Dinner Recipes

My word for 2012 is intentional.  There are several areas in which I am focusing my intentionality.  One of which is healthy dinnertime meals.  My husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol, so these meals represent his recommended eating plan...no red meat, low sodium, no white bread or white potatoes, and overall a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. My focus is dinner meals right now, but eventually I hope to include breakfasts, snacks, and lunches.

I need a place to keep all of my recipe ideas so I remember what we've made and what we like!  I hope that you will find these recipes helpful, as I am very excited about only having to go to one place to decide on our menus!  

Note: We are trying new recipes each month until we get about 30 yummy heart-healthy recipes.  This list will be growing each month!!!

Please feel free to share any healthy recipes your family loves!


April update - My Hero had more bloodwork done and his levels are almost completely in the normal areas now!!!!!!  Yippee!!!!!  Diet (and exercise) make such a difference!  :-D


Our Top Dinner Ideas:
1. Chili-Rubbed Tilapia
2.Chicken Tetrazzini
3. Quick Zucchini Parmesan*
4. Chicken Tortilla Soup*
5. Spicy Chicken Tacos
6. Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach*
7. Pork Tenderloin Southern Style
8. Honey Sauced Chicken (in crock pot)
9. Quinoa Burgers
10. Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
11. Veggie burgers (Publix Greenwise brand)
12.Honey Lime Tilapia
13. Tuscan Vegetable Soup

14. Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas (add chopped red and green peppers)
15. Foil-Pack Chicken and Artichoke Dinner
16. Turkey Sloppy Janes*
17. Garden Fresh Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce*
18. Linguine and Spinach Pesto*
19. Strawberry Spinach Salad*
20. Monterey Chicken
21. Kickin Chicken Burgers
22. Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken (freezer meal)
23. Tuscan-Style Chicken with Italian Sauteed Beans
24. Chicken Pitas with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
25. Avocado Chicken Parmigiana 
26. Avocado Spinach Grilled Cheese
27. White Chipotle Chicken Chili
28. Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili*
29. Pesto Tortellini Soup*
30. Zesty BBQ Chicken (in crock-pot)
31. Mexican Chicken Lime Soup (Add 1 can of no-salt added corn, chopped zucchini, and black beans.  Only use 1 chili pepper.)
32. Spicy Black Bean Burgers
33. Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce
34. Zesty BBQ Chicken (crockpot)
35. Italian Chicken
36. Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas
37. Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

38. Taco Soup (make with chicken, add zucchini, and substitute homemade taco seasoning)
39. Tuscan Sausage Soup
40. Chicken and Wild Rice Soup* (not considered heart-healthy, but a family favorite)
41. Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas
42. The Chew's Baked Artichoke Chicken



*See recipe below

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Quick Zucchini Parmesan (recipe from my aunt, not sure of original source)
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 medium roma tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium zucchini
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta

1. In a 9" skillet, heat oil, add onion and saute until golden.  Add garlic.
2. Stir in tomatoes and salt, cook 2 minutes.  Wash zucchini and tip off and discard ends.  Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine basil and oregano and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.  Sprinkle cheese mixture over zucchini and pat firmly onto zucchini.
4. Remove 1/2 of tomato mixture from skillet.  Arrange zucchini slices in skillet.  Spoon removed 1/2 of tomatoes over slices.
5. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan, and mozzarella.  Sprinkle over zucchini.  Cover tightly and simmer 8-10 minutes.  Uncover and broil until cheese browns.  Serve with pasta or rice. 


Our Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup (not sure of original source)
3 large chicken breasts
8 cups of water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 (16oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 small package frozen corn
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 medium zucchini, sliced and diced
3 yellow squash, sliced and diced
2 large carrots (or about 2 handfuls of small ones (sliced)
1 can mild rotel
3 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. garlic powder
Boil 8 cups of water and cook chicken in water for broth  Remove chicken (shred or cut into bite-sized pieces) and add bouillon cubes to broth.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add veggies, sauteed mixture, and all other ingredients.  Boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  (**Can also be put in crock pot and cooked on high until vegetables are soft.)

Serve with chips, cheese, avocado, and sour cream.


Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach (my variation from a Taste of Homerecipe)
1 cup light (or fat free) ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat (or fat free) cottage cheese
1/2 pkg. (5oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
10 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 small fully cooked rotisserie chicken, skinned and chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 3 1/2 cups chopped)
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 small yellow squash, chopped
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup crumbled light feta cheese
8 ozs. shredded light mozzarella cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, spinach, egg, oregano, and black pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water and drain again.  Set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in 1 T olive oil until onion is tender.  Stir in tomato paste, water, zucchini, squash, salt, oregano, and pepper.  Simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray.  To assemble lasagna, spoon 1 cup sauce over bottom of pan.  Arrange 3-4 lasagna noodles over sauce.  Top noodles with another cup of sauce followed by 1/3 chicken, 1/3 feta, and 1/3 mozzarella.  Arrange 3-4 more noodles over top, followed by 1 cup sauce, 1/3 chicken, all of the ricotta/spinach mixture, 1/3 feta, and 1/3 mozzarella.  If you have enough sauce left over, repeat layering with remaining noodles, sauce, chicken, feta, and mozzarella.  Sprinkle parsley over top.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Turkey Sloppy Janes (from a Whole Foods publication, not sure which one)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 TB no-salt-added tomato paste
1 cup grated carrots (from 1 large carrot)
3/4 ground turkey breast
1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
5 tsp yellow mustard

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and cook until starting to stick and lightly brown, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, carrots and 2 TB water and cook 2 minutes longer or until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally and scraping any browned bits from the surface of the pan. Add turkey and cook 3 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break it up as it cooks. Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Serves 4.


Garden Fresh Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce (recipe from vendor at Amelia Island Farmer's Market)
1 lb linguine, uncooked (I plan to use spinach)
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 15 oz. can Italian-flavor tomato sauce
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I plan to use olive oil)
1 lb. fresh asparagus cut 1-inch (about 2 cups)
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to directions; drain. In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and black pepper; mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until slightly thickened. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, zucchini, and bell pepper. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender. Combine pasta with vegetable mixture and toss well. Spoon tomato sauce over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.


Linguine and Spinach Pesto (recipe from vendor at Amelia Island Farmer's Market)
1 lb. linguine, uncooked (I plan to use spinach)
1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed, well drained
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I plan to use olive oil)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup water
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Prepare pasta according to directions; drain. In blender or food processor, combine spinach, oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and basil. Blend at medium speed or process until finely chopped. Melt butter in water. With blender or processor running, gradually pour in melted butter mixture until blended. Toss with pasta. Sprinkle feta on top and serve. Serves 8.


Strawberry Spinach Salad (from my friend, Rachel)
8 cups fresh spinach leaves (or 2 bags of spring mix salad)
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 can (11-ozs) mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup sliced no-salt-added almonds
Thickly-grated Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. paprika
Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. In a jar with a tight fitting lid combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Drizzle over salad and serve immediately.  



Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (my mom via Southern Living, Jan. '04)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
5 cups chicken broth
1 (6.2 oz) Uncle Ben's Fast Cook Wild Rice
1 10 oz frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups cooked chicken
8 oz Velveeta
1 can cream of chicken soup

Sauté onion and carrots in Dutch oven over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add 5 cups broth, seasoning packet from rice box, broccoli, and chicken.  Bring to a boil, stir in rice, reduce heat, cover and cook 5 minutes.  Add cheese and soup.  Cook until melted.

1 comment:

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