Monday, February 15, 2010

Ravioli Casserole

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Amy.  She notes that it makes enough to fill both a 9x13 pan as well as a 9x9!  I'll be trying this out with my family later this week, but we will probably cut the recipe in half.

Yield: 8 Servings

2  pkg (25 oz) frozen cheese ravioli
1/4 C butter, cubed
1/4 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
2 C milk
1/4 C veggie or chicken broth
1/2 C minced fresh basil (or about 1 Tbs dried)
3 C (12 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese, deivided
2 1/2 C marinara or spaghetti sauce

*Cook ravioli to pkg directions. Do not overcook.
*Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and nutmeg until smooth; gradually add milk and broth. Bring to a boil; cooka nd stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil, 1 C mozzarella cheese and 1/4 C Parmesan cheese.
*Drain ravioli; toss with sauce mixture. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with 1 C mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce; sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pork Chops With Tangy Sauce And Potatoes

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

6 bone-in pork loin chops (7 ounces each)
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, cut into rings
6-8 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

In a large skillet, brown chops in oil in batches. Transfer to a large baking dish

In the same pan, saute celery and chopped onion in butter until tender. Stir in the ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until slightly reduced.

Pour sauce over chops. Top with sliced onion and pepper rings. Cover and bake at 350°for 20-25 minutes

While chops bake, place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and mash with butter and milk until desired consistency is reached.

Tips and Tricks
I have always used boneless pork chops for this recipe and left out the celery. You can use red wine vinegar if you don't have cider vinegar.
Make It Healthier
Omit salt.
How Kids Can Help
Use food chopper to chop onion and celery. Measure and dump ingredients. Older kids can peel potatoes.

Nutrition Facts
1 serving equals 284 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 91 mg cholesterol, 469 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 31 g protein
Diabetic Exchanges
4 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tuscan Soup with Tortellini

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp chopped garlic

1//2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 (14.5 oz) can less sodium beef broth

3 cups water

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1(16 oz) bag frozen Italian vegetable blend

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (16 oz) bag frozen cheese tortellini

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the beef broth and 3 cups of water. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the tortellini. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and simmer until the tortellinis are cooked, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with Herb Focaccia, if desired.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seven Uses for Leftover Rice

I found this list at World's Healthiest Foods for ways to use up rice. I always seem to have a cup or two leftover when we have rice.

  1. Make a simple rice salad. Artichoke hearts, roasted or raw red pepper, olives, almonds, pistachios and cashews all go along well. Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of sherry wine vinegar, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard combine in a quick dressing that will make your rice seem like anything but a leftover.
  2. Add your rice to some soup, either canned or fresh. Rice really makes a split pea, lentil or bean soup into a hearty mid-day meal.
  3. Make a quick rice pudding. Add a cup of organic lowfat vanilla yogurt, a cup of applesauce or finely chopped apple, a handful of raisins, and a teaspoon of cinnamon to each cup of rice. Stir well, heat through, and you're done with the basics. For a richer dessert, crumble a few walnuts on top.
  4. Saute a few of your favorite vegetables- asparagus, broccoli florets, mushrooms, slices of red and green sweet peppers, onions, butternut squash-spoon over a bed of warmed rice, top with a handful of your favorite "healthy roasted" nut or seed, and enjoy. (To roast nuts and bring out their flavor without damaging their healthy fats, toss them with a little tamari or soy sauce, spread on a pan or cookie sheet, and roast at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.)
  5. Use the rice to make some Pineapple, Coconut Rice Breakfast. Just add pineapple chunks, almonds, raisins, banana, and coconut milk, and blend.
  6. Go macrobiotic! Simply reheat your brown rice, drizzle a tablespoon of tamari on top, then sprinkle with a tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  7. Make a wrap. Spoon rice down the center of a tortilla. Top with a little salsa, some kidney beans, a couple of sliced black olives, some chopped onions, and a tablespoon of low-fat plain yogurt and/or grated low-fat cheddar cheese. If you have an avocado on hand, finish off with a few slices, then roll up and heat in the microwave or oven. Voila—a healthy flavorful meal.