Tag Archives for " meal ideas "

August 7, 2010

Zucchini Meatloaf Recipe

Zucchini Meatloaf Recipe

ZucMeatloaf 3

Thanks to Connie for this Zucchini Meatloaf Recipe. I recently read an article in Cooking Light magazine suggesting a number of tips for using those plentiful zucchini from your summer garden. Zucchini is one of those vegetables that produces more than any family can eat, so we must get creative with how to prepare and store it. The article suggests to add shredded zucchini to a meatloaf. I was skeptical at first, but then I realized that we use zucchini to make breads and cakes, why not try it in a dry, boring meatloaf?? It was delicious! The zucchini added just the right amount of moisture to a classic that tends to be a little dry, especially if using lean meat. Continue reading

July 24, 2010

Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Roasted Potato Salad is a classic Southern side dish.  We’ll serve potatoes with chicken, beef, pork, and seafood.  Southerners believe potatoes pair nicely with just about anything.  Potatoes are a natural carbohydrate, high in vitamin C and potassium, and a good source of fiber. Potatoes are also inexpensive and filling, making them a thrifty choice when on a budget.  Potatoes keep well in dry, dark, cool spaces.  If stored properly, you’ll be able to enjoy potatoes for quite a while.  To make a hearty meal, you can top potatoes with meat sauce, broccoli & cheese, beef tips and gravy, seafood Newburg, or the classic sour cream & chives.Continue reading

June 26, 2010

Crunchy Cabbage Salad Recipe

This recipe is an upscale Chinese Chicken Salad with toasted pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds along with the traditional ramen noodle. Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

Ramen noodles get a bad rap. Many of us enjoyed them while in college since they were cheap, filling
food. But, now that we’re all grown up, we are far too sophisticated to eat lowly ramen noodles. I beg to
differ. Ramen noodles can be eaten raw or cooked and the “bad-for-you” part of the soup mix is the flavor
packet, which is filled with MSG and sodium. So, toss those little packets and you are left with simply

I love the crunch of uncooked ramen noodles and when mixed with nuts and seeds then toasted,
this mixture can be a nutritious trail mix or topping for salad. Ramen noodles can be sweet or savory. I use
cooked ramen noodles in yakisoba and lo mein as a substitute for rice.
Cabbage is another thrifty veggie that is full of vitamins and minerals. Cabbage can be enjoyed raw, as in
a cole slaw, or cooked. Cabbage can be sweet or savory, just like the ramen noodles. So, they pair nicely
for a meal that can be served for just cents per serving. My Crunchy Cabbage Salad is perfect with grilled
chicken or pork…great for this time of year when we are grilling out.
For an easy main dish, just slice the
meat thinly and serve atop this Asian-inspired crisp salad. Revisit ramen noodles and give them a chance
in this recipe…you’ll be glad you did.

crunchy cabbage salad

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

2 packages ramen noodle soup mix
½ c. sunflower seeds, untoasted
½ c. pumpkin seeds, untoasted
3 T. sliced or slivered almonds, untoasted
1 T sesame seeds, untoasted
½ c. sugar
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. cider vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
½ head of cabbage, shredded (or 1 bok choy, chopped)
5-6 green onions, chopped

Remove and discard flavor packets from soup mixes; crumble noodles. Combine noodles, sunflower seeds,
pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sesame seeds; spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8
minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Bring sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in saucepan
over medium heat. Remove from heat; cool; add sesame oil.

Combine cabbage and green onion in a large bowl; drizzle with sugar mixture; add ramen noodle mixture,
tossing well. Serve immediately.

June 5, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Sub Sandwich Recipe

Summer is a busy time which results on eating out or on the go. Connie has some wonderful ideas for portable meals that I honestly would have never thought of! Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

This time of year lots of folks are looking for portable meals. You know what I mean…quick, healthy meals you can take with you to the ballpark, swimming pool, and in our case, the hay field. Beyond ham & cheese sandwiches, what should you pack? I have a number of to-go suppers that keep the menu varied and interesting throughout the summer. Burgers, sub sandwiches, wraps, calzones, and oven-baked chicken are among the meals I can easily make and take. Most any portable meal pairs well with a fruit salad, so chop up a mix of your family’s favorite fruits and have it ready-to-go in the fridge.

I try to plan my meals so that the “to-go” meal will be quick & easy to prepare. So, when I want to make chicken parmesan subs, I plan to have spaghetti & meat sauce one night, grilled chicken the next night, and chicken parmesan subs the third night. I use the leftover meat sauce and grilled chicken as the base for the subs. For this week’s recipe, I’ve included grilling instructions for the chicken. Grilling them a night or two before assembling the subs will save you time. Substitute your favorite pasta sauce for meat sauce, if preferred.

Cheicken Parmesan sandwich

Chicken Parmesan Subs

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ t. grill seasoning, divided
½ t. Italian seasoning, divided
12” loaf Italian bread, sliced lengthwise
1 c. meat sauce, warmed
4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 T. parmesan cheese

Season chicken breasts with ¼ t. each of grill & Italian seasonings. Let sit while grill preheats. Grill chicken over medium heat 6-8 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees. Keep chicken warm and let sit 5 minutes before slicing across the grain into strips. Spread chicken slices evenly on bottom of bread. Top evenly with meat sauce, then cheeses. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and cut surface of bread is browned. Close sandwich and slice into quarters.

*Wrap each quarter in aluminum foil for an on-the-go meal.

May 22, 2010

Curried Pork in a Cream Sauce Slow Cooker Recipe

I love curry and I can’t wait to try this easy recipe! Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

I ruined a beautiful pork loin roast recently. I cooked it too long in not enough liquid and dried it out. Mistakes happen, I guess. But, I was not about to waste that roast, dry or not. So, I began looking for recipes that would tenderize the already-cooked meat and perk up the flavor. I found a curry cream sauce recipe that would do the trick, but it was full of fat and calories. I lightened it up by using 98% fat free cream of chicken soup and reduced calorie mayonnaise (the kind that’s made with olive oil).

About 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, legs, or thighs can be substituted for the pork. The chicken parts needn’t be sliced. I would recommend using leftover chicken or pork; this saves the step of browning the meat before it goes into the slow cooker for this recipe.

Curry is a strong, unique flavor, and usually folks either like it or they don’t. Start with 1 T. of curry and add more if you like a more intense flavor. You can always add spice to the dish, but you can’t remove it! Give Pork in Curried Cream Sauce a try and see if your family enjoys this unusual dish alongside fresh spring asparagus and couscous.


Pork in Curried Cream Sauce

3-4 c. cooked pork loin, sliced
1 (10 ¾-oz) can low-fat cream of chicken soup
½ c. reduced calorie mayonnaise
½ c. chicken stock
1-2 T. curry powder
dash of salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and crisp steamed
couscous (or rice)

Combine soup, mayonnaise, stock, curry powder, salt & pepper. Fold in pork and place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5 hours or high 3 hours. Serve pork in curried cream sauce over asparagus and couscous and top with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

May 1, 2010

Chicken Strawberry Wraps Recipe

I can’t wait to try this recipe with fresh strawberries from my garden! Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

Chicken Strawberry Wraps

Once the weather gets a little warmer, it seems like everyone is looking for an outdoor adventure. Taking after-supper walks, tossing the baseball with the kids, even yard work is good for the soul in the spring. A wonderful activity for your family to try this spring is visiting a berry farm. You and your kids can pick your own fresh, ripe berries and enjoy the sweet fruits all spring and beyond (if you freeze or make jams & jellies.) Make sure you pick only the ripe berries, as they do not ripen after being picked. And, don’t wash berries until you are ready to use them since they will become soggy and spoil quicker. In Virginia, strawberries will come in first, then blueberries and raspberries, and lastly blackberries. So, berry picking adventures can take place all summer long.

The first of the spring fruits and vegetables to become available are asparagus, strawberries, and spring greens (such as baby spinach.) This week’s recipe uses strawberries and baby spinach.

I must give credit to my dear friend, Heather, whose Chicken Strawberry Wraps were the first I’d ever had. She uses breaded chicken tenders and bakes them up golden and crispy in the oven. My version is a little lighter using boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or tenders.) If you are not a big fan of spinach, chopped Romaine lettuce can be substituted. Cooked and crumbled bacon would add a smoky crunch to these wraps, as well. Of course, if you are in the mood for a big salad, forego the tortillas and toss everything in a big bowl.

To save time on a busy weeknight when you and the family are out at practice or a meeting, grill your chicken breasts earlier in the week and pop them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. The chicken can be warm or cold in these wraps; it is your preference. Don’t assemble until you are ready to serve, as the tender greens will wilt and the tortillas will get soggy.

Chicken Strawberry Wraps

6-8 large multi-grain or flour tortillas
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
juice of ½ lemon
4 c. baby spinach
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/3 to 1/2 c. fat-free poppyseed dressing
4 T. low-fat bleu cheese crumbles (optional)

Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and lemon juice and grill over medium heat (300-350 degrees) until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Let rest 5 minutes; then thinly slice. Meanwhile, toss spinach and strawberries with dressing; add sliced chicken and toss well. Heat each tortilla in microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Divide spinach mixture evenly among tortillas. Top evenly bleu cheese, if desired. Fold sides in and roll up into a wrap; place seam side down. Slice each wrap in half on the diagonal. Serve with fruit and additional dressing, if desired.