Skinny Mini Meatloaves

These individual meat loaves are a fun way to serve dinner.  My kids love getting their “own” meat loaf.  I made these in a jumbo muffin tin, but you could make them in regular muffin tins or in small loaf pans as well.  To make them a little healthier than the normal meat loaf, I replaced half the ground beef with ground turkey.

Skinny Mini Meatloaves

  • 1/2 plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, divided
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (at least 80/20)
  • 3/4 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp egg substitute

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray jumbo muffin tins (or desired pans) with cooking spray.

In medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, parmesan cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, ground meats, and egg.   Stir to combine.  Divide mixture into 6 jumbo muffin tin cups, pressing down into the cups.  Top each with 2 tsp ketchup.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

 

Serves: 6

Weight Watchers Points + : 7 pts each

 

Advertisements

Skinny Pasta with Garlic Pesto

I love quick, no fuss dishes in the summer, and this one certainly fits that bill!  If you have basil growing in your garden, you probably have everything you need already!

Skinny Pasta with Garlic Pesto

  • 14 oz spaghetti or fetuccini
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • extra parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
  • meatballs, optional

Place basil, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and garlic cloves in food processor and pulse until smooth.  With machine running, slowing add olive oil.  Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Toss with pesto and top with shaved parmesan cheese and meatballs, if desired.

Quick and Easy Taco Soup

I created this soup recipe last week when I didn’t have much time prepare dinner.  It’s a great week night meal because it takes just 30 minutes to from start to finish.  You can also add other veggies, such as peppers and onions, without adding to the Points Plus value.  I chose not to add any meat because I didn’t have any thawed at the time, but this would be great with ground beef or turkey, or chopped/shredded chicken added as well.  But, keep in mind that this will change the cooking time and the Points Plus value.

If you’re going to use ground beef or turkey, brown that in your soup pot first.  Continue as below.

Pour 14 oz. of chicken broth into soup pot.

Nex, stir in one can of Fat Free Refried Beans

Add one can Black Beans, along with juices.

Add one can White Beans, along with juices.

Now, you can either add one can whole kernel corn, drained or 1-1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn.  (I used frozen corn and simply measured it with an empty bean can!)

Now, add 2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic.  I used fire roasted tomatoes with garlic…very yummy!

Finally, toss in 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning.

Stir everything together and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes. 

That’s it friends!  It is THAT simple.

Here’s a more print-friendly version of the recipe, with Points Plus values.

Quick & Easy Taco Soup

14 oz chicken broth

1 can fat free refried beans

1 can black beans, with juices

1 can great northern beans, with juices

1 can whole kernel corn, drained OR 1-1/2 cups frozen corn

2 can diced tomatoes with garlic

1 tbsp taco seasoning

Stir all together in large soup pot and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Serves: 8

Points Plus per serving: 4

Baked Meat Pies

Several years ago, while on vacation in Texas, we took a day trip to Natchitoches,  Louisiana.  You’ve probably never heard of the town, but they are famous for their meat pies.  Naturally, we had to have one, so we headed over to Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant downtown.  The meat pies are basically a pastry dough jam packed with a ground beef and pork mixture and deep fried until golden brown.  Delicious?  Yes.  Good for you?  Not so much.  I decided to try to make my own version, that would be a little less artery-clogging.  Here’s the result.

You need 1-1/2 cups of cooked meat.  For this healthier version, I used ground turkey.  You can use any type of meat you desire – ground beef, ground pork, chopped up steak, shredded chicken, sausage, etc.  And of course, you can use a combination of meats. 

To make the filling mixture, in a large bowl, combine the cooked ground turkey(or whatever), 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, 1/4 cup finely diced sundried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup egg substitute.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set this aside while we prepare the crust.

I used frozen puff pastry to make it quick and easy.  Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions.  Unfold the patry and cut it into thirds along the fold lines.

Place 1/4 cup of the meat mixture on one half of each rectangle.   Sprinkle a tablespoon of fat free shredded cheese on top of the meat.

Moisten edgess of pastry dough with water.

Fold dough over filling and press the edges with tines of a fork to seal.

Spray the tops of the dough with cooking spray, and cut a few slits in the top for the steam to release.  Bake at 350 until golden brown.

These things are SO flippin’ good.  They are 9 points each when made with ground turkey (or 95% lean ground beef or shredded chicken), so while I wouldn’t exactly call them a super low point food, they’re not extremely high in points – like the original would be!  Pair one of these with a nice salad and you’ve got a great meal.

BAKED MEAT PIES

  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked ground turkey (or other meat)
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 6 tbsp shredded fat free cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

Unfold pastry and cut each piece into thirds along folds. 

Combine remaining ingredients in bowl.  Place 1/4 cup of mixture on one half of each pastry rectangle.  Moisten edges of pastry with water and fold over filling.  Press edges with tines of a fork to seal.  Bake at 350 until golden brown. 

Serves 6

Points per serving:  9 (Made with ground turkey, 95% lean ground beef, or chicken)

**Don’t forget to enter for the Rouxbe Lifetime Premium Membership giveaway HERE.

Southwestern Eggrolls

blogfood 126

Remember the Pizza Sticks  I talked about a couple days ago?  And I told you that I’d share another filling that would be fab-o done the same way?  Well, here it is.  Southwestern Eggrolls.  I could’ve called them Southwestern Sticks I guess…but that just sounded funny to me, so I went with eggrolls instead. 

Here’s the filling I came up with for this version.  It’s basically just some things I threw together, nothing real precise.  It could easily be one of those clean-out-the-fridge type meals.

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup corn

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained well

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

Approx. 1/2 cup salsa or taco sauce

Just cook your beef  until it is browned and onions are soft.  Place it in a bowl and add the black beans…

blogfood 101

and add onions, corn and cheese.  Although, next time I think I’ll cook the onions with the ground beef so they’ll lose their crunch.

blogfood 103

Add the spiced and stir together.  Add just enough salsa or taco sauce to hold the mixture together.  You don’t want it to be too wet, or the sauce will ooze out during baking.

blogfood 104

Roll up into egg roll wrappers just like for the pizza sticks. Place on a baking sheet.

blogfood 100

Spray with cooking spray and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

blogfood 121

And that, my cooking friends, is a Southwestern Eggroll!  Easy and delicious.  Like the Pizza Sticks, these can be served as a main dish, or as an appetizer. 

 

Happy Cookin’!

Pizza Sticks

blogfood 119

I made it!  I promised I’d add a recipe on Friday and it’s still Friday…for a couple hours anyway! 

So, today I’m sharing a fun kid-friendly recipe that is super simple to throw together.  You know those rectangular shaped pizza snacks that you get in the freezer section?  Well, it’s like that…only tubular and they taste much better! 

All you need is your favorite pizza fixin’s – pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and anything else that tickles your fancy (cooked ground beef, onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc) and some egg roll wrappers.  That’s it! 

Here’s how it goes down.  First, you chop up any large pieces of stuff like the pepperoni, veggies, etc (I just used pepperoni this time)…blogfood 079

And shred your cheese, if it’s not shredded already (I actually julienned some swiss cheese slices because that’s what I had on hand, and it tasted great!)  Throw it all together in a bowl, along with any other toppings you wish to include…

blogfood 077

Then I decided to throw in some leftover ground beef I had in the freezer (Thawed first) and some chopped garlic.  It’s not rocket science here…if it sounds good, throw it in!

blogfood 080

Now stir in just enough pizza sauce to make the mixture just  hold together…

blogfood 081

You don’t want it soupy…just barely moist enough to hold together.

Now, get out your egg roll wrappers and lay one down with a corner pointing toward you, like this…

blogfood 090

Then, place a line of filling, oh about 2-3 tablespoons, about two inches up from the bottom corner, like so…

blogfood 091

Then, fold the bottom corner up over filling and start rolling up…

blogfood 093

Now, fold in the side corners…

blogfood 094

blogfood 096

Now, moisten the top corner with a little water…

blogfood 098

And finish rolling it up…

blogfood 099

Place seamside down on a baking sheet.  I lined mine with parchment paper.  Why?  Because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to wash another pan!  Seriously.  Continue with the rest of the egg roll wrappers and filling.  Then, spray the tops of the rolls with cooking spray and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Yes…I use the stuff in the green can.  I’m not a parmesan cheese snob.  I mean, yeah, the real stuff is much better…but when it’s going in pizza sticks for kids?  I’m not wasting my money.  My kids like canned stinky cheese.  Actually, they love it…I think we go through a can a week or something.  Wait…I’m rambling on about stinky cheese, aren’t I?  Back to our regularly scheduled program.  Bake those sticks at 425 for about 15-20 minutes or until they’re a light golden brown.

blogfood 117

 

That’s it, people.  Homemade pizza snacks.  They’re healthier.  They’re bigger.  They’re yummier.  And, let’s face it…they’re cuter.  Just look at them all lined up like the Rockettes…

blogfood 120

You can’t tell me you’d rather eat a regtangular frozen piece of who knows what?

Up next…same type of a roll-up but another filling for a whole different flavor!

Taco Pasta

The other night I had thawed out and starting cooking some ground beef to make tacos.  I didn’t check to make sure we had everything we needed for tacos because, well, we always have what we need for tacos.  Always.  Except that night.  I opened the fridge to grab the tortillas and…um…hello??  Where are my tortillas?  I could have sworn that we had some, but no.  No tortillas.  Dug through the cabinets and found no hard taco shells either.  I was really in the mood for something of the mexican persuasion, so I was really bummed and agrivated.  And I had already started cooking the ground beef, so I had to do something with it.  And at that time, my friends, Taco Pasta was born.  I just made it up on the fly, and it turned out really good.  My husband says it was too much like “Hamburger Helper” for him, but he’s just weird, so I told him to bite me.  The kids and I thought it was great. 

So, to make this quick and easy Taco Pasta, you simple brown a pound of ground beef in a pan, throw in a can of black beans (rinsed and drained well), some tex-mex seasoning (I make my own – recipe below – but you can also use packaged taco seasoning), a little lime juice and some salsa – I just added until it looked moist enough.  If you didn’t have salsa, you could just add some choped onions, peppers, garlic and cook it along with the ground beef, then add some canned tomatoes.  That would work perfectly fine too, I’m sure. 

Cooking2 027

Then,  just boil some pasta until it’s al-dente (which means:  until  it’s done but still has a little bit of a ‘bite’ to it…it shouldn’t be total mush…mushy pasta…eww.)

Add the pasta to the meat mixture…

Cooking2 029

Then add a couple handfuls of shredded cheese…

Cooking2 030

Just cook through until the cheese melts and spoon it into serving bowls and top with a little more shredded cheese and some diced tomato.  (If we’d had an avocado, I’d have diced that up and put on top too.  But alas…no avocados in the house either)…

Cooking2 031

 

Like I said, the kids and I really like this and I thought it was a great quick-fix meal.  I may even try it using spanish rice instead of the pasta sometime…and maybe that would appease my Hamburger Helper-fearing husband.  He’s weird.  Did I mention that already?   And you could also do this with chicken instead of beef.

 

And here’s how I make my own Tex-Mex Seasoning.  You can adjust these spices to your tastes…

Combine the following in an airtight container:

2-1/2 tbsp chili powder

1-1/2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp cumin

2 tsp oregano

1 tbsp garlic powder

1-1/2 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (omit or use less if you like it mild, use more if you like it hot)

1 tsp salt

For one pound of ground beef, I use about 2 tablespoons or so of this seasoning.

 

If you have certain recipes or types of things you’d like to see here on my blog, please let me know…I’m always willing to experiment!