Have you seen those convenient packages of thinly sliced beef, chicken or pork they sell at the market?
When I’m in a mad dinner rush, they’re a God send! I can whip up a healthy stir fry in minutes with the addition of whatever vegetables I have on hand, and a simple sauce.
In fact, over the years I’ve accumulated quite a collection of stir fry recipes. This chicken and tofu served with a spicy peanut sauce is at the top of the list.
As far as I’m concerned eggs are the perfect protein choice for a quick meal. They’re inexpensive, and pack a nutritional whollop. Scrambled eggs being my version of choice.
For awhile there, the incredible egg got a bad rap. Folks watching their cholesterol intake wouldn’t touch them.
In recent years, science has discovered that eating foods containing cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll raise the cholesterol in your blood. Authority Nutrition has a quick primer on the health benefits of eggs worth a read if you have concerns. (Always check with your doc too!)
During the past few weeks I’ve asked readers to fill out this survey.
I wanted to know what you’re looking for when it comes to healthy, low calorie recipes. The most common response was that as healthy eaters, you’re looking for quick fix meals like this chicken panini sandwich.
The best way I know how to deliver on the request is to start with fresh ingredients that pack big flavor, so we just need a handful to keep things simple.
Back in the day, I would feed my family frozen chicken nuggets in the belief that I was serving them a healthy meal. After all, we weren’t eating out at the local fast food joint, so those chicken nuggets had to be a healthier option, right?
When you love a person, you’ll do anything to make them happy. That includes making their favorite clam dish, even if you wouldn’t touch a clam to your lips with a ten foot pole!
When my kids were little people, their meal of choice was chicken tenders – ketchup included on every plate.
Those days are long past, but every day I can picture their darling faces chowing down at the kitchen counter.
There is something about a bite of perfectly cooked pasta lightly dressed with sauce and cheese, that brings my family to the table in no time flat.
This week we packed our sauce with farm fresh vegetables. The market had an abundance of zucchini, yellow squash and chard that I couldn’t walk past without piling a bunch into my basket. Chunks of mushrooms add a meat-like texture.
If you’re thinking pasta is nixed on your menu because it’s packed with calories and fat, you’d be mistaken. This recipe comes in under 400 calories a serving, and is loaded with good for you veggies. It’s a meal in a bowl.
If you prefer a meatier pasta dish, this Quinoa Fettuccine with Kale, Tomatoes, Chickpeas and Italian sausage was a hit with the crowd too.
I guarantee that when you serve quinoa noodles, the taste and texture is very much the same as semolina or flour. I’ve yet to have anyone question what type of pasta I was serving.
I’m headed off to weed the vegetable garden now. Here’s hoping I’ll grow enough of my own vegetables for my next pasta cooking adventure.
Shake It Up! You could add almost any vegetable your family enjoys to this pasta dish. Fresh tomatoes and basil would be wonderful. Artichoke hearts, eggplant, kale would all work well.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium yellow squash, cubed
- 1 medium zucchini, cubed
- 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cups red chard, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend
- 29 ounces low sodium tomato sauce
- 6 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained (reserve 1 cup pasta water) I use quinoa, but whole wheat works well too.
- 8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium high heat with olive oil. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add vegetable broth as needed to keep from burning.
- Add remaining vegetable broth with garlic, squashes and mushrooms. Cook another 5 minutes to soften vegetables.
- Add Italian seasoning and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are just tender. Add chard and cook another 5 minutes to wilt the chard.
- Toss with penne pasta. If pasta seems to dry, add a bit of pasta broth to moisten.
- Top with Parmesan cheese.
Food energy: 366kcal Saturated fatty acids: 2.88g Monounsaturated fatty acids: 3.95g Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.32g Total fat: 8.15g Calories from fat: 73 Cholesterol: 42mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 57.78g Total dietary fiber: 6.77g Protein: 15.58g Total lipid (fat): 8.92g Water: 394.33g Ash: 4.17g Total sugars: 16.81g Calcium: 205mg Iron: 4.36mg Magnesium: 107mg Phosphorus: 329mg Potassium: 1370mg Sodium: 367mg