Dairy Free Creamy Potato Soup

Last week I was squeezing in some last-minute shopping before the first big snowstorm of the season moved in. It was scheduled to start mid-afternoon and become really heavy during the rush hour. Which meant that my poor hubby would have a couple of hours of working and driving in the snow before he came home for the day. And to make matters worse, the snow was bringing with it some super cold temperatures. We were looking at -10 °F with the wind chill! We are used to winter in PA, but not that kind of winter. So while I was grocery shopping, I decided what we needed for supper that night was a warm and hearty pot of creamy potato soup. I love creamy potato soup! I grew up eating it every winter. To me, a bowl of creamy potato soup says "comfort". I thought that would be the perfect supper for a snowy, cold winter night. And then my husband could take leftover soup with him to work the next day as he worked in the subzero temps. I also knew that I had some potatoes at home that were starting to sprout so I really needed to do something with them soon. Making soup was the perfect choice.

When I make potato soup, we usually eat it plain. Occasionally we will top it with some shredded cheese or sour cream. But in light of the weather, I decided to bump up the toppings a little more and sprang for some bacon and green onions while I was at the store. Just to make supper a little extra special.

To make my soup, I start by sautéing some onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Then I add the potatoes with just enough water to cover them. And salt; don't forget to add the salt while you are cooking the potatoes. If you forget to add the salt while boiling the potatoes, you will never be able to add enough salt later when you are cooking or eating them. The same is true of when you make mashed potatoes. Always add the salt to the water and then boil the potatoes. Then later you will only need to season with a little salt.

Once the water comes to a boil, turn back the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Then mash the potatoes with a hand masher until most, but not all of the potatoes are mashed. Then I add a little cornstarch to thicken, some almond milk to get the desired consistency and a little salt and pepper to taste. You could add a little butter now if you wanted to. Then heat up the soup until it starts to bubble again. And then it's done.

I think the olive oil that the soup is started with is enough fat to add flavor to the soup. I find that when I do add butter, I don't even notice the difference. So you don't need to add butter, especially if you want to make it dairy free. I also choose to use unsweetened almond milk instead of cow's milk. We don't drink cow's milk anymore because we don't think it is necessary, so we use almond milk in place of cow's milk. If you use almond milk, it is a delicious way to make a creamy and tasty dairy free soup.

All that is left is to dish it up and decided what toppings you want, if you decide to add toppings. It is a delicious soup without the toppings because of the hearty flavor of the potatoes, onion and garlic. But toppings make it a little extra special. And sometimes after a hard day's work in the cold and snow, all you need is a little extra special.

Dairy Free Creamy Potato Soup

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium to large onion, diced

4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

@ 3 pounds (or 7-8 medium and large) golden potatoes, washed, peeled, diced and rinsed

water, enough to cover potatoes in stock pot (@ 5 cups of water, depends on the amount of potatoes)

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed into an equal amount of cold water, stir to dissolve clumps

1-2 c. unsweetened almond milk (depends on how thick or soupy you like your soup and how much water you added)

dash of salt, if needed

black pepper, to taste

 

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onion and garlic. Sauté over medium high heat until soft. Add potatoes and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are softened and can be easily pierced with a fork, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and semi-smash most of the potatoes with a hand masher. You want about half of the potatoes roughly mashed and the other half in whole pieces. Put pot back on the burner and turn back on to low heat. Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture. Stir mixture through all the soup. Add almond milk, salt and pepper. Heat soup until bubbly again, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

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Gluten Free Sage Sausage Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

I decided to try my hand at making gluten free stuffing this year. I enjoy stuffing but I don't have to have it on Thanksgiving. I didn't really miss it last year. But I got to thinking that there are probably some gluten free friends out there who love stuffing and will miss it this holiday. So to all of you, this one's for you! :) I started with Udi's gluten free bread because I knew that they make a good gluten free bread. To be perfectly honest, I've only tried 2 brands of gluten free breads because when I went gluten free I decided to use that as an opportunity to branch out of the old standby at lunch, the sandwich. Udi's gluten free bread is stored in the freezer. I got it out and cut it up into large cubes while it was still frozen. No need to defrost first. I cut a slice in half, then each half into another half. Then I turned the slices and cut them across the slices in half, then those halves in half again. This created the right size cubes for stuffing. I got 16 cubes from each slice of bread. Then I baked the cubed bread in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes to dry the bread. Good stuffing comes from taking the time to dry out the bread first.

While the bread was drying, I chopped up my celery and onion and began sautéing in a little butter and olive oil. I chose to used butter and olive oil so that I could get the flavor from the butter without having to use all butter. I sautéed the vegetable until they were tender. Then I poured them into a large bowl and add the sage and black pepper.

Next I browned my sausage. We are rather picky about our meats and we buy all of our meat from a local farmer that raises grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free livestock. It is really good quality meat that we can feel good about eat and feeding to our kids. It is more pricy than cheap meat in the store, but about the same price or even a little less than the cost of organic grocery store meat. The local meat that we buy has a freshness and leanness that does not compare to the store. Try to find your own local farmer that is raising healthy livestock. It is worth the effort for you and your family. Anyways, back to the stuffing. :)

After browning the stuffing, I added it to the cooked veggies and spices and added the cranberries and walnuts. Then I stirred in the dried bread cubes and tossed it all around until it was mixed well and the bread was slightly coated with all the ingredients. Next drizzle on some organic chicken stock, just enough to moisten the bread. Then pour into a baking dish and bake until it is heated through and smells amazing!

I am so pleased with how this recipe turned out! It is savory and delicious. I took it to an extended family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and every really enjoyed it, even the non-gluten free family members. That's a success! But I would love to hear what you all think about it. Let me know! :)

Gluten Free Sage Sausage Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

14 oz. Udi's gluten free bread, cubedIngredients for Gluten Free Sage Sausage Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

3 stalks organic celery, diced

1 large organic onion, diced

1 tbsp. organic unsalted butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. ground sage

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 lb. fresh loose sage sausage

3/4 c. dried organic cranberries

3/4 c. walnuts

3/4 c. organic chicken stock

Dry the bread cubes in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes. While the bread is drying, heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan and add the diced celery and onion. Sauté the vegetables until they are tender, but not browned and overcooked.

Pour the cooked vegetables into a large bowl and add the sage and pepper; stir until evenly distributed.

Cook the sausage in the pan until browned. Then add the sausage to the vegetable and spices in the bowl. Add the cranberries and walnuts and stir to combine.

Add the dried bread cubes to the bowl and toss all the ingredients together until the bread is slightly coated with the ingredients. Drizzle the chicken stock over the cubes and stir together. Use just enough stock to moisten the bread.

Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish and pour the stuffing in it. Then cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes or until the stuffing is heated through. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to slightly brown up some of the stuffing.

Makes about 8 servings.

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Gluten Free Granola Made with Coconut Oil and Honey

I want to share my granola recipe with you today. You would think that making granola would be simple enough; but actually, it has taken me some time to finally come up with a recipe that is exactly what we wanted. And this recipe is just that! It has enough crunch without being hard. It is lightly sweetened with honey, a great sugar choice. And the fat in it is a really healthy fat- coconut oil. Now that I've found exactly what we were looking for in a granola, I make this recipe all the time. Sometimes I switch up the nuts from almonds to walnuts. And sometimes I stir raisins into the warm granola after it is done baking. Other than that, we love this granola exactly as it is.

I feel like granola gets a bad rap sometimes because it always seems to be on one of those "healthy foods that aren't really healthy" kind of lists that you see around the internet from time to time. But I don't think that is true. I think granola is a great addition to your diet. And by "diet" I mean the food that you regularly eat, not a food restriction. I really dislike that this word as been robbed of it's original meaning and now whenever you hear the word, you probably think of calorie reduction. But, that's another subject for another time. :)

Anyways back to what I was saying, I think that it is the commercially made granolas that can be loaded with fat and sugar. But when you make your own, you can chose the amount and kind of sugar and fat you add to yours. And by fat, I am only referring to the oil added, not the nuts. People can get so hung up on the fat in nuts that they are afraid of eating them. But actually, nuts are load with good fats, the kind of fats that are beneficial for your brain, organs and skin. Nuts are filling too so they are a great snack. Sure, if you eat a couple cups of nuts in a day, that's too much. But this is a good example of if you eat intuitively then you will eat only what your body needs. Eating intuitively takes away the focus on the calories and serving sizes and focuses on listening to what your body needs and when it is satisfied.

Our favorite way to eat this granola is on top of greek yogurt with hemp seed hearts. Hemp seed is an excellent source of protein, omega-3's and 6's, thiamin, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese. It is quite the wonder food! Have you tried hemp seed yet? It has a delicious nutty flavor. We've tried a couple and our favorite brand is Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. So good!

Granola and hemp seed is good on fruit flavored yogurt. But my favorite way to eat it is on plain greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and about a cup of frozen blueberries. Words cannot describe how delicious this is! I eat it all the time! It is a satisfying and well-rounded meal that is good for breakfast or lunch. I have even packed it to eat for supper when I am at the hospital for a clinical night for school. Great energy source!

Another one of my favorite ways to eat it is with a bowl of fresh fruit in the summertime. My favorite combo is fresh peaches, blueberries and strawberries topped with granola. That is summertime eating at its best!

Why not make some today? Then you will have it to eat on all week too. And if you are gluten free like I am, make sure that you are using a certified gluten free brand of oats. Oats are well known to be easily cross-contaminated with wheat. So make sure you are eating GF oats. I like Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats. They have old-fashioned, quick and steel-cut GF oat options. Not only are they gluten free, but they taste better too. I'm not sure how, but they definitely taste better than other brands of oats.

I hope you try this granola and love it as much as we do!

Gluten Free Granola Made with Coconut Oil and Honey

In a large bowl, stir together:

3 c. old-fashioned GF oats

1 c. steel-cut GF oats

1 c. sliced almonds or chopped walnuts

1/2 c. unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. cinnamon

 

In a small bowl, stir together:

4 tbsp. coconut oil

4 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Pour over the dry ingredients and stir together with a spatula until all the ingredients are moistened and throughly combined. Pour the granola onto a cookie sheet. Place in a preheat 325 degree F oven and bake for 15 minute. When done, cool completely then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Optional:

1 c. organic raisins

When finished baking, pour the granola back into the large bowl and stir in raisins. Then cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Serve with greek yogurt and fruit or with a bowl of fresh fruit. Yum!

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Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

20130105-175114.jpgYou know that butternut squash that has been sitting on your counter for a while? The one that you grew for the first time or saw at the farmer's market or store and decided to buy for the first time, but now that you have it, you aren't sure what to do with it. This recipe is a great use for that lonely squash. This soup is creamy, filling, and comforting. Perfect for this time of year! This is another one of my husband, Ron's recipes. He likes to make a big pot of this soup on Sundays for his lunches during the coming week. It is a great option for a quick and healthy lunch on the go.

Butternut squash has become his favorite squash. He is planning on growing a lot of it this summer. In addition to the great taste, some other reasons Ron loves this squash is because it is easy to grow and it stores really well. Making it a great choice to grow for the purpose of storing and using over the winter months.

It's January; chances are where you live, it's cold outside or at least colder than you probably like. This is the perfect time to try out a new soup recipe. Why not try this one and make a pot of creamy, hot soup that not only is delicious, but also serves up a healthy dose of vegetables?

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 yams, peeled and chopped

1 butternut squash, peel with vegetable peeler, slice in half, remove seeds, and cut into large chunks

3 tbsp. butter or 2 tbsp. olive oil

12-16 c. stock, chicken or vegetable, more for a thinner soup and less for a thicker soup

salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Prep all the vegetables first, peeling and chopping.

2. Heat oil in a 8 quart stock pot then add the vegetables. Vegetables for Creamy Butternut Squash Soup3. Sauté until all the vegetables are soften, for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Cover vegetables with stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until vegetable as very soft.

 

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5. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor.

 

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Makes 4-6 servings.

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Quinoa with Tomatoes and Sautéed Veggies

I have a friend who recently discovered quinoa and loved it! She has been on the lookout for more recipes using this wonderfully versatile ingredient. So today I am posting this recipe for her and anyone else looking for a new quinoa recipe. If you are not familiar with quinoa, you should really put it at the top of your list of new things to try in 2013. It is a wonderful grain that is a complete protein and full of so many nutrients. To read more about the health benefits of quinoa, check out my recipe and post for Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit and Nuts. As I mentioned in that post, I use quinoa in place of any grain. It can replace pasta, rice, or couscous. And now that I'm gluten-free, it is an especially wonderful ingredient to have in my pantry. It is really quick and easy to make and can be a simple go-to grain for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. This recipe can be adjusted to utilize whatever produce you have on hand. If it is summer, use fresh tomatoes and corn in it. You really can't beat that flavor. But if it is winter, go ahead and substitute the fresh corn with frozen corn. Or any other frozen vegetables that you have. In winter, I skip the tomatoes because where we live there are no tasty fresh tomatoes. Instead of adding tomatoes, I add another vegetable, like peas or broccoli. It is still delicious that way. Whatever vegetables you add is up to you, just be sure to add a few varieties. This is a tasty way to get a variety of veggies in your day. Enjoy in good health!

 


Quinoa with Tomatoes and Sautéed Veggies

Quinoa with tomatoes and veggies

 

Ingredients

*Use as much of each ingredient to suit your taste preferences and how much you need for the number of servings you are making. For 1 serving for myself, I used about a cup of quinoa, 1/2 of a medium onion, 1/2 of a bell pepper, 1 ear of corn (or 1/2 - 3/4 c. of frozen corn, or any other frozen veggie) and 1 tomato.

For 4 servings:

4 c. pre-cooked quinoa, either leftover from another meal or made beforehand

2 medium onions, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped, use any color of pepper or combination of colors you like

2-3 c. veggies (fresh or frozen corn, peas, or broccoli; if frozen, allow veggies to defrost a few minutes before using)

2 tbsp. olive oil (if you need more when sautéing, add a splash or two of water, instead of more oil)

4 chopped tomatoes, fresh is best here

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil, add the chopped onions and peppers and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. Next, add the corn (or other veggies) and finish sautéing until all the vegetables are cooked but still crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, reheat the quinoa in the microwave and chop the tomatoes.
  4. When the vegetables are finished cooking, stir them into the warm quinoa and top it off with the tomatoes.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tip:

Get the pre-washed quinoa if you want to save yourself some time. Otherwise it has to be rinsed well first to remove the bitter coating that protects the quinoa from birds eating it. And if you don't have something with small enough holes to rinse it in, it can be kinda annoying to rinse. The package will say if it is pre-rinsed or not.

 

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Pasta Toss with Lemon

Autumn is officially here; but don't tell that to the weather, because summer is desperately trying to hang on for just a little bit longer. However before we know it, it will be time for sweaters and soups. If you are trying to hang on to summer for a little longer too, then I have the perfect dish for you. This pasta dish captures all the sunny flavors of summertime. So mix up a bowl of this pasta toss, sit back and enjoy summer for just a little longer.  

Chicken and Summer Vegetables Pasta Toss with Lemon 

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 chicken breast

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 small bell pepper, chopped, choose a red, yellow or orange pepper

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1/2 c. vegetable broth, lower sodium, no msg

juice from 1/2 large lemon

2-3 medium plum tomatoes, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz. angel hair Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta

 

Fill a large pot with water. When water comes to a boil, add the angel hair pasta and cook according to the box’s directions.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Cook in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large skillet until done. While the chicken is cooking, chop the vegetables. When the chicken is done, remove it from the skillet and keep it warm in a covered dish. To the pan, add the onion, garlic and pepper; cook until partially done, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and sauté for another 3 minutes or until the vegetables are almost done and still crisp. Add a splash of the broth while sautéing the vegetables if there is not enough oil left in the pan after cooking the chicken. To the sautéed vegetables, add the juice from the lemon, the remaining broth, the tomatoes and the cooked chicken. If you love the taste of fresh lemon juice, add the juice from the whole lemon. Otherwise, the juice from half of the lemon is just enough to bring out the freshness and brighten up the flavors of the dish, without adding much of a lemon flavor. Simmer for 3 minutes. Toss with the cooked pasta and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

271 Calories

4 g. fat

0.6 g. saturated fat

17 mg. cholesterol

97 mg. sodium

74.5 g. carbohydrates

7 g. fiber

5 g. sugar

14.5 g. protein

Ron's "Big Mac"

So what do you do when you are craving a Big Mac, but you've see the documentaries Food, Inc. and Supersize Me and know just how bad that food is for you? You make your own, of course! Only you make it with better ingredients and lighter. And that's just what my husband, Ron did. He started by making the burgers with grass-fed beef from a local farm. Then for the "secret sauce" he looked online and found several versions. But in the end, he ended up using those as a guide and made his own sauce. For the cheese, he chose to use cheddar cheese, instead of overly processed American cheese. And when it was time to assemble the sandwiches, he just used one hamburger bun and one burger. No need to have two burgers with twice the sauce and an extra layer of bread. So as you can see, it was not an exact replica of a Big Mac, but the result was far better! The burgers had flavor that no burger from the restaurant could match. And the whole sandwich had less fat and calories than a traditional Big Mac. So the next time that you are hungry for one, try Ron's version and make your own! *Check out the nutritional information for Ron's Big Mac compared to the restaurant's at the end of the recipe. Not only is Ron's version lower in calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs and sugar, but it is also made from higher quality ingredients.

Ron's Big Mac

1 lb. grass-fed, ground beef

1 oz. cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or shredded

5 hamburger buns

15 dill pickle slices

1 medium onion, raw slices or diced and sautéed

5 large pieces of green leafy lettuce, not iceburg

sauce:

1/4 c. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. french dressing

1 tbsp. ketchup

1 tbsp. sweet relish

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. white vinegar

pinch of salt

 

Assemble the sauce first. Add the mayonnaise, french dressing, ketchup, relish, sugar, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Stir together. Set the bowl of sauce aside and let the flavors blend together while you are making the burgers.

Shape the beef into 5 thin patties and cook your favorite way. If you have some spices that you love in your burgers, add them. This is your burger, you can make it your own way. When the burgers are done grilling, move them to a plate and top with cheddar cheese. Cover the plate of burgers with tinfoil to keep them warm. Let the burgers rest for about 10 minutes before assembling the sandwiches.

To assemble the sandwiches, first toast the hamburger buns in a toaster oven or under the broiler in the oven. Then spread both sides of the bun with the sauce and top with a burger. Place 3 pickles and some onion on top of each burger. Then top all that with a piece of lettuce. Don't use iceburg lettuce; try a green leafy lettuce, something with some nutritional value. Then place the top bun on top and you are ready to eat!

Makes 5 burgers.

Nutritional information per burger: (for a restaurant burger, information from their website:)

424 Calories (540 Calories)

26 g. fat (29 g. fat)

6 g. saturated fat (10 g. saturated fat)

64 mg. cholesterol (75 mg. cholesterol)

662 mg. sodium (1040 mg. sodium)

27 g. carbohydrates (45 g. carbohydrates)

1 g. fiber (3 g. fiber, not sure how they came up with that number)

6 g. sugar (9 g. sugar)

21 g. protein (25 g. protein)

 

Grilled Zucchini

The first day of summer is just one week away and today we just harvested our first zucchini from our organic garden. I have been looking forward to this day since last year. Last summer, at the end of the summer unfortunately, we discovered this wonderful way to eat zucchini. This method is a great way to eat up the zucchini that were overlooked in the garden and grew to giant sized before they were discovered. Because we knew how delicious grilled zucchini is, we purposely left our first zucchini of this year in the garden for a couple of more days, so it could grow nice and big. The smaller zucchini are delicious in stir-fry or on veggie pizza but the large ones are wonderful grilled! Oh and we can't forget about zucchini bread and zucchini chocolate cake! So many delicious things to make, I can't wait until the zucchini really start pouring in so I can make all these wonderful dishes. And from the looks of our plants, we'll have plenty of zucchini to enjoy! Grilled Zucchini

1 large zucchini, about 12 inches

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

ground black pepper

Wash off the outside of the zucchini. Slice into large circles, about 3/4 inch pieces. Drizzle on some olive oil and use your fingers to rub it all over both sides of the zucchini circles. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Cook on a medium-high skillet or grill at 400°F. Turn the zucchini half way through grilling. Grill the zucchini until both sides are browned and the zucchini is softened, about 8-10 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings for a side dish or 2 servings for a main course.

Nutritional information per side dish serving:

73 Calories

7 g. fat

1 g. saturated fat

0 mg. cholesterol

303 mg. sodium

3 g. carbohydrates

1 g. fiber

1.5 g. sugar

1 g. protein

Bacon, Basil and Tomato Pizzettes

This recipe was created in collaboration with my husband. It was something that we came up with one day and last weekend we finally got a chance to make it and try it out. We were very happy with the results! These little pizzettes are so tasty!! They reminded us of a cross between bruschetta and a BLT. The basil and tomatoes give the mini pizzas a such fresh flavor. My husband likes  more basil than I do, so on his pizzettes, he piled on the basil. While on mine, I added a bit less. That's why I do not have an amount for the basil listed in the recipe. You can add as much or as little basil as you please. These pizzettes make a perfect appetizer for guests or add a side salad and you have a light and tasty supper. I hope that you enjoy these as much as my husband and I did! Bacon, Basil and Tomato Pizzettes

1 ball of pizza dough

8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 c. fat free sour cream

12 slices bacon

6 Roma tomatoes

a bunch of Basil

 

Set the cream cheese out on the counter to warm up to room temperature and soften. Cook the bacon and set aside on a paper towel to drain off the excess grease. When it has cooled, crumble the bacon. Cut each tomato in half, remove the seeds, then dice into small pieces. Chiffonade (cut into strips) or chop the bail, or leave the basil leaves whole and just remove them from the stems. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Roll out the pizza dough to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Use a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut out the dough into little rounds. Place the pizza rounds on a baking sheet, prick all over with a fork and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Using a wisk or mixer, mix the cream cheese and sour cream together until they are completely combined. Spread a spoonful of the cream mixture on top of all the pizzettes. Then top with the bacon, tomatoes and basil. If you don't want all the toppings falling off, you could stir the bacon, basil and tomatoes into the cream cheese mixture. Serve with a salad for a light supper or as an appetizer.

Makes 36 pizzettes.

Nutritional information per pizzette:

85 Calories

3 g. fat

1 g. saturated fat

6 mg. cholesterol

217 mg sodium

10 g. carbohydrates

0.3 g. fiber

2 g. sugar

4 g. protein

Quick and Easy Beans and Rice

If you are in a hurry to make a quick and healthy dinner or if you need a cheap meal to plug into your weekly menu, then this is the recipe for you! This recipe takes no prep work and just about 25 minutes to make from start to finish. And most of that time you are doing nothing but waiting for the beans to simmer on the stove. It is a low fat, waistline friendly dinner that is still very filling. The fiber in the beans and brown rice and the protein in the beans help to fill you up without being high in fat or calories. It's a inexpensive meal to make too! For four servings, all it takes to make this dish is a can of beans, some spices that you probably already have in your pantry, 2 cups of uncooked rice and 2 cups of corn. Beans and Rice is a wonderful dish to add to your menu once a week if you are trying to stretch your weekly grocery money a little bit more. This is something that I grew up eating and now I regularly make it for my own family. And my kids love it! Give it a try. I think that you'll be surprised by how tasty a simple dish can be. Quick and Easy Beans and Rice

1 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed well

1 c. water

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

2 c. uncooked brown rice

2 c. frozen corn kernels

salsa, to taste

Combine the beans, water and spices in a medium-sized pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. While the beans are simmering, cook the rice and corn according to the directions on the packages. After simmering for 20 minutes, the liquid in the pot of beans will reduce and slightly thicken, creating a sauce for the dish.

The corn can be eaten on the side, but it is delicious stirred into the beans and rice. The sweetness of the corn is a nice contrast to the flavors of beans and rice. Stirring in some salsa also adds some more depth of flavor. Add as much or as little salsa as you like.

Makes 4 servings.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

326 Calories

1 g. fat

0 g. saturated fat

0 mg. cholesterol

196 mg. sodium

67 g. carbohydrates

9 g. fiber

3 g. sugar

12 g. protein

"Taste of Summertime" Pasta

What do you get when you combine grilled chicken, fresh herbs, and pasta? You get a taste of summertime! That's where this dish gets it's name from, because we think of summertime whenever we eat it. This pasta dish is light, super easy to make and tastes so fresh. It is also adaptable, depending on the season. We grow a few herbs in our kitchen window sill so that we have fresh herbs all year long. And depending on how cold it is outside, we have been know to grill with snow on the ground. :) So even when it's cold and snowy, you can make this dish and be reminded of warmer days. Of course if you don't feel like grilling chicken in the cold, you could cook your chicken on top of your stove or bake it in the oven. In the summertime, I like to add some fresh tomatoes and serve the dish cold. It is a light and refreshing dinner, perfect for a hot summer evening. "Taste of Summertime" Pasta

1 chicken breast, grilled and chopped

8 oz. Ronzoni Smart Taste Rotini Pasta, cooked

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh basil, sliced into thin strips

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

Grill the chicken breast, then set it aside to rest for 10 minutes before chopping it into bite-sized pieces.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package's directions. When the pasta is done, drain it and run it under cold water to cool the pasta off. Then pour the pasta into a large bowl. Add the olive oil, basil, parsley, lemon juice, salt and tomatoes. Toss the pasta and the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. Let the pasta dish warm up slightly for about 10 minutes before serving so that the full flavor can come out. Eating the cold pasta straight out of the fridge will dampen the herb flavors a bit.

For warm pasta:

Omit the tomatoes. Use penne or spaghetti pasta. Keep the chicken warm after cutting it up. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it but do not rinse it. Add all the ingredients to the large pot that the pasta was cooked in, toss together and cover to keep warm until ready to eat.

Makes 4 servings.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

298.5 Calories

6 g. fat

1 g. saturated fat

36.5 mg. cholesterol

159.5 mg. sodium

46.5g. carbohydrates

7.5 g. fiber

4 g. sugar

20 g. protein

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My sister made this dish for my family a few years ago and we loved it! Now we make it ourselves fairly often. The recipe originally came from my sister's mother-in-law so I don't know what cookbook the recipe is from. This mac and cheese recipe is so easy to make since it doesn't require making a cheese sauce for it. Another reason that I love this recipe is because it calls for cottage cheese and sour cream in addition to the cheddar cheese. I use fat free cottage cheese and sour cream and the end result is a cheesy dish that is lighter than most macaroni and cheese dishes. As I mentioned before, I like to use Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta because it taste great and it has added calcium, vitamin D and fiber. I usually serve this dish as the main course with a vegetable and fruit on the side for a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz. elbow noodles

1 egg, slightly beaten

16 oz. fat free small curd cottage cheese

8 oz. fat free sour cream

8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

Cook the elbows according to the package directions. Meanwhile, beat the egg with a fork in a large bowl. Add to the beaten egg, the cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir together until completely combined.

When the noodles are done, pour them in a strainer and run cold water over the noodles, stirring them at the same time so that they don’t stick together. It’s important to cool the noodles before adding them to the egg and cheese mixture. Otherwise the hot noodles with start to cook the egg and you’ll end up with scrambled egg in your mac and cheese.

Stir the cooled noodles into the egg and cheese mixture until the noodles are completely covered. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake uncovered for 50 to 55 minutes until the dish is hot and bubbly.

Makes 8 servings.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

280 Calories

10 g. fat

5 g. saturated fat

56 mg. cholesterol

550 mg. sodium

29 g. carbohydrates

4 g. fiber

5 g. sugar

16 g. protein

Roasted Yams

Yams are a wonderful addition to any meal and shouldn't be saved just for holiday meals. Just one serving of yams provides 6 grams of fiber and 43% of vitamin C. One of my favorite ways to serve yams is roasted. Chop up the yams, toss them with some olive oil, honey, cinnamon, a little bit of salt and pepper, place them in the oven and in 30 minutes you have a delicious and nutritious side dish. Keep the skins on the yams too. Even if you don't usually eat the skins on a baked yam. I think that you'll see that when you roasted the yams with the skins, you don't even notice the skins when you're eating them. And by eating the skins, you'll get the full amount of fiber per serving. Roasted Yams

2 large yams, washed and dried

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of coarse kosher salt (about 1/8 tsp.)

dash of black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Chop the yams into large cubes. Yams are hard to chopping so be careful to not cut yourself. It’s okay if the cubes aren’t perfect.

Place the chopped yams into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together to coat the yams. Turn the yams out onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed very well. The yams will stick if you don’t grease the pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Flip the yams every 10 minutes so that all the sides of the yams can brown.

 

Makes 4 servings.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

158 Calories

2 g. fat

0 g. saturated fat

0 mg. cholesterol

70 mg. sodium

33 g. carbohydrates

4.5 g. fiber

2 g. sugar

1.5 g. protein

Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes make a wonderful side dish and round out a meal really well. Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes and of course, who doesn't love french fries? The problem with french fries is that the process takes a food that is good for you and makes it not so good for you. Potatoes are a nutritious addition to a meal; it's what we do to them that makes them not always a good choice. Did you know that a medium potato has just 110 calories, no fat, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, some calcium and iron, as well as almost half of your daily requirement of vitamin C? It's a great choice for a side dish. Just don't counteract all that goodness by frying it! That's why I love to make roasted potatoes. With roasted potatoes, they are tossed in a small amount of olive oil and baked at a high temperature resulting in a crispy outside to the potato that resembles a french fry without actually being fried. And your kids can still dunk them in ketchup if they want to. Another reason that I love to make roasted potatoes is because the recipe is so versatile. Depending on what flavor you want to complement your meal, you can change up the spices accordingly. You could use thyme or rosemary, some garlic or onion powder, or any other of the seasoning mixes you can get at the store. Just check the label on your seasoning mix because some already contain salt so you may not need to add any additional salt. If you're not feeling adventurous, you can't go wrong with using the italian seasoning mix. There's a whole lot of flavor in every bit when you use that mix.

Roasted Potatoes

4 medium sized potatoes, washed and dried

1/2 tsp. italian seasoning spice blend, without salt

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Liberally spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Chop the potatoes into large cubes and put them in a large bowl. Sprinkle the potato cubes with the spices and salt, then drizzle the olive oil all over everything. Use a large spoon or clean hands to toss everything together until the potatoes are completely covered.

Pour the potatoes onto the greased baking sheet and spread them out. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the potatoes and put them back into the oven for another 10 minutes. When the potatoes are done, they are a light golden brown and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Makes 4 servings.

Roasted Potatoes with Bean Enchilada

Nutritional information per serving:

130 Calories

2 g. fat

0 g. saturated fat

o mg. cholesterol

398 mg. sodium

26 g. carbohydrates

2 g. fiber

1 g. sugar

3 g. protein

Honey Dijon Chicken

Want to get your kids interested in cooking? This recipe is great for little helpers. This is my daughter's favorite recipe to help make. She proudly announces at the table that she helped make dinner. It super easy to make for grownups and kids alike. Kids love to mix the sauce and the chicken together. And since it's all done in a large storage bag, their hands stay clean and you don't need to worry about them touching raw chicken. For the chicken, I prefer to use strips for this recipe so that more of the chicken is covered with the honey dijon sauce. You could use chicken tenders but it's cheaper to use breast and cut them into strips yourself. Try getting your kids involved in the kitchen. It's a great place for them to learn lots of skills, like numbers, math and measuring. And kids that help to make their own dinner are more likely to eat it too! Honey Dijon Chicken

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast about 1 1/2 lbs., cut into strips

1 gallon size plastic storage bag

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Cut the chicken breast into strips by cutting across the breast. Each breast can be cut into 6 or 7 strips.

In a large plastic bag, add the olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together in the bag by squishing the bag in your hand. Once the ingredients are well blended, add the chicken and seal the bag. Then coat the chicken in the sauce by rubbing the chicken with your hand on the outside of the bag. When the chicken is coated, remove the chicken and place on a lightly greased baking dish. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.

 

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information:

235 Calories

3.5 g. fat

0 g. saturated fat

96 mg. cholesterol

438 mg. sodium

4 g. carbohydrates

0 g. fiber

4 g. sugar

36 g. protein

Bean Enchiladas

As I mentioned in a previous post, I created this recipe for Bean Enchiladas when my son was younger and had many food allergies, including beef, chicken and dairy. This recipe is so easy to make and it's lighter than traditional beef enchiladas. I used to make the recipe from the side of the enchilada sauce can which called for two cans of enchilada sauce, one for the filling and one to top the enciladas. While those were tasty, the amount of sodium from the sauce alone was quite a lot. Now I just use one can of sauce for the topping. For the filling, I use a can of tomato sauce with no added salt, along with some of my Taco Seasoning in place of the can of enchilada sauce. For the rest of the filling, I use beans instead of ground beef. That cuts down on the fat and saturated fat and increases the amount of fiber. I've used different kinds of beans depending on what I have on hand but the combination of black beans and navy beans is by far my favorite. Now that we're not dealing with food allergies anymore, I add some cheese to our enchiladas but the cheese could easily be left out and that was how we ate them for a year. Now that we have the choice I like to add some cheese. Of course, if you are on a diet you can save 73 calories, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat by leaving the cheese off. I also like to roll the filling in whole wheat tortillas instead of white flour tortillas. The final result is tasty Mexican dish that is lighter than before.  

Bean Enchiladas

1 (15 1/2 oz.) can of black beans, drained and rinsed well

1 (15 1/2 oz.) can of navy beans, drained and rinsed well

1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce, no salt added

4 tsp. taco seasoning

6 whole wheat tortillas

1 (10 oz.) can of enchilada sauce, mild

Optional- 4 oz. shredded cheese (cheddar, longhorn or something similar), half for the filling and half for the topping

 

Optional toppings:

lettuce

tomatoes

sour cream

salsa

 

Canned beans have a lot of sodium in the sauce so make sure that you rinse your beans very well. Then in a large bowl, mix together the beans, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Fill tortillas with the bean mixture and cheese, if you are using some. Roll up the tortillas and place in a lightly greased 13x9 pan with the seam side facing down. Pour the enchilada sauce over top of the tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the enchiladas. Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350°F oven for about 20-25 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbly. Serve topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and salsa, if you wish.

Makes 6 enchiladas.

Bean Enchiladas and Roasted Potatoes

 

Tip: Add shredded cheese and sour cream for the family members that can have dairy; however, the enchiladas are delicious without the cheese or sour cream.

Nutritional information for 1 enchilada with cheese:

358 Calories

8 g. fat

4 g. saturated fat

3 mg. cholesterol

1003 mg. sodium

53 g. carbohydrates

12 g. fiber

5.5 g. sugar

16.5 g. protein

Taco Seasoning

As I mentioned in a previous post, I grew up eating tacos on a regular basis. I love tacos; however, I did not love the headaches that I was getting from eating tacos. I narrowed down the cause of my after dinner headaches to MSG. And since most packages of taco seasoning have MSG in them, I had two choices: stop eating tacos or make my own mix. Of course, I opted for making my taco seasoning since I couldn't imagine not eating tacos. In addition to eliminating the MSG, some other advantages of making your own taco seasoning are that you can control how much sodium is in your mix and how spicy you want your mix to be. There are many variations to taco seasoning mix that can be found on the internet. This is the combination of spices that my family likes. The great thing about making your own mix is that you can customize it to suit your taste. So give it a try!

Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paparika

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

Stir all the spices together.

 

To make tacos with this seasoning mix, brown 1 pound of extra-lean ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the taco seasoning mix and 1/2 cup of water. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Top tortillas or hard taco shells with the meat and top with you favorite toppings, like cheese, fat free sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and salsa. Guacamole is also delicious on tacos and since it is so creamy, it can replace the cheese and sour cream. Although avocados are high in fat, the fat is unsaturated fat. So it is a great replacement for the saturated fat found in cheeses and sour cream.

To reduce the amount of meat in your taco, try layering your whole wheat tortilla with a base of refried beans first; then add half the amount of taco meat that you would have normally added without the beans. The advantage of doing this is that you can reduce the amount of fat and saturated fat from the red meat  and stretch your dinner. Stretching 1 pound of taco meat into two or more meals, depending on the size of your family, will save you time and money when you can just reheat the leftovers for the next night or two. I like to stir in a little bit of the taco seasoning into the refried beans before I heat them. Then you have the flavorful seasoning all throughout your taco. 

 

Chicken Burritos

When I was growing up, my family had "Taco and Chicken Fajita Night" almost every Saturday night. It was something that we all looked forward to, even the friends or boyfriends that were joining us for dinner that night. It's fun to create traditions and memories around mealtimes. To this day, whenever I make tacos for my own family, either my husband or myself will mention the "Taco Nights" that we used to have with my family. Now my "Taco Night" often includes Chicken Burritos or Bean Enchiladas. I started making Bean Enchiladas when my son was younger and had so many food allergies, including beef, chicken and dairy. We really enjoyed having beans in tortillas so after he grow out of his allergies, I created these Chicken Burritos with refried beans. By including the beans, not only is there the added benefit of the fiber from the beans, but the beans also stretch the meal further. One can of refried beans is far less expensive than a few chicken breast that it would normal take to fill six burritos. My recipe calls for just 1 chicken breast to make 6 servings of burritos! I like to use the vegetarian refried beans because they don't include lard. Also skip the regular white tortillas and try multi-grain or whole wheat tortillas. Maybe you can try these tonight and start your own family tradition. Chicken Burritos

2 c. shredded cooked chicken breast (1 large breast)

16 oz. vegetarian refried beans

1/2 c. salsa

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. paparika

1/2 tsp. oregano

4 oz. shredded cheese, something like a cheddar or Monterey Jack

6 whole-grain tortillas, warmed right before assembling

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the chicken, beans, salsa and spices in a large bowl and stir together. Warm the tortillas slightly to make them easier to roll up when assembling the burritos. Divide the mixture evenly on the tortillas, top with the cheese and roll up, placing seam side down in the pan. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and more salsa, if you want some extra spice.

Makes 6 burritos.

 

Nutritional information per burrito:

308 Calories

11 g. fat

6 g. saturated fat

31 mg. cholesterol

1093 mg. sodium

35 g. carbohydrates

8 g. fiber

3 g. sugar

17 g. protein

Pasta Arrabbiata

For a while it seemed like we were eating Spaghetti at least once a week, every week. It had become our quick go-to meal when we were rushed for dinner. Boil the noodles, top with spaghetti sauce, serve with a green vegetable and fruit on the side and dinner was done in about 15 minutes. But then we discovered pasta with arrabbiata sauce. This is just as easy to make as spaghetti and it is so good! Although my husband and I love this dish, it's a bit too spicy for our kids. So whenever I make this, I top their noodles with spaghetti sauce while topping ours with this spicy sauce. All you need to make this dish is olive oil, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and pasta. I like to use Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta because this pasta has added calcium and fiber that regular pasta doesn't have. And it's still taste like regular pasta! For some people the strong taste of whole wheat pasta deters them from eating anything but regular pasta. With 7 grams of fiber per 2 oz. serving, Smart Taste pasta is a great way to get the extra fiber without the strong flavor. And, no, they aren't paying me to say this. :-) I'm just passing along what I've discovered. My kids eat whole wheat sandwiches every day but they still did not like the whole wheat pasta so I was excited when I tried this pasta and they loved it! The next time that you want pasta for dinner, try this spicy dish. It's quick, easy to make and so tasty! Pasta Arrabbiata

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less according to your heat preference)

1 14.5 oz. can of Fire-Roasted tomatoes

8 oz. pasta (something hardy, like penne)

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the pasta and cook according to the package's directions.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium heat until the onions and garlic are softened and the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the liquid cooks down some and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Top the cooked pasta with the arrabbiata sauce, toss and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

 

Nutritional information per serving:

281 Calories

8 g. fat

1 g. saturated fat

0 mg. cholesterol

278 mg. sodium

51 g. carbohydrates

9 g. fiber

5 g. sugar

6 g. protein

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is one of my husband's favorite dishes. It's a warming and hearty meal that is delicious, not only on St. Patrick's Day, but also during all the cold months of winter. Since my husband loves this dish so much, I wanted to create a version of the dish that would be lighter and still delicious. I decided to load my recipe with lots of vegetables, extra-lean grass-fed beef and a gravy made from organic vegetable broth. The mashed potatoes that top the dish are mixed up with just a little bit of butter and some fat free sour cream to round out the flavor. I like to top the whole dish with some shredded cheese. Since I don't want to use a lot of cheese, I like to use an extra-sharp cheddar so that I can get more flavor from less cheese. The result is hearty and satisfying. All your meat, potatoes and vegetables are in one dish. Just add some fruit and bread and you have a well-balanced, delicious meal.

Shepherd's Pie

for the mashed potatoes:

6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

enough water to cover the potatoes in a large pot

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream

4 tbsp. skim milk

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

 

for the filling:

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced

2 stalks of celery, sliced

6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1 lb. extra-lean, grass-fed ground beef

1 c. frozen corn kernels, partially defrosted

1 c. frozen peas, partially defrosted

1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes, no salt added

16 oz. organic vegetable broth, no msg and reduced sodium

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsp. cornstarch plus 2 tbsp. cold water

2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

 

Step 1: start by getting your potatoes ready to be made into mashed potatoes. Add the potatoes, salt and enough water to cover the potatoes in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chopped potatoes. The potatoes are done when a fork can easily pierce them.

Step 2: start working on the filling part of the dish by prepping all your of your vegetables. Wash, peel and chopping the garlic, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Also measure out your frozen corn and peas and set them aside so that they can partially defrost before you use them.

Step 3: heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.

Step 4: add the ground beef and continue to cook the mixture until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 5: add the corn, peas, tomatoes, black pepper and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Step 6: make "gravy". Stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of cold water until it is completely combined. Then stir the cornstarch liquid to the boiling broth and vegetable mixture. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. The vegetable broth will thicken up into a glossy gravy-like liquid.

Step 7: make mashed potatoes. Drain the cooked potatoes and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Mix the potatoes for 30 seconds to break them apart then add the butter, sour cream and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix on a medium speed until the potatoes are completely mashed. Stir in the salt, pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk, using more or less depending on the thickness of the mashed potatoes.

Step 8: assemble the dish. Pour the beef and vegetable mixture into a 9 by 13 baking dish. Drop large heaping spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes on top, scattered all over the dish. Carefully spread the potatoes out until the top of the beef and vegetable mixture is covered with mashed potatoes. Lastly, sprinkle on the shredded cheese and place in a preheated 350°F oven. Bake uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dish is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional information per serving:

320 Calories

9 g. fat

5 g. saturated fat

45 mg. cholesterol

468 mg. sodium

39 g. carbohydrates

6 g. fiber

7 g. sugar

19 g. protein