RECENT PINS

Six Savory Meals with Minimal Assembly Required

Guest Post from Women’s Health

Do you associate a quick and easy meal with fast food and microwaveable dinners? Well, if that’s the case, it’s time to get up to speed –Women’s Health cooks up six savory meals with minimal assembly requiredincluded in the April issue on newsstands now!

It all boils down to pre-packaged foods – these items may be more expensive at the checkout line, but these days time is money – at the end of a long work day, it’s worth every penny! The days of “cooking” your midweek feasts are over, start “assembling” them – without compromising delectable flavor and taste.

Each of these dishes can be served up in less than 20 minutes! You’ll fool your dinner guests with a delicious meal – leaving them to wonder how you managed to find the time!

With all the stress in our lives, here’s 12 ways to make things a little bit easier…

BLACK BEAN QUESADILLAS

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat Mexican cheese blend
  • 4 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 1 tsp jarred chopped garlic
  • 1 can (15=oz) no-salt-added or low-sodium black beans
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  1. Preheat broiler. Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook black beans, tomatoes, cumin, and garlic until liquid dissolves, stirring occasionally. Place folded tortillas on cookie sheet. Unfold and fill half o each with ¼ of the bean mixture, topped with ¼ of the cheese. Fold over other side of tortilla.
  3. Place cookie sheet under broiler and heat for 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully so tortillas don’t burn. Flip and cook for1 to 2 minutes more. Serve with corn salad

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 330 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated), 540 mg sodium, 42 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 21 g protein

SOUTHWESTERN CORN SALAD
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (14 oz) frozen Southwestern vegetable mix without seasoning*
    (corn, bell peppers, beans)
  • 1 can (10 oz) Mexican-style tomatoes with limejuice
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced (optional)
  1. Empty bag of vegetable mix into bowl and defrost in microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Drain water.
  2. Add tomatoes (including liquid), cumin, and avocado to vegetable mix.
    (If using seasoned vegetable mix, eliminate cumin.)
  3. Toss together; refrigerate until serving.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 109 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated), 417mg sodium, 20g carbs, 8 g fiber, 7 p protein

CRISPY SALMON BURGERS
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can water-packed pink salmon, sodium
  • ½ cup crushed low-sodium whole-grain crackers (about 15)
  • 3 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp jarred chopped garlic
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Discard skin from drained salmon and place fish in a bowl. Using a fork, flake fish and mash any small bones.
  • Add whole-grain crackers, garlic, mayo, lemon juice, scallion, and pepper and stir well. Divide salmon mix into fourths and shape into patties.
  • Coat non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
  • Serve plain or on toasted buns with lettuce and tomato, if desired.

Makes 1 serving
310 calories, 18 g fat (3.5g saturated), 602mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 0.5 g fiber, 24 g protein

JEWELED COUSCOUS
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 box (10-oz) whole-wheat couscous
  • 1/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • Pour orange juice and water into saucepan. Add cranberries and bring to boil.
  • Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover and let stir for 5 minutes
  • Add pistachios. Fluff couscous with fork and serve.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 221 calories 4.5g fat (0.5 g saturated), 0.5 mg sodium, 38.5 carbs,
6g fiber, 6.5 g protein

CALIFORNIA BEEF STIR-FRY
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cup quick-cooking or boil-in-bag brown rice
  • ¾ lb lean beef streings for stir frying (pre-sliced in meat department)
  • 1 bag (12-oz) fresh or frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 1 container (5-oz) fresh diced tricolor peppers
  • 1 can (8-oz) water chestnuts, drained
  • 5 tbsp stir-fry sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions and cover to keep warm
  2. Heat oil on high in a large skillet or wok. Add beef and cook until meat loses its drednes, about 2 minutes. Remover from pan; set aside and cover to keep warm
  3. Add stir-fry vegetables, peppers, water chestnuts, and garlic. (If using frozen veggies, prepare according to package directions first.) Don’t overcrowd pan, Stir quickly and cook just until vegetables are tender and crisp about 4 minutes.
  4. Return beef strips to pan and add in stir-fry sauce. Cook until heated thoroughly, 1 to 2 minutes, then spoon mixture over rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes if desired.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 443 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 288 mg sodium, 56 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 28 g protein

SUNSHINE SPINACH
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
  • 1 can (I1 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup sesame-miso dressing
  1. Empty bag of spinach into bowl; add mandarin oranges and almonds.
  2. Toss with dressing and serve.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 148 calories, 8 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 168 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein

TURKEY MEATBALL PITAS
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh or frozen turkey meatballs (plain or home-style)
  • 4 whole-wheat pita pockets cut in half
  • 8 tbsp low-fat tzatziki or yogurt dip
  • 4 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  1. If needed, arrange meatballs on a plate and microwave about 2 minutes on defrost setting.
  2. Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mint, allspice, and oregano; mix. Break meatballs into small chunks and add to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Stuff pita pockets with baby spinach leaves. Spoon the turkey mixture into pita and top with a dollop of tzatziki or yogurt dip. (*If you can’t find prepared low-fat tzatziki or yogurt dip, make your own by mixing 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and /4 cup minced cilantro.)

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 375 calories, 14.5 g fat (4 g saturated), 650 mg sodium, 39 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 25.5 g protein

HERBED SUGAR SNAP PEAS
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh or frozen sugar snap peas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp jarred chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  1. Steam peas in microwave or steamer until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.
  2. Drain water. Add oil, garlic, and thyme and toss.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 51 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated), 10 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN SOUP
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cup cooked shredded chicken breast (leftover or rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup sliced white or crimini mushrooms
  • 6 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tsp jarred chopped ginger
  • 3 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 oz dried whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp jarred chopped garlic
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallion
  • Red chili flakes (optional)
  1. Bring pot of water to a boil. Add whole-wheat spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
  2. In separate pot, add oil and sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add chicken, carrots, and mushrooms; simmer about 5 minutes.
  3. Divide noodles into four bowls. Add scallion and spinach. Ladle broth mixture over noodles and sprinkle with chili flakes, if desired.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 334 calories, 8 g fat (1.25 g saturated), 198 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 4.25 g fiber, 14 g protein

MEDITERRANEAN SALAD
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (5 oz) of spring mix/baby lettuce mix
  • 2 oz low-fat feta cheese
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Head to the salad bar to gather these ingredients:

  • ½ cup chopped red peppers
  • ½ cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 152 calories, 9 g fat (2.25 g saturated), 393 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 5.5 g protein

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces fresh or frozen naan heated in oven and cut in half (optional)
  • 3 cup shredded cooked skinless chicken breat
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1 jar (15 oz) masala simmer sauce
  1. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken, peas (if desired), and sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Serve with ½ piece naan, if desired.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 162 calories, 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 521 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 35 g protein

INDIAN SPICED RICE
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ cup chopped onion (pre-diced in container or frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
  • 1 cup instant brown rice
    • Such as Uncle Ben’s Fast and Natural Whole Grain Instant Brown Rice
  • ½ cup water
  1. Place oil in large pot and heat on medium. Add spices and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes (longer if frozen). Add peas and carrots and stir.
  3. Add rice and water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low or medium and cover.
  4. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 228 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 28 mg sodium, 46 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein

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