Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Favorites: Food!

For the last month, I've been trying to spice up our dinner menus. If left to our own devices, A and I would probably live on grilled meat with side vegetable, chinese take out, or spaghetti and meat sauce. None of which are particularly unhealthy, but I don't like to live in a dinner rut, so I've scoured the internet every Sunday for the last four Sundays looking for new recipes to add to our routine. I also tried to pick recipes that were healthy and well rounded. I've made a few adjustments to lower the caloric, fat, and sodium content. (To avoid being repetitive below: whenever a recipe calls for chicken broth, I use low sodium, and "no salt added" for diced, or crushed tomatoes.) Here are some of my favorites in categories:

Slow Cooker Meals:

Crock-Pot SCVP600-SS 6-Quart Smart-Pot Programmable Slow Cooker, Stainless SteelI LOVE my crock pot. I use it at least once a week if not more in the fall and winter. Sometimes I'll just throw whatever canned tomato product that is in my cupboard, a meat, and some rice and call it a meal. But there are so many great slow cooker recipes out there Just check out:

I call it Indian "lite". Not a spicy dish and won't overpower the house while it cooks all day. I used chicken breast instead of thighs and added some lentils for a tad more fiber. If you like spicy take the curry, and cayenne pepper amount up a notch. 

YUMMY! I love the Kraft website for tasty, no fuss meals, and this was no exception. Made it one day while Lita was babysitting, and left on warm in the crock pot for A, he enjoyed in an hour later, and it was still tasty and not the least bit soggy. Instead of serving with mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower, or just added cauliflower to your mashed potatoes. 

Pasta Dishes:

Another one of A's favorites. He actually took it to work for lunch the next day, and he's not a leftover type of guy. I used turkey sausage, whole wheat pasta, and half the amount of mozzarella cheese, maybe less than that actually....

Now I know that spaghetti squash isn't technically a pasta, but we use it as such and it's so much better for you! It's one of my new favorite things to eat and Lily loves it too. The only thing I would change about this recipes is using cheddar cheese. It was fine, but I think a shredded parmesan or an italian blend would be better. If you don't have red bell pepper or red onion, green and yellow would be fine too since everything cooks together. Use ground turkey or skip the meat all together. It's really filling either way!

I started cooking with lentils because I was feeding them to Lily. They are a great source of fiber for her, and for adults too as we have found out. I'll cook a cup or two at the beginning of the week and leave them in the frig to give to Lily during lunch or dinner (never both... you can probably guess why) and also add a 1/4 of cup or so to meals during the week. Especially soups or slow cooker dishes where they won't stand out too much. 

I actually made this in the slow cooker and it was just as good. I used chicken breasts instead of bone-in chicken pieces, and used cooked lentils that I added during the last few minutes of cooking. Also added a little more lemon juice than suggested and a bit more garlic. Delicious!

And if you want to make lentils the star of the show: Lentil Soup, from
I don't know what those big chunks of red are in the picture-- maybe they used stewed tomatoes instead of crushed? Anyway, we loved this recipe. I could eat soup once a day everyday, so this was right up my alley. I added a little Garlic & Wine Seasoning, which I LOVE, just for a bit more flavor. And if you are a sriracha sauce fan, it's a great added kick as well. 


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