Get cooking - 5 of my favorite recipes.
I love trying new recipes - but it can be a gamble, especially if you're trying something new and different, or cooking with an ingredient you're unfamiliar with. Most of the time my efforts are rewarded with a delicious meal, but I won't lie - I've had my fair share of duds (this is where the leftovers in the freezer come in handy). In my efforts to spare you the frustration, I'll make every attempt to recommend recipes that I've already personally tried and enjoyed. Keeping that in mind, I thought I'd start by sharing a few of my very favorite recipes.
who doesn't love macaroni & cheese? This recipe replaces much of the fatty cheese and cream in a typical mac & cheese recipe with fiber-rich squash. And it can be made with any kind of tubular pasta - penne, macaroni, even spirals - yet another way to use up that dried pasta in your pantry. If you're pinched for time, you can pick up frozen mashed or pureed squash and it works equally well. If you're looking for a way to add more whole grains to your diet, you can even use a whole grain pasta. This recipe is also easy to double, and freezes/defrosts very well. Serve with a green side salad and you have a complete, filling dinner.
One of my all-time favorite chili recipes - tofu chili
This is great for feeding a crowd, and also freezes well. If you haven't cooked with tofu before, this is a great way to introduce tofu to your family. Crumble the tofu into small pieces, and it mimics the texture of ground meat; tofu is a fraction of the price of meat, and a great source of protein. I like to top this with shredded extra sharp cheddar, but use whatever chili toppings you like (sour cream, scallions, chopped onions, etc.) and serve with a side of cornbread and you have a fantastic, hearty meal.
- Another great inexpensive meat substitute - lentils! These spiced lentil tacos will satisfy even the pickiest meat eater, but without the saturated fat or cholesterol of beef. I like these in hard taco shells topped with shredded lettuce, tomato, and low-fat cheese, but this taco filling can be used just like your usual beef taco filling in whatever way you choose, soft tortillas or hard, even in a taco salad. I like to reduce the seasoning mix to just one packet, to cut back on sodium; if you're feeling especially adventurous, you can make your own taco seasoning and adjust the salt levels to meet your nutritional needs.
- Oatmeal is a great, inexpensive breakfast - and the possibilities are endless. Try topping with fresh fruit, nuts, or even stir in a spoonful of peanut butter for an extra dose of protein. Try banana, wheat germ, and oats, topped with a bit of brown sugar. For a quick, healthy breakfast on the go, try oatmeal blueberry muffins. Muffins freeze well, and go straight from freezer, to microwave, to your plate in a matter of 20 seconds. And use what you have on hand - any frozen berry would be delicious in these muffins.
- These zucchini and corn quesadillas are delicious, easy to prepare, and healthy. To increase the nutritional value and get in a whole serving of vegetables, I like to add sliced summer squash. I also use whole grain tortillas, and sometimes low-fat cheese, depending on my mood. These are delicious with sliced avocado and fresh salsa on top (more veggies!).
I've got more - much more! Come back for lots more recipe reviews and suggestions. If you're looking for something in particular, leave a comment and let me know. Happy eating!