Weekday dinner inspirations: Tortilla Pie and more

Mon | Quick soup

Use the remainder of the frozen meatballs you bought for last week's meatball pizza in a quick Italian Wedding Soup. Heat 32 ounces (1 box) of chicken broth and 1 can herb-and-garlic-flavored chopped tomatoes. Stir in a can or two of Northern beans, drained and rinsed, and add a half bag of fresh, roughly chopped spinach leaves. Dump in meatballs and heat through. Serve with breadsticks and salad.

Tue | Stuff 'em

During the low-fat diet craze, I often ate a baked potato loaded with black beans and salsa for dinner. High fiber, low fat and, of course, lots of carbs. Current diet trends are all over the place, and Stuffed Baked Potatoes can be too. Serve them for dinner to suit your own tastes: chili, onions and Jack cheese; steamed broccoli florets and cheddar; low-fat cottage cheese and chopped green onion; chopped cooked ham and Swiss.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Shred the cooked bird and make chicken burritos tonight. I'm partial to the new green salsas on the market. Consider pickled jalapeno slices for a big kick. Add grated jack cheese, crunchy romaine hearts, sour cream and guacamole, all rolled in a soft flour tortilla. Rice and beans on the side.

Thur | Kids' favorite

Tortilla Pie (see recipe below) is one of those dishes adults are embarrassed to say they like. Kids don't have any problem digging into the tangle of Mexican flavors. This recipe makes plenty; invite the neighbors . . . or the neighbors' children. It's a good way to use up that can of creamed corn languishing in the pantry.

Fri | Eat your veggies

Grill a mess of marinated vegetables — eggplant, peppers of all colors, onions, tomatoes — on the indoor or outdoor grill. Season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and serve over brown rice. For carnivores, grill shrimp or chicken to go with.

Read Stir Crazy online at www.blogs.tampabay.com/food. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

>>EASY

Tortilla Pie
2 pounds extra-lean ground
beef or turkey

2 large onions, chopped

2 cups thick and chunky
salsa

1 can (8 ounces) tomato
sauce

1 teaspoon each: ground
cumin, chili powder and
garlic powder

1 can (15 ounces) creamed
corn

12 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut
into 1-inch strips

3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated,
reduced-fat cheddar cheese
or Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add ground meat and onion and cook until done. Remove from heat. Add salsa, tomato sauce, seasonings and creamed corn. Mix well.

Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer mixture with the tortillas, starting with 1/4 of the meat mixture and topping with 1/3 of the tortilla strips. Continue layering, ending with the meat mixture. Cover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add cheese and bake another 5 minutes.

Serves 10.

Nutritional information per serving: 288 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated), 533mg sodium, 31g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 23g protein.

Source: Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas by Brenda J. Ponichtera (Small Steps Press, 2008)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Tortilla Pie and more 08/05/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 12:49pm]

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