Recipes That Are Fast, Easy and Healthy

I have joined a fantastic group of ladies, who are involved in a weekly blog project. Every Thursday, we will dazzle you with our insight on various topics. And each week, we take turns coming up with the idea for the blog topic. Please check out their blogs as well, listed under my Blogroll section. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Mom Of Many (Susanna): One Mom’s perspective on life, raising kids, knitting and other unrelated topics.

For this week’s topic, Melissa chose something that is near and dear to my heart: Cooking.

Now, I’m not the world’s greatest cook by any stretch of the imagination. I’d say I do all right. My husband seems to enjoy what I make him, and the kids get excited over a few dishes (the ones that don’t appear to have many vegetables). Often I’ll make something everyone loves and no one has a clue as to how many vegetables are lurking. My love for cooking has grown as I’ve gotten older, and I appreciate the resourcefulness that comes from making healthy meals at home, versus going out to eat all the time.

It also helps tremendously that I love food.

So, I am going to share some recipes my family will always say, “Yay, that’s for dinner!” to, instead of, “Eww, are we having that again?!?”

TORTELLINI SOUP:

The boys LOVE this recipe, and it’s so fast and easy to make! Also, you can always put more chopped vegetables in and let them simmer with the broth. They will be so tender, the kids have NO CLUE what’s in there. But you do, and that’s what counts!

1 tbs. olive oil*2 celery stalks, chopped (no leaves)*1/2 cup chopped carrot*7 cups low-sodium chicken broth*12 oz package frozen tortellini (I’ve also used ravioli)*2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I grab canned)*salt and pepper to taste*grated parmesan, optional (the kids LOVE it)

1. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add celery, carrot (and any other veggies you’d like to add; I’ve added zucchini, onions and/or squash) and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Stir in broth and increase heat to bring to a boil. Add tortellini once broth is boiling, and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in chicken, and cook for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with parm cheese, if desired. Serve with cornbread, garlic bread or rolls.

TURKEY BURGERS

These are so tasty, and I use 99% fat free ground turkey.

1/2 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs*1/3 cup milk*3 tablespoons ketchup*1 egg*1/2 teaspoon salt*1/4 teaspoon pepper*1 pound ground turkey*2 tablespoons olive oil*hamburger buns (you can get whole wheat)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, milk, ketchup, egg, salt and pepper. Stir until well blended, and then add the ground turkey. I mix it with my hands to really make sure it’s all mixed.

2. Put the olive oil in a frying pan. Take a small handful of the mixture, shape into patties and place in the frying pan. Fry on medium-low heat. Cook each side roughly 5 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

3. Serve on buns with various condiments such as ketchup, mustard, etc. You can also add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, pickles, etc. I also serve the burgers with fresh fruit and a pasta side.

BEEF AND PARMESAN PASTA

Another recipe where veggies are hidden- this one calls for zucchini, but you can add a variety and no one knows!

1 tbs. olive oil*1 pnd lean ground beef*1 (14 ounce) can beef broth*1 (14.5 ounce) can intalian style diced tomatoes*2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta*1 cup chopped zucchini*3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (although I’ve used the stuff in the bottle before

1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot on medium heat. Throw in zucchini and/or other chopped vegetables. Cook until tender.

2. Add beef to the pot and brown beef. Drain cooked beef mixture in a colander.

3. Return beef mixture to the pot, and add beef broth, can tomatoes and pasta. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring frequently.

4. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread or rolls and a side salad.

HOMEMADE FRIES

The kids LOVE these! And, they are so healthy!

A few russet potatoes or sweet potatoes*a little bit of olive oil in a bowl*salt*pepper*garlic powder

1. Set oven to 375 degrees.

2. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into circular or half moon shapes, like this:

you can cut them more like traditional fries, but it takes more time and my boys don’t really allow for that at dinnertime. So, I cut them like this, only peeled.

3. Dip your fingers in the olive oil, and rub the potato pieces. Sprinkle them on both sides with seasonings.

4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes. I always check them halfway through and flip them to the other side and then continue cooking. Serve with ketchup.

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