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What's for Dinner: Chicken, turkey and tuna made quick

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Manage the dinner rush this week with five recipes that come together in 30 minutes or less.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Makes 6 servings. Source: Texas Cooperative Extension.

     6     English muffins, whole wheat preferred

     3/4  cup barbecue sauce

     1 1/2     cups cooked chicken, cut up

     3/4  cups shredded cheddar cheese, regular or smoked

     2     green bell peppers, chopped

HEAT oven to 450°. Slice English muffins in half and place on a large nongreased cookie sheet.

SPREAD barbecue sauce on English muffins to within 1/4 inch of edges. Top with chicken, cheese and bell pepper.

BAKE 7 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.

SERVE with a green salad and low-fat frozen yogurt and fresh berries for dessert.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 260 calories, 4 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 720 milligrams sodium, 38 grams total carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 4 grams sugars, 18 grams protein.

Party Time Pasta

Makes 6 servings. Source: California Department of Health.

     1/2     pound lean ground turkey

     1     teaspoon paprika

     1     14.5-ounce can tomatoes, crushed

     1     14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

     2    cups bow tie pasta, uncooked

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

     1/2  cup fresh parsley, or 4 tablespoons dried

     1/2  cup bread crumbs, seasoned, dry

     1/4  cup Parmesan cheese, grated

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 parsley, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over vegetables in skillet. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes before serving.

ADD garlic bread for a complete meal.

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 grams total carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugars, 14 grams protein.

Spinach and Meat Cakes

Makes 6 servings. Source: California Department of Health.

     1     pound lean ground turkey

     1     pound bag of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

     1/2     onion finely chopped

     2     garlic cloves, minced

     1/2     teaspoon salt

     Black pepper to taste

     3    cups brown rice, cooked according to package directions

HEAT frying pan without oil.

COMBINE all ingredients except brown rice in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

FORM mixture into 12 balls. Place in frying pan and flatten into patties using a spatula. Cook over medium heat until cooked on both sides.

SERVE over brown rice.

SERVE with a salad made of dark green leafy greens, sliced red bell pepper and feta cheese.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 270 calories, 6 grams total fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 340 milligrams sodium, 27 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram sugars, 21 grams protein.

Tuna Melt Burger

Makes 6 servings. Source: Texas Cooperative Extension.

     1    6-ounce can tuna

     2     stalks celery

     1/2  cup shredded, processed low-sodium American cheese

     1/4  cup light mayonnaise

     1     tablespoon instant minced onion

     1/4     teaspoon salt

     1/8     teaspoon pepper

     12     slices whole-wheat bread

HEAT oven to 350°.

DRAIN the tuna and break the meat apart with a fork. Wash and chop the celery and dice the cheese.

MIX together well the tuna, celery, cheese, light mayonnaise, instant onion, salt and pepper.

SPREAD mixture on six slices whole-wheat bread and place a single slice of bread on top of each to make six sandwiches. Put each sandwich on a square of aluminum foil, wrapping the foil around the sandwiches, folding the edges securely.

BAKE for 20 minutes, or until hot in the middle. Cool slightly before serving.

SERVE with carrot sticks and low-fat ranch dressing.

Nutrition information: 250 calories, 9 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 550 milligrams sodium, 26 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 4 grams sugars, 17 grams protein.

Tortilla Pizzas

Makes 6 servings. Source: California Department of Health Services.

     12     flour or corn tortillas, small

     Vegetable oil or margarine

     1    16-ounce can refried beans

     1/4  cup onion, chopped

     2     ounces fresh or canned diced green chili peppers

     6     tablespoons red taco sauce

     3    cups vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach and red bell pepper, chopped

     1/2  cup cheese, part-skim mozzarella, shredded

     1/2  cup cilantro (optional)

BRUSH one side of each of two tortillas with water. Press the wet sides of the tortillas together to form a thick crust for the pizza. Brush the outside of the tortilla with vegetable oil or margarine. Evenly brown both sides in a heated frying pan. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas, set aside.

HEAT refried beans, onion, half of the chili peppers together in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.

SPREAD about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture on each tortilla pizza. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon taco sauce, 1/2 cup of the chopped vegetables, 1 teaspoon chili peppers and 1 tablespoon cheese for each pizza. Return to frying pan and heat until cheese melts. Top with cilantro if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information: 370 calories, 8 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 850 milligrams sodium, 63 grams total carbohydrate, 6 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams sugars, 15 grams protein.

Shopping list

Green pepper

Parsley, fresh

Cilantro

Onion

Celery

Mushrooms

Spinach

Red bell pepper

Garlic

English muffins

Flour or corn tortillas, small

Diced green chili peppers

Taco sauce

Refried beans

Crushed tomatoes

Chicken broth

Bow tie pasta

Tuna

Barbecue sauce

Ground turkey

Cooked chicken

Frozen mixed vegetables

Frozen chopped spinach

Shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Pantry staples: paprika, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, light mayonnaise, instant minced onion

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. SNAP provides nutrition assistance to people with limited income. To find out more, contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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


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