Dinner Tonight! 2-16-12

This week, we are featuring Nacho Sandwich Wraps. I shared this with my Step Up and Scale Down classes last week and they really seemed excited to get the recipe. Serve this up with some fruit or maybe a veggied up salsa. Either way, this will be a great and simple meal.

You can find the demonstration video at http://dinnertonight.tamu.edu/dinners/nacho-sandwich-wraps/

Nacho Sandwich Wraps

Serves: 8

Prep/Cook Time: 30 min.

Cost: About $0.71


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 cup fat-free refried beans
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 8 – 6 inch whole wheat tortillas
  • Optional garnishes: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsa, sliced ripe olives,
  • avocado, jalapeno peppers


  • Brown ground beef thoroughly in a skillet until well done (160̊); drain excess fat. Stir in water and chili powder; cook until near boiling and reduce heat. Add beans and mix well. Simmer until thoroughly heated. Blend in cheese and melt over low heat setting.
  •  Serve as a warm filling (1/4 cup for each tortilla) to make 8 wrap sandwiches using favorite garnishes. Immediately refrigerate any filling not used in a shallow container with lid to enjoy as a planned-ahead meal 1-2 days later.

Nutrition Facts

One serving =

Calories: 230

Total Fat: 6 g

Cholesterol: 20 mg

Sodium: 370 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 29 g

Protein: 13 g

Fiber: 4 g

Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 starch

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Dinner Tonight! 2-9-12

Here is another family friendly recipe that even the pickiest eaters should love. Serve it up with a handful of sweet potato fries and you’ve got yourself an excellent meal!

French Cheeseburger Loaf

Serves: 6

Prep/Cook Time: 25 min./25 min.


  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tube (11 ounces) refrigerated crusty French loaf
  • 4 slices reduced-fat process American cheese product
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese


  • In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the flour, mustard and ketchup; set aside.
  • Unroll dough starting at the seam. Pat into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Spoon meat mixture lengthwise down the center of the dough; top with cheese slices. Bring long sides of dough to the center over filling; pinch seams to seal.
  • Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • With a sharp knife, cut diagonal slits in top of loaf. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

One serving = 1/6 of recipe

Calories: 277

Total Fat: 7 g

Sat Fat: 3 g

Cholesterol: 33 mg

Sodium: 697 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 30 g

Protein: 21 g

Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 starch

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Dinner Tonight! 2-2-12

I am on a personal mission these days to find foods that my kids will eat. They have gotten to where they do not eat anything anymore it seems. Thank goodness for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Fortunately, I have never had a problem with them eating meat either. This week’s featured recipe is from – my favorite, Taste of Home – and is Pork Chops Charcutiere. It does take almost an hour to prepare and make this recipe, but it will be worth your time.

Serve this up with a salad and some roasted new potatoes.

Pork Chops Charcutiere

Serves: 4

Prep/Cook Time: 25 min./25 min.


  • 4 boneless pork loin chops (5 ounces each)
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves or minced fresh parsley


  • Sprinkle pork chops with pepper. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chops in oil. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute onion and shallots until tender. Add broth and wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes.
  • Return chops to skillet. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes longer or until meat is tender. Place chops on a serving platter and keep warm. Stir mustard into skillet. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Spoon sauce over chops; sprinkle with celery leaves.

Nutrition Facts

One serving = 1 pork chop with ¼ cup sauce

Calories: 292

Total Fat: 13 g

Sat Fat: 4 g

Cholesterol: 70 mg

Sodium: 339 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 11 g

Protein: 29 g

Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 fat

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Dinner Tonight! 1-27-12

Easy Stromboli is this week’s featured recipe. There are a lot of Stromboli recipes out there, but this one is really easy! The secret ingredient to making this easy is a can of refrigerated pizza crust. Also great about the Stromboli is that there are so many things you can add or substitute. Throw in any veggie or meat you want to. Substitute low-fat or low-sodium cheeses for regular cheese. Get creative and meet the tastes of your family!

Easy Stromboli

Serves: 6

Prep/Cook Time: 15 min./15-20 min.


  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 (13.8 oz.) can Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green and/or red bell pepper, if desired
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning


  • Heat oven to 400°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Brown ground beef in medium skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Set aside.
  • Unroll dough; place on sprayed cookie sheet. Starting at center, press out dough with hands to form 12×8-inch rectangle.
  • Spread sauce over dough to within 2 inches of long sides and 1/2 inch of short sides. Place cooked ground beef lengthwise down center, forming 3-inch-wide strip and to within 1/2 inch of short sides. Top with cheese, bell pepper and Italian seasoning. Fold long sides of dough over filling; press edges to seal.
  • Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. 

Nutrition Facts

One serving = 1/6 of recipe

Calories: 290

Total Fat: 10 g

Sat Fat: 4.5 g

Cholesterol: 35 mg

Sodium: 630 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 33 g

Protein: 18 g

Fiber: 0 g

Sugars: 5 g

Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 1/2 Fat

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Dinner Tonight! 1-12-12

This week’s recipe is a spin on the yummy dish we all love at a Mexican food restaurant…the quesadilla! We are just going to leave out the meat we normally use and instead make them with spinach. Thanks to Julie Gardner, CEA-FCS in Coryell County for demonstrating this recipe online at http://healthyliving.tamu.edu/dinners/spinach-quesadillas

Spinach Quesadillas

Serves: 4

Prep/Cook Time: 10 min./5 min.


1½ pounds fresh spinach

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

8 six-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/4 cup prepared salsa, drained

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey jack cheese


Place spinach in colander in sink and run water over the greens. Drain and pat dry.

Chop the washed spinach. Add vegetable oil to skillet and sauté fresh spinach quickly over medium heat until soft. Place 4 tortillas on a work surface. Spread 1/8 cup of cheese on each tortilla. Top the cheese with 1 Tablespoon salsa, followed by 1/4 cup of cooked spinach. Add another 1/8 cup cheese on top of the spinach on each tortilla. Top with remaining tortillas and press firmly. Cook each quesadilla in skillet over medium heat until cheese melts and tortillas are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Nutrition Facts

One serving =

Calories: 300

Total Fat: 11 g

Cholesterol: 25 mg

Sodium: 750 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 47 g

Protein: 18 g

Fiber: 8 g

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Dinner Tonight! 1-6-12

How about an easy fajita recipe to start off 2012 with a little spice? Cayla came to the office this week and had made these fabulous fajitas and was kind enough to share her leftovers with me! This recipe is an oven bake fajita recipe that takes around 30 to 45 minutes total to prepare for your family. It uses common, inexpensive ingredients (watch for that chicken to be on sale!) and you can make some easy adjustments to fit this to your family.

The first adjustment might be the Rotel or diced tomatoes. This ingredient comes in a variety of spiciness levels now and in different flavors. You can also substitute a jar of salsa in its place if you happen to have that on hand. And the tortillas; use whole grain to beef this up a little. You can also find tortillas in flavors and even fat free, though I am still trying to figure how you replace the fat in making tortillas. It just doesn’t seem right!

Cayla’s Fajitas

Serves: 4-6

Prep/Bake Time: 10 min./25 min.


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp salt

1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)

1 Med onion, sliced

1 Large bell pepper, seeded and sliced


Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole- if desired


  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.  Place chicken strips in a greased 13X9 baking dish
  • In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and salt
  • Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat
  • Next add tomatoes with chilies, peppers, and onions to the dish and mix
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender
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Dinner Tonight! 12-21-11

What do you do with leftover cranberry sauce and eggnog? Well, make muffins of course! Enjoy this typical holiday leftover recipe to feed your family well at breakfast. Or, if your family is like mine, they will snack on things like muffins all day long!

Leftover Eggnog Cranberry Muffins

Serves: 24 (1 each)

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 cups prepared eggnog
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, mix eggnog, eggs and butter. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Fold in cranberry sauce and pecans. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until center of muffin springs back when lightly touched. 

Nutrition Facts:

1 serving (1 each) =

189 calories

9 g fat

4 g saturated fat

37 mg cholesterol

279 mg sodium

24 g carbohydrate

1 g fiber

3 g protein

Originally published as Leftover Eggnog Cranberry Muffins in Bountiful Harvest Cookbook , p80

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