Cajun sausage and rice
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 20 to 25 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
14 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Stir in broth, paste, rice, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduced heat to medium-low; simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Per serving: 523 calories, 17 grams protein, 30 grams fat (52% calories from fat), 9.4 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 62 milligrams cholesterol, 1,254 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Carb count: 3.
Chicken potatoes with pearl onions and carrots
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 6 to 7 hours
6 bone-in skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 pounds small red potatoes
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 cups baby carrots
8 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle with herbs de Provence, garlic powder and pepper. Add potatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Remove bones and serve.
Per serving: 220 calories, 24 grams protein, 3 grams fat (12% calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 24 gram carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 185 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Carb count: 1.5.
Pork roast with apples and sage
Makes 10 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (2 3/4- to 3-pound) boneless pork loin roast, well-trimmed
1 (12-ounce) jar pork gravy or au jus
4 medium gala apples, divided
Mix sage, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread over top of pork. Place gravy in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Core 2 apples and coarsely chop; add to gravy. Place pork on top. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours. Core and cut remaining apples into 8 wedges each; add to cooker the last hour of cooking. Remove pork and apple wedges to a tray; tent with foil. Let stand. Remove chopped apples with slotted spoon to food processor; puree. Add 1 cup cooking liquid to apple puree; heat. Slice pork; serve with apple wedges and apple gravy.
Per serving: 247 calories, 28 grams protein, 9 grams fat (35% calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 464 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Carb count: 1.
Spoon some chili over the kids’ favorite hot dogs (lowest-sodium lowest-fat dogs) on a whole-grain bun. Crunch on celery sticks alongside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 round buttery crackers on a baking sheet. Top each with 1 milk chocolate kiss (of 12 total) and half of 1 large marshmallow (6 marshmallows total). Bake 8 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to melt. Let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before eating.
Tuna salad sandwiches
Buy some deli tuna salad. Before you spread it on whole-grain bread, stir in some halved grapes. Add a lettuce leaf to the sandwich, too. Serve with bean soup. Add plums for dessert.
Mediterranean bulgur with chickpeas
In a large serving bowl, combine 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat), 2 diced plum tomatoes, 1 small diced zucchini and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over all; cover with foil. Let stand 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Stir in 1 (15.5-ounce) can rinsed chickpeas, 2 cups cooked broccoli florets, 3/4 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil; mix well and serve.