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What's for Dinner? Meals to make and serve in a half-hour

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Summers are especially busy and there often isn't enough time to prepare a healthy dinner. This week's recipes focus on foods that can be made and served in 30 minutes or less. The Spanish omelet is especially quick, and everyone likes to eat breakfast for dinner. Kids think it is especially fun to eat foods "out of the norm."

Spanish Omelet

Makes 4 servings. Source: National Institutes of Health.

     5     small potatoes, peeled and sliced

     1     tablespoon olive oil

     1/2     medium onion, minced

     1 1/2     cups green and/or red bell peppers, sliced thin

     5     mushrooms, sliced thin

     3     eggs, beaten

     5    egg whites

     Pepper and garlic salt

     3     ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded

     1     tablespoon Parmesan cheese

HEAT oven to 375°.

COOK potatoes in boiling water until tender. In a nonstick pan, add oil and warm over medium heat.

ADD the onion, and sauté until brown. Add peppers and sauté until tender but not brown.

BEAT slightly, in a medium mixing bowl, the eggs and egg whites, pepper, garlic salt and mozzarella cheese. Stir egg, cheese mixture into the cooked vegetables.

OIL a 10-inch pie pan or ovenproof skillet. Transfer potatoes and egg mixture to pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

BAKE omelet until firm and brown on top, about 20 to 30 minutes.

SERVE with whole-wheat toast or English muffins.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 250 calories, 9 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 125 milligrams cholesterol, 220 milligrams sodium, 30 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugars, 15 grams protein.

Anytime Pizza

Makes 4 servings. Source: University of Massachusetts Extension Education Program.

     1    loaf Italian or French bread, split lengthwise or 4 split English muffins

     1    cup pizza sauce

     1    cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

     6     tablespoons green pepper, chopped

     6     tablespoons mushrooms, fresh or canned, sliced

     Additional vegetable toppings as desired

     Italian seasoning (optional)

TOAST the bread or English muffin until slightly browned.

TOP bread with pizza sauce, vegetables and low-fat cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning as desired.

RETURN bread to toaster oven (or regular oven heated to 350°). Heat until cheese melts.

SERVE with a fresh green salad.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 180 calories, 7 grams total fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 540 milligrams sodium, 21 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams sugars, 12 grams protein.

Baked Pork Chops

Makes 6 servings. Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

     6    pork chops (lean, center cut, 1/2 inch thick)

     1     medium onion, thinly sliced

     1/2  cup green pepper, chopped

     1/2  cup red pepper, chopped

     1/8     teaspoon black pepper

     1/4     teaspoon salt

HEAT oven to 375°.

TRIM fat from pork chops. Place chops in a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.

SPREAD onion and pepper on top of chops. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

COVER pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover pan, turn chops and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until no pink remains.

SERVE with baked sweet potatoes or cooked brown rice.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 160 calories, 9 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 150 milligrams sodium, 4 grams total carbohydrate, 1 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams sugars, 17 grams protein.

Manly Meat Loaf

Makes 6 servings. Source: Kansas Family Nutrition Program.

     1    egg

     1/2  cup nonfat milk

     3/4  cup dry oatmeal

     1     pound lean ground beef

     3     tablespoons onion, chopped

     1/2     teaspoon salt

     1/2  cup grated cheese, any type

HEAT oven to 350°.

COMBINE all ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture into greased muffin cups.

BAKE for 1 hour, or until temperature in center of meat loaf is 160°. Cool slightly before removing from muffin cups.

SERVE with your favorite vegetable. Corn tastes great with meat loaf.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 230 calories, 12 grams total fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 95 milligrams cholesterol, 330 milligrams sodium, 9 grams total carbohydrate, 1 grams dietary fiber, 1 grams sugars, 21 grams protein.

Party Time Pasta

Source: California Department of Health.

     1/2     pound lean ground turkey

     1     teaspoon paprika

     1    14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes crushed

     1    14 1/2-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

     2    cups bow tie pasta, uncooked

     3    cups frozen vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, thawed

     1/4  cup bread crumbs

     1/4  cup Parmesan cheese

HEAT a large nonstick pan over medium heat.

ADD ground turkey and paprika. Cook and stir until meat is brown and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

STIR in tomatoes, chicken broth and pasta. Bring mixture to a boil.

REDUCE heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until pasta is almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

REMOVE lid. Place vegetables on top of pasta. Replace lid. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

MIX together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over vegetables in skillet. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 210 calories, 6 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 410 milligrams sodium, 26 milligrams total carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugars, 14 grams protein.

Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin and marital or family status. This material was funded in part by the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with limited income. To find out more, contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Shopping list

Potatoes

Onions

Green and red peppers

Mushrooms

Eggs

Shredded low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Cheese, any type

Nonfat milk

Whole-wheat toast or English muffins

Loaf of Italian bread

Bread crumbs

Pasta, bow tie

Oatmeal

Pizza sauce

Canned crushed tomatoes

Canned chicken broth, reduced sodium

Frozen vegetables

Pork chops

Ground beef, 1 pound

Ground turkey, 1/2 pound

Pantry staples: olive oil, garlic salt, salt, pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning

Beverly Glaze has a master of science degree in human nutrition and food science and is a WVU Extension specialist with the FNP adult program. Reach her at Beverly.Glaze@mail.wvu.edu or 304-634-8449.


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