Good For You Weeknight Recipe: Healthy Taco Salad

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People ask me all of the time for healthier versions of recipes, and this is one of my all-time favorite main-dish salads. This Healthy Taco Salad recipe has only 184 calories, 4 grams of fat and 19 carbohydrates per serving. It’s so easy starting with a homemade taco seasoning blend for the beef and homemade baked corn tortilla strips. This recipe can also be gluten-free substituting gluten-free tortillas and gluten-free salsa. Enjoy for a simple, healthy weeknight dinner.

Fresh Simple and Luscious Lasagna

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Lasagna can seem like a pain to make, but really it’s so easy and really worth it. This recipe is special because it gets its great flavors from an array of vegetables, fresh parsley and sausage. It’s not too high in calories and fat as I used very few noodles, part-skim ricotta cheese and just a small amount of shredded cheese for such a large dish. If you don’t prefer sausage, use lean ground beef or ground turkey. You can make this recipe ahead. It’s perfect for company or for weeknight with leftovers for the next day.

 

Sausage-Vegetable Lasagna

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound mild or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

11/2 cups marinara sauce

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onions

1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

6 lasagna noodles, cooked

11/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Preparation

1. Saute first 5 ingredients in a large saute pan or Dutch oven in hot oil  over medium heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender; add mushrooms and continue to cook until sausage is browned. Add sauce and tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese and parsley, stirring well.

3. Layer lasagna noodles, sausage mixture and ricotta mixture in a 13- x 9-inch lightly greased baking dish; repeat with remaining layers ending with sauce. Top with shredded cheese. 

4. Bake at 375F, covered 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Rigatoni to the Table in Under 20 Minutes

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Who doesn’t like pasta? My family loves it, but I don’t make it very often, especially when I’m trying to be good and eat moderate amounts of carbs at night. But, when the weather is as cold as it is (for so many of us), there’s really nothing better. This recipe is so wonderful for so many reasons. It’s quick, it’s a one-dish meal, it has great flavor and it’s really not too bad if you’re watching your weight. Not to mention, it’s 8 ingredients and can be prepared in under 20 minutes. What else can I say?

 

Quick and Easy Skillet Rigatoni

Prep: 4 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

8 ounces uncooked rigatoni

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 pound lean ground round

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken or beef broth

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce  with garlic, basil and oregano (I used Hunts)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. Cook rigatoni according to package directions.

2. While pasta cooks, cook onion, ground round and mushrooms in a large lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Stir in pasta, tomato sauce, basil and red pepper flakes, if desired; cover and simmer 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.