Monday, September 30, 2013

Tortilla Lasagna

This is one of my go-to recipes to use up almost-stale tortillas. I usually throw the stale tortillas in the freezer until I'm ready to make this meal, and I often make it the night before and toss it in the oven when I get home from work the next day. It's a no-fail kid-friendly recipe, and I cut the leftovers into squares, wrap them, and freeze them for pre-portioned lunches on days when I'm in a rush. Hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!

Tortilla Lasagna
1lb lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning (I just used chili powder)
1 c water
2 c salsa
1 c corn niblets
1 can black beans drained & rinsed
6 whole grain tortillas
2 c shredded cheese (I used low-fat old cheddar)
1/4 c chopped scallions

Preheat oven to 350. Brown beef in skillet & drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in next 3 ingredients. Remove from heat. Place half of the mixture in a square baking dish. Top with half of the tortillas, overlapping where needed. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers and sprinkle with scallions. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rich Macaroni & Tomato Bake

We don’t normally have pasta for dinner in my house, but I’ve attempted to lighten up on the whole carb-hating mentality and at least allow my family to indulge (once in a while).  Who am I kidding, I often indulge as well!  This recipe was fairly simple, without a lot of hands on time.  I made a big batch, so we were eating it for days.  No one got sick of it though!  You can eat it with anything really, but because it’s so rich, I served it with a side garden salad.  I did tweak the recipe a bit to lighten the fat load; it was still utterly delicious!

Rich Macaroni & Tomato Bake
1 ½ c macaroni (I always use “Catelli Smart”)
2 slices bacon chopped (try using turkey bacon…although this time I used the real stuff)
1 ½ c pasta sauce
Black pepper
3 eggs beaten (using egg whites instead will save you 40 calories per egg)
½ c heavy cream (I used fat free evaporated milk)
½ c milk (also used the evaporated milk here)
Ground nutmeg
½ c cheese (I used a variety of bits and pieces left in my fridge – mainly low fat old cheddar, but also used some smoked gouda to add flavor, and some very sharp aged white cheddar as well)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Cook pasta 8-10 minutes.  In a large skillet over medium heat cook bacon until crisp (I microwave my bacon on a paper-towel lined plate, which traps a lot of the fat, and then I wipe it with towel again when it’s done to get any leftover drippings).  Stir in pasta sauce, black pepper, and cooked pasta.  Spread mixture into prepared dish.  In a medium bowl combine next 4 ingredients.  Stir until smooth.  Pour gently over the macaroni mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese & bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grilled Shrimp & Asparagus With Herbed Dipping Sauce

With the warm weather comes lighter meals, and it’s always great to take full advantage of the fresh in-season veggies you can pick up at your local farmers market. I recently picked up 2 huge bunches of asparagus thick enough to be mini tree trunks (for only $4 might I add) and I couldn’t wait to eat them.

The dipping sauce I make (below) is to die for; I usually make a big batch to have for veggies throughout the week – so good! Just a note – the shrimp for this dish should be marinated over night, so get started the day before you are ready to eat. Aside from the marinating time, this meal is a snap to make! Thank you Martha Stewart (for the shrimp) and Canadian Living (for the asparagus) – you make my life easier, and far more delicious!

Grilled Herbed Shrimp
3 T chopped cilantro
3 T chopped parsley
1 T minced jalapeno
1 T minced garlic
1 T grated lemon zest
1/3 c EVOO
1 lb jumbo shrimp Soaked wooden skewers (or metal)

Combine all ingredients in a Ziploc & marinate 8 hours, or overnight. Preheat bbq to medium and grill shrimp on skewers in indirect heat for 5 minutes, turning once. Easy peasy!

Asparagus With Herbed Dipping Sauce
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
½ c sour cream (I used fat free)
2 T chopped chives
1 T grainy mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Immediately chill in ice water, drain & pat dry. Stir together remaining ingredients and serve with asparagus.

A fabulous, healthy, seasonal meal…in minutes!