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View Full Version : Healthy Cooking Thread 2/21 -- Quick Meals


aprincessmom
02-21-2002, 05:20 AM
It doesn't matter who you are...there just isn't enough time in the day. We run to work, to school, to appointments, soccer and hockey practice, dancing lessons, the store, the train...you'd think with all that running we wouldn't have to worry about our weight! :D

That crunch for time usually ends up shortchanging something. Most of us end up cutting back on meal time preparation because it's one of the easiest things to do. With fast food or take out on every corner, it's easier to swing and pick it up than head home and cook. But it doesn't have to be that way. Check out some of the recipes below...they are tasty and take 20 minutes or less to prepare.

Some things that make quick meals easier are:

Keep your pantry stocked with essentials -- pasta, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, spices, beans, rice, and other meal makers. (If anyone's interested, a future thread can focus on what kinds of things to keep in your pantry to help you eat healthier)

When you do have time to cook, double it. It takes no more effort or time to cook two lasagnas or toss in extra baked potatoes for future meals.

I have three suggestions for you -- crockpot, crockpot and crockpot. Next week I'll get you some crockpot meals that will help you keep your healthy eating pledge alive. For now, one day this week just cook a roaster chicken in your crockpot. When you get home the chicken will be complete and the meat just falls off the bone -- it's moist, tasty and the leftovers can be used in other dishes

Your grocery store's deli counter -- one of my favorite quick meals is to pick up a pre-cooked chicken, zip over to the produce section and grab a pre-bagged salad or spinach, and head home with my family's meal almost completed. Quick food doesn't always require you to talk into a speaker

And now, some recipes that can help you keep eating healthy within 25 minutes of getting home.

Chicken Marsala
(from Make it in Minutes)
This works for veal as well. If you can’t find thinly sliced chicken, buy skinless boneless chicken breasts, place them between 2 pieces of waxed paper and lightly pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Makes 4 servings.

2 tsp olive oil
4 (4 oz.) thin-sliced skinless boneless chicken breasts
½ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground pepper
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tsp all purpose flour
¼ cup dry Marsala wine
¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; add to skillet and sauté until cooked through (approx. 3 minutes each side).
3. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm.
4. Add mushrooms to the skillet, sauté until brown.
5. Sprinkle mushrooms with flour, stir to blend.
6. Add wine and broth; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens (approx. 3 minutes).
7. Stir in parsley.
8. Spoon mushroom mixture over the chicken and serve.

4 points per serving
164 calories ● 4g total fat ● 1g saturated fat ● 66 mg cholesterol ● 430 mg sodium ● 3g total carbohydrates ● 0g fiber ● 28g protein ● 17 mg calcium



Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, Provolone, and Broccoli
A small amount of the sharp flavor of the provolone gives this dish a great flavor without much fat. Because provolone’s flavor becomes more robust with age, pick a nicely aged piece for this dish.
Makes 4 servings (yields 7 cups)

½ lb penne
2 ½ cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 oz sharp provolone cheese, shredded
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2. Add broccoli florets to pot during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.
3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden (approx. 1 minute).
5. Add tomatoes and cook until skin begins to blister slightly (approx. 1 minute).
6. Add pasta and broccoli, salt and pepper.
7. Cook 2 minutes more to heat through.
8. Transfer to large bowl.
9. Stir in cheeses.

7 points per serving
338 calories ● 9g total fat ● 4g saturated fat ● 12 mg cholesterol ● 559 mg sodium ● 50g total carbohydrates ● 4g fiber ● 14g protein ● 185 mg calcium


Honey-Pecan Chicken
This can also serve as a main dish salad. Just cut the cooked chicken into strips, arrange on top of greens and toss with a light vinaigrette.
Makes 4 servings.

½ cup of pecans
2 tbsp cornflake crumbs
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 (5 oz) skinless boneless chicken breasts

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
3. Finely chop the pecans in a food processor. Sprinkle the pecans and cornflake crumbs on a sheet of wax paper.
4. Combine honey and soy sauce in a shallow bowl.
5. Dip both sides of the chicken breast into the honey mixture, then into the pecan mixture to coat.
6. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet; spray lightly with nonstick spray.
7. Bake until chicken is cooked through (approx. 5 minutes on each side)

7 points per serving
296 calories ● 12g total fat ● 1g saturated fat ● 82 mg cholesterol ● 236 mg sodium ● 13g total carbohydrates ● 1g fiber ● 35g protein ● 26 mg calcium


Three Cheesey Pizza
Add a little green to your pizza with 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach or broccoli if you'd like.
Makes 4 servings.

¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (10 oz) pre-baked pizza crust
4 oz fat-free sliced ham, coarsely chopped
¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
2. Spread ricotta evenly over pizza crust.
3. Top with ham, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
4. Place the pizza on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until the crust is crisp and cheese has melted (approx. 8-10 minutes).

7 points per serving
304 calories ● 11g total fat ● 5g saturated fat ● 42 mg cholesterol ● 833 mg sodium ● 29g total carbohydrates ● 0g fiber ● 22g protein ● 382 mg calcium


As always, if you have any other tips we'd all be glad to hear them. And I hope you enjoy these recipes!
Jeanne

wovenwonder
02-21-2002, 08:32 AM
Thanks Jeanne for your wonderful ideas! I'm really looking forward to those crock pot ideas next week.
:)