

8-10 white corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9X13 dish with cooking spray.  Heat oil over medium heat, saute onions and garlic until tender and translucent.  Add tomato sauce, seasonings and 1/2 cup water.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  If sauce gets too thick, add rest of water to thin.  Set aside off the heat.

Cook ground beef with onions in skillet over medium heat.  Drain grease and return to pan.  Off the heat, add 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2-1 cup cheese.  You want the cheese and sauce to create a filling that sort of sticks together.

Wrap a few tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30-45 seconds.  (Caution, they will be hot.)  Coat each tortilla with sauce and fill with about 1/4 cup ground beef mixture.  Fold tortilla around filling and place seam side down in prepared dish.  Continue until all filling is used.  Spread remaining sauce over enchiladas in pan.  The goal is to coat each one with sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, till cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6.

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Mexican Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled and diced*

2 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and diced*

1 roasted jalapeno pepper, peeled and diced*

1/2-1 teaspoon salt

1 cup long grain rice

2 cups chicken broth

1 14.5 oz diced or crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

In a dutch oven or similar heavy bottom pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and peppers and saute till onion is tender.  Stir in the salt.  Add the rice and cook for a few minutes.  Rice will turn translucent.  Add chicken broth and tomatoes and mix well.  Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is cooked and most of the water is absorbed.  Turn off the heat, stir well, cover and let set for 5 minutes or so.

*I buy roasted red bell peppers in the jar.  I roast my own poblano and jalapeno peppers under the broiler.  Preheat the broiler on high.  Place your peppers on a metal pan under the broiler.  Broil until skin is blackened and blistered, turning as necessary to roast all sides.  Remove from oven, place in plastic bag and seal.  (The steam helps loosen the skin).  When cool, remove skin, seeds, and ribs.

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Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

4 servings

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw (about 4 cups)
6 ounces shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided
12 Bibb lettuce leaves
1/4 cup chopped cashews

Combine first 4 ingredients (through rice vinegar) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic and ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture and coleslaw; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chicken and 1/4 cup onions to pan; cook 1 minute or until coleslaw just begins to wilt. Divide chicken mixture evenly among lettuce leaves; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup onions and cashews.

Nutritional Information
Calories 193
Fat 8.5 g
Satfat 1.6 g
Monofat 4.1 g
Polyfat 2.4 g
Protein 15.9 g
Carbohydrate 13.2 g
Fiber 3.4 g
Cholesterol 38 mg
Iron 1.3 mg
Sodium 534 mg
Calcium 79 mg


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Chicken Tetrazzini

Serves 8

10 ounce uncooked linguine
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk
2.5 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 ounce 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 cup frozen green peas
Cooking spray
1 1/2 ounces French bread baguette, torn into pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add stock and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, garlic, and thyme; sauté 3 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Combine milk mixture, mushroom mixture, pasta, chicken, and peas; toss to combine. Spoon the pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Place bread in a food processor; drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Process until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano; sprinkle evenly over pasta. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Top with parsley.

Nutritional Information
Calories 435
Fat 12.2 g
Satfat 4.9 g
Monofat 4.1 g
Polyfat 1.3 g
Protein 33.2 g
Carbohydrate 45 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 69 mg
Iron 3 mg
Sodium 573 mg
Calcium 249 mg


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Pork Tenderloin Paprikash with Egg Noodles

4 servings

6 ounces uncooked egg noodles
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add pork; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove pork from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add flour, tomato paste, thyme, and paprika; sauté 30 seconds. Add wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add stock and vinegar; bring to a boil. Add pork; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until pork is tender. Remove pan from heat; stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles.

Nutritional Information
Calories 441
Fat 11.9 g
Satfat 3.2 g
Monofat 5.4 g
Polyfat 1.1 g
Protein 33.3 g
Carbohydrate 44.4 g
Fiber 3.7 g
Cholesterol 128 mg
Iron 3.5 mg
Sodium 479 mg
Calcium 66 mg

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Skillet-Toasted Penne with Chicken Sausage

Serves 4

6 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1 cup sliced sweet onion
13 ounces Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced Calabrian chiles or hot red chiles
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
0.5 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 tablespoons)
Oregano leaves (optional)

Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pasta; cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove pasta from pan.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage mixture from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Return pasta to pan. Add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is nearly absorbed before adding the next (about 35 minutes total), stirring frequently. Stir in sausage mixture, juice, chiles, salt, and cheese. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories 411
Fat 14.6 g
Satfat 3.1 g
Monofat 8.4 g
Polyfat 1.3 g
Protein 22.3 g
Carbohydrate 46.1 g
Fiber 2.4 g
Cholesterol 63 mg
Iron 6.4 mg
Sodium 620 mg
Calcium 74 mg

Skillet-Toasted Penne with Bacon and Spinach: Follow steps 1 and 2. Substitute 4 chopped center-cut bacon slices for the sausage, and 1/2 cup sliced shallots and 8 sliced garlic cloves for the onion. Substitute 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind for the 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Substitute 6 ounces baby spinach for the chiles. Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup) Calories 394; Fat 11.8g (sat 3.1g); Sodium 601mg

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Cremini Mushroom Meat Loaf

Serves 4 (2 slices each)

1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs {substitute gluten-free panko breadcrumbs if desired}
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces ground sirloin (90% lean)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/4 cup lower-sodium ketchup, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place half of mushrooms in a food processor; process until minced. Place minced mushrooms in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining mushrooms. Rinse and wipe processor clean.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown. Add sherry; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in thyme. Cool slightly.

Combine mushroom mixture, panko, and next 4 ingredients (through egg), mixing until well combined. Shape mixture into a 7 x 3-inch free-form loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; brush with half of ketchup. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Remove from oven; brush with remaining ketchup. Cut into 8 slices.

Nutritional Information
Calories 253
Fat 10.9 g
Satfat 3 g
Monofat 5.2 g
Polyfat 1.5 g
Protein 17.9 g
Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Fiber 2.1 g
Cholesterol 83 mg
Iron 2.3 mg
Sodium 389 mg
Calcium 59 mg

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