Brrrr. Baby, it’s cold outside. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy hearty home-cooked meals. Here are two healthy, delicious main dishes your whole family will enjoy. Make cooking a family affair. Let the kids help with chopping vegetables and mixing ingredients. It’s a great way to teach them healthy eating habits and introduce them to the joy of cooking. Bon appetit!
10 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups Super Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce (see below)
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 10-ounce bag baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups grilled chicken, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or substitute 1 teaspoon dried coriander)
• Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place two to three corn tortillas on the bottom, trimming as necessary for a good fit.
• Add beans, 1 cup tomato sauce, and ½ cup grated cheese. Top with two to three more corn tortillas. Repeat. Add chicken and 1 cup tomato sauce. Top with two more corn tortillas. Add 1 cup tomato sauce, ½ cup cheese, and cilantro.
• Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned and chicken is reheated.
• Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into eight even squares, and serve.
Super Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce
2 t. olive oil
1 t. garlic, chopped (about 1 clove)
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
2 15-oz. cans no-salt diced tomatoes
1 5-oz. can low-sodium tomato juice
1 T. fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 t. dried)
1/4 t. ground black pepper
• In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until soft, but not browned (about 30 sec.). Add diced red peppers and cook for 2–3 minutes, until the peppers begin to sizzle. Add tomatoes, tomato juice, basil, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. (Sauce can be puréed for picky eaters.). Use immediately. Or, refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for 3–5 days or freeze for 1–2 months.
Garden Turkey Meatloaf
2 c. assorted vegetables, chopped (mushrooms, zucchini, red bell peppers, or spinach)
12 oz. 99 percent lean ground turkey
1/2 c. whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 c. fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 T. ketchup
1 T. fresh chives, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 t. dried)
1 T. fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 t. dried)
1 T. ketchup
1 T. honey
1 T. Dijon mustard
• Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
• Steam or lightly sauté the assortment of vegetables. Combine vegetables and the rest of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, and spread meatloaf mixture evenly in the pan.
• Combine all ingredients for glaze. Brush glaze on top of the meatloaf.
• Bake meatloaf in the oven for 45–50 minutes (to a min. internal temperature of 165 ºF). Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into eight even slices.
Tip: For picky eaters, try chopping vegetables in a food processer to make them smaller and less noticeable.