Cheesy lentils and rice
Makes about 10 cups
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Standing time: 5 minutes
2 cups uncooked brown lentils
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, with liquid
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Reduced-fat sour cream for garnish
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lentils and rice. In a large bowl, combine lentils, rice, broth, tomatoes and green chilies, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and half the cheese. Mix well and spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese. Cover with nonstick foil; bake 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes; garnish with cilantro and sour cream before serving.
Per serving: 319 calories, 19 grams protein, 8 grams fat (23% calories from fat), 5 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 616 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.
Carb choices: 3.
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes, plus noodles
6 ounces wide or medium curly no-yolk noodles
1 pound fresh bite-size broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 orange
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
Cook noodles according to directions; drain. Microwave broccoli on high (100% power) 4 minutes or until tender. In a small skillet, heat oil on medium-high and add walnuts; cook 1 minute. In a large bowl, combine cooked noodles and cooked broccoli. Add walnut-oil mixture to broccoli mixture; toss to mix. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, orange juice, and salt and pepper to taste; toss again. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 161 calories, 5 grams protein, 7 grams fat (37% calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 26 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Carb choices: 1.5.
Savory bean and pasta salad
Makes 5 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: for the pasta
6 ounces medium shell or penne pasta
2 (15-ounce) cans three-bean salad, lightly drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 ounces)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cook pasta according to directions; drain and rinse. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta and all remaining ingredients; toss to mix. Cover and chill until serving time.
Per serving: 310 calories, 13 grams protein, 6 grams fat (16% calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 54 grams carbohydrate, 12 milligrams cholesterol, 811 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.
Carb choices: 3.5.
Serve it with grilled chili-cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread. Drain 1 (4-ounce) can whole green chilies. Put 1 chili between 2 slices (any) cheese on whole-grain bread. Coat both sides of bread with cooking spray and grill in skillet until cheese melts. Slice diagonally and serve with pickles.
Mix 1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans, 1/2 cup mild salsa and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder in a small saucepan. Heat on medium about 5 minutes or until warm. Spread about 1/4 cup mixture along center of each of 8 (8- to 10-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce and 1 tablespoon shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Fold over sides and ends and serve with additional salsa.
Place 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (flattened to an even thickness) on unheated rack (coated with cooking spray) of broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat about 6 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 teaspoon lime zest (green part only), 1 tablespoon canola oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Brush both sides of chicken with glaze. Broil 5 to 15 minutes more, until chicken is tender or internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, brushing often during the last 5 minutes.