Wholesome, Delicious Meals in a Snap
January 25th, 2011

Courtesy of Ragu

wholesomePutting wholesome food on the table that your family will enjoy doesn’t have to take hours to prepare. Here are some simple recipes and tips on how to add more flavor and nutrition to your meals, making meal prep stress-free and fun for the family.

  • Keep your pantry stocked and plan ahead. A pasta meal typically takes less than 30 minutes to make. Add some pre-cut fresh, frozen or canned greens as a side dish and you have a veggie-packed meal.
  • Include your kids. This is a great way to spend quality time with your children and teach them the skill of cooking. They love to feel like they can contribute to their family and many kids will eat what they make.
  • Use leftovers for lunch. After dinner, pack any leftovers in a small container or prepare in a hero sandwich for lunch the next day.

 


No Frying Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1-pound, 4-ounce jar old-world style pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 12 ounces pasta, cooked and drained

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine bread crumbs, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then crumb mixture; turn to coat.
  • Arrange chicken in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
  • Pour pasta sauce over chicken; top with cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve with hot pasta.

Tip: Most dishes that call for frying can be baked to cut down on the fat. Try substituting eggplant for chicken for a vegetarian version.

Preparation time 20 minutes; cooking time 30 minutes.

Serves 6.


Skillet Pasta and Beef Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1-pound 4-ounce jar traditional pasta sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

Directions:

  • Brown ground beef in a 12-inch skillet; drain.
  • Stir in pasta sauce and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in uncooked rotini and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered, stirring occasionally, 14 minutes, or until rotini is tender. Remove from heat, then sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Preparation time 5 minutes; cooking time 25 minutes.

Serves 6.


Chili in Tortilla Bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 19-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 11-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 1-pound 10-ounce jar old world style pasta sauce
  • 6 10-inch burrito-size whole wheat, spinach or tomato tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded 2 percent Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

Directions:

  • Brown ground turkey in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add onion, red pepper and chili powder; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in beans, corn and pasta sauce.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, using one tortilla at a time, press into a 4-cup microwave-safe bowl to form a bowl shape. Microwave at high 1½ minutes. Let cool 1 minute. Gently lift out and arrange on serving plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • To serve, spoon chili into tortilla bowls, then sprinkle with cheese.

Preparation time 10 minutes; cooking time 25 minutes.

Serves 6.


Best Ever Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread, torn into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1-pound 4-ounce jar old-world style pasta sauce, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained

Directions:

  • Combine ground beef, bread, eggs, ½ cup pasta sauce, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a medium bowl; shape into 18 meatballs.
  • Bring remaining pasta sauce to a boil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Gently stir in uncooked meatballs. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes, or until meatballs are done. Serve over hot spaghetti.

Tip: Try adding a cube of mozzarella cheese to the center of each meatball for an easy, but fun, recipe twist.

Preparation time 20 minutes; cooking time 20 minutes.

Serves 6.