These recipes feed a family of four for well under $10.00 per meal!

Stuffed Bell Peppers:

Makes: 2 Meals (4 servings each meal)

Ingredients:

8 Bell peppers (green, red, yellow or orange)

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes (plain or Italian seasoned)

3/4 Cup Minute Brown Rice

3/4 Cup water

1 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1 Tbls. Worcestershire Sauce

1 1/2 cups shredded 2% milk cheddar cheese

1 cup Tomato sauce

Method:

Cut tops from peppers and set tops aside. Discard seeds and membranes from peppers, rinse well and season with salt and pepper. Place peppers in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, remove stems and dice pepper tops to make 1 cup diced peppers.

In a large skillet over medium heat sauté’ onion and diced bell pepper 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned (drain excess fat). Add undrained tomatoes, uncooked rice, water, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is just tender. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese.

Stuff peppers with meat mixture. Place 4 stuffed peppers each into two deep, medium size casserole dishes. Cover peppers with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and top with remaining shredded cheese.

Cover one pan tightly with plastic wrap, and then with a layer of aluminum foil. Using a permanent marker, label the foil with the recipe name and date. Place in freezer and use within 3 months (thaw overnight in the refrigerator or microwave thaw just before cooking, and then cook following the directions below).

Pre-heat oven to 350oF. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Soup

Makes: 2 Meals (4 servings each meal)

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1 1/2 cup diced carrots

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbls. McCormick dried, crushed Rosemary

1 Large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (15 oz.) cannelloni or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cup sliced zucchini (fresh or frozen)

1 1/4 cup green beans (fresh or frozen)

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Garnish:

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

2 Tbls. Diced green onion

Method:

In a large (6 qt) stock pot, brown ground beef over medium heat with onion, carrot, garlic and rosemary. Add tomatoes with liquid, beans, broth, zucchini, green beans, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Remove half the soup and place in a shallow freezer safe container. Cover, label with contents and date, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or microwave thaw just before reheating.

Evenly divide the remaining soup into each of four soup bowls. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and diced green onion.

Optional Bruschetta Topping for Soup:

1/2 loaf French or Italian Bread (Baguette bread is best), sliced thin

3/4 cup (3 ounces) Shredded Fontina, Provolone, Jack or Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350oF. Place sliced bread on baking sheet, Bake 5 minutes, turn and bake and additional 3-5 minutes (lightly brown on each side). Remove from oven and immediately top with shredded cheese. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes to melt cheese. Serve with Tuscan soup.

Recipe adapted from Washington State Dairy Council, Naturally Nutritious....Everyday Family Meals.

 

Mac and Cheese Casserole Cups

Makes: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

3 1/4 Cups reduced-fat milk

3 Tbls all-purpose flour

8 ounces (2 cups) reduced-fat mild shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup light shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

10 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups dry) Elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Method:

Preheat oven to 350oF. In a medium to large saucepan, slowly add 1 cup of milk to flour, stirring constantly until all lumps have dissolved. Add the remaining milk, stirring thoroughly. Place saucepan on stove over low-medium heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese, and the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, stir until blended. Add macaroni, stirring gently to coat well. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Scoop the mac and cheese mixture into each muffin cup to fill. Top with the reserved 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Place 1/2 of the mac and cheese muffin cups in a freezer safe container. Cover and seal well. Label with contents and date. Freeze for up to 3 months. Remove 1 or move mac and cheese cups from the freezer, as desired, and defrost then immediately re-heat in the microwave (microwave defrosted cups on high approximately 1 1/2 minutes).

Recipe adapted from 3-A-Day of Dairy, http://www.3aday.org

 

Hearty Beef Stew

Makes: 2 Meals (4 servings each meal)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lb beef stew meat

2 Tbls. Meijer canola oil

1 tsp. meat tenderizer (or salt)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1 lb baby carrots

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, (do not drain)

1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce

2 (14.5 oz) cans Reduced-sodium beef broth

2 Tbls. Cornstarch, 1/2 cup Water

1 medium onion, diced

1 1/2 to 2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 Stalks celery, coarsely diced

1 cup frozen peas

Method:

Mix flour, meat tenderizer or salt, pepper and garlic powder in zipper-lock bag. Add beef, seal bag and shake to coat well with flour mixture. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add beef and brown on all sides.

Transfer meat to a slow cooker. Add onion, carrots, celery, peas, tomatoes, and potatoes, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce; stir. Cover; cook on low 5 to 7 1/2 hours.

Mix cornstarch with the 1/2 cup water. Stir into stew. Cover; cook 30 minutes more or until carrots are cooked and meat is tender.

Remove half the stew and place in a shallow freezer safe container. Cover, label with contents and date, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or microwave thaw just before reheating.

Evenly divide the remaining stew into each of four soup bowls. Serve with warm biscuits or crusty rolls.

 

Vegetable Stuffed Shells:

Makes: 2 Meals (4 servings each meal)

Ingredients:

24 Jumbo Pasta Shells (about 1 12oz. box)

1 1/4 Cups (1 can) Vegetable Broth (or Chicken Stock)

1/2 Cup Carrot, finely chopped

1 Sweet onion, finely diced

1 10oz. bag Fresh baby Spinach Leaves (washed and drained)

3 cups Part-skim Ricotta Cheese

1 cup Shredded Italian-blend Cheese (or Mozzarella)

1 egg

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 1/2 tsp. Italian Blend Seasoning

3 Cups Marinara Pasta Sauce (about 1 28oz. Jar)

1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Method:

Cook pasta according to package directions (for best results, undercook pasta by 1 minute). Rinse, drain, let cool.

Bring broth to a slow boil in a large saucepan; add carrots and onion and cook 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. Add spinach and cook until just wilted (about 1 minute). Drain vegetables well. Mix vegetables with ricotta, mozzarella (or Italian-blend) cheese, egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, and Italian blend seasoning. Fill each cooked shell with the cheese mixture.

Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce into each of 2 casserole dishes (13 x 9 x 2). Place 1/2 of the filled shells into each casserole dish. Top with the reaming sauce and sprinkle each casserole with remaining grated parmesan cheese. Cover one pan tightly with plastic wrap, and then with a layer of aluminum foil. Using a permanent marker, label the foil with the recipe name and date. Place in freezer and use within 3 months (thaw overnight in the refrigerator or microwave thaw just before cooking, and then cook following directions below).

Pre-heat oven to 350oF. Cover the second pan with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an addition 10-15 minutes, until hot and bubbling.

 Mexican Chicken Bake 

Makes: 2 Meals (4 servings each meal)

Ingredients:

1 large Sweet onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. Olive oil

2 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1” cubes

2 (15 oz) can Black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies, drained

2 Cups Whole kernel corn

4 cups salsa

1 1/2 cups taco sauce

16 Meijer tortillas (corn or flour, 6” taco size)

2 Cups reduced fat sour cream

4 Cups shredded Mexican blend or Colby-jack cheese

Method:

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until tender (3-5 minutes). Add garlic and chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink (about 10 minutes). Add black beans, green chilies, corn and salsa. Mix well.

Layer in two 2-quart baking dishes: pour half the taco sauce into each dish, place half of the tortillas over the taco sauce and top with half of the chicken mixture. Dollop with half the sour cream and sprinkle each dish with half of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers (top with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, sour cream and cheese.

Cover one pan tightly with plastic wrap, and then with a layer of aluminum foil. Using a permanent marker, label the foil with the recipe name and date. Place in freezer and use within 3 months (thaw overnight in the refrigerator or microwave thaw just before cooking, and then cook following directions below).

Pre-heat oven to 350oF. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

Makes: 2 Meals (4 servings each meal)

Ingredients:
4 lb. Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast

1 1/2 tsp. Lawry’s® seasoned salt

1 tsp. Lawry’s® seasoned pepper

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. ground red pepper

2 Tbsp. Promise® Margarine

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup Ketchup

1/2 cup firmly packed Meijer brown sugar

2 Tbsp. Meijer apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Method:

In a small bowl combine seasoned salt, seasoned pepper, chili powder, and ground red pepper; rub on pork. In a medium non-stick skillet, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, remove pork roast and set aside.

In the same skillet, add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender (about 4 minutes) Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker arrange pork and onion mixture. Cover with remaining ingredients and 1/4 cup water. Cook covered on LOW for 8 to 10 hours (or HIGH for 4 to 6 hours), until pork is very tender. Remove pork from sauce. Using two forks, shred pork. Return shredded pork to sauce; stir well.

Remove half of the shredded pork and place in a shallow freezer safe container. Allow to cool uncovered for 15 minutes. Cover, label with contents and date, and freeze for up to six weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or microwave thaw just before re-heating.

Serve on warm sandwich rolls.

Serving suggestion: Serve with broccoli slaw. To make broccoli slaw, mix one package (about 8 to 10 oz) shredded broccoli slaw vegetables with 1/2 to 3/4 cup cole slaw dressing or poppy-seed salad dressing and mix well.

Recipe adapted from Country Crock® http://www.countrycrock.com

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Candly wrote:
I am looking for low fat, heart healthy ideas.

Fri, January 2, 2009 @ 2:21 PM

2. Tina Miller, MS RD wrote:
Thanks for your comment Candly. All of our recipes will fit into a healthy diet. Our monthly strategy and featured recipes for February will focus specifically on heart health in celebration of National Heart Month.
Happy New Year!
Tina

Fri, January 2, 2009 @ 3:55 PM

3. Nancy wrote:
Great ideas! I appreciate the idea of spending less on dinners. Keep the ideas comming!

Fri, January 2, 2009 @ 7:14 PM

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