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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I didn't take any pictures of this one because I just posted the Italian version a few weeks ago. Surprise, they look exactly the same. =)

12-18 Large Pasta Shells
1 lb ground beef
3 Tbs. Taco Seasonings (Or one packet)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
16 oz tomato sauce
few shakes of chili powder
few shakes of granulated garlic
freshly ground pepper to taste

Brown beef and drain.
Add taco seasoning, garlic, pepper, water, onion, 1/2 cup of salsa, and 1/4 cup of each cheese
In a separate bow, mix 1 cup salsa, tomato sauce, and chili powder.
Spread some sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
Fill each shell with the beef mixture and place them in rows in the dish.
Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells.
Sprinkle the rest of the cheeses on top.

Bake @ 350 for 20-30 minutes
This is great as a make-ahead meal. It freezes well.
Defrost overnight and bake as directed. If frozen, bake @ 300 for 2 hours.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spaghetti and Turkey Sausage Meatballs

These are super easy meatballs and healthier than most.  Just three ingredients for this one.

1 lb Turkey Italian Sausage
1 egg
The bread crumbs from one piece of whole wheat toast
Mix the ingredients.
Form into 10 even balls. 
Place in a frying pan on high heat. 
Turn to brown the sides of the meatballs.
Then place them on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven.
Bake @ 400 for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chili Chicken

This delicious recipe comes from an old friend in Sacramento. She was actually my mom's friend and would make this for their bunco group years ago. It is fabulous! Thanks Sondra for putting your recipe in the Church Cookbook back in 1991!

1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1 can of chili con carne without beans (I used my left over chili from last night's dinner)
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 small can sliced olives
3 oz pepper jack cheese
3 oz cheddar cheese
3 large chicken breasts
1 pkg whole wheat tortillas torn into 1/4 pieces

Cube chicken and saute'. I sprinkled mine with granulated garlic and freshly ground pepper.

Combine soups, chili, salsa, broth/water, olives, and onions in a sauce pan; heat over medium heat. 
Layer ingredients in a 9x 13 dish as follows:
-1/3 Sauce
-Half of tortillas
-ALL of your chicken
-1/3 Sauce
-Half of tortillas
-1/3 Sauce
-ALL of your cheese

Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes

1/8 of the casserole = 8 weight watcher points


This is a Super easy meal when you don't have a lot of time. It is also relatively healthy and considered to be a comfort food. I use a chili mix that is really delicious and saves on time.

Chili Mix
1-2lbs Ground Beef, Turkey, or Shredded Chicken
One can of tomato sauce

Optional Ingredients:
1 Tbs of granulated garlic
1 Cup onions
6-8 pieces of crumbled bacon or turkey bacon
1 can of diced tomatoes
Diced peppers
Kidney or chili beans

Garnish Ideas:

I browned one pound of ground beef with 1 Tbs of granulated garlic and 1 Cup of onions. Then added the chili seasonings, tomato sauce and three cans of water.  I let it simmer on the stove for 2-3 hours. At the end, mix the corn mesa flour from your chili package with about 1/2 cup cold water. Stir and pour into the chili. Let it simmer 5 minutes and serve.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beefy Taco Bake

This is super easy. YUM!

1 pound ground beef ( I use one package Boca Crumbles.)
1 Can (10 3/4 oz) Condensed Tomato Soup
1 Cup Salsa
1/2 Cup  Fat Free Milk ( Sometimes I use 1/2 cup of Fat Free Sour Cream instead)
6 whole wheat (8 inch) flour tortillas, cut into 1x2 inch strips
3 oz (3/4 cup) cheddar or pepperjack cheese grated

An easy way to cut the tortillas is to use your pizza cutter.

Brown the meat and drain.
Stir in  the soup, salsa, milk, tortillas, and half of the cheese into your skillet.
Dump the mixture into a casserole dish.  (I use a 7x11)
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese
Bake @ 400 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Weight Watcher Points:  1/6 of the casserole is 6 pts

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Italian Stuffed Shells

This is a healthier twist on a combination of recipes I have used over the years.

1 Box of Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 lb Turkey Italian Sausage
16 oz of Fat Free Cottage Cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese
2/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese
26oz of Spaghetti Sauce

Boil the shells
-Brown the sausage. Afterward, add the cottage cheese, garlic, parmesan and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese.
-Put 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 7x11 or 9 x 13 pan.
-Fill each shell with sausage mixture and place them in rows

-Cover shells with the remaining sauce and then cover with the rest of the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
-Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning

-Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes

The Weight Watcher points value for this dish:   5 shells = 9pts.

Please, Call Me Old-Fashioned

One of my resolutions in 2010 is to not eat out more than once a week. Another is to continue to learn ways to save money and be a frugal mom. That sounds so easy until I find myself in the middle of raising two small children, fulfilling everyday schedules and responsibilities and staying focused on ministering to friends and family. So often in the past few years I have found myself "picking something up" for dinner because the day got away from me. I want my girls to grow up knowing what it is like to have healthy, home cooked meals around the dinner table. You know, the "old-fashioned" way.

This year's resolution is going to be accomplished by setting and meeting certain goals:
-Make a monthly calendar of meals leaving one day open for eating out and one day open for leftovers
-Make a shopping list for the month and do one large shop (thus eliminating multiple costly trips to the store)
-Stick to the calendar and make the meals I have planned.
-Try to make most meals during the girl's nap time so that I am not caught off guard between 4:00-6:00
-Be aware of the nutritional information of each recipe.

Here we go. This is to keep me accountable and organized. Happy Cooking!