Quick and delicious

TEX-MEX SALAD 

 

1 medium-size yellow onion

1 clove garlic

1 medium-size green bell pepper

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tsp. chili powder

16 oz. lean ground beef or  ground turkey

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 c. chunky tomato salsa

1/2 medium-size head iceberg lettuce

1 c. coarsely grated Cheddar cheese

1/2 c. sliced pitted black olives

1/4 c. sliced red radishes

Chop onion and garlic. Core and seed bell pepper and cut into 1-inch pieces. In large skillet heat oil over moderately high heat. Add onion, garlic and ground beef; cook until meat is lightly browned. Stir in chili powder and cumin; continue cooking one more minute. Remove skillet from heat. Stir bell pepper and salsa into meat mixture and set aside. Thinly slice lettuce into shreds; line serving platter with shreds. Spoon meat mixture over lettuce. Sprinkle meat mixture with cheese, olives and radishes; serve immediately. (Make into burritos by spooning salad into warm flour tortillas and adding sour cream.) Serves four.

 

SKILLET BARBECUED PORK   

 

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 c. prepared barbecue sauce

4 (1/2” thick) pork shoulder steaks (8 oz. each)

1 small yellow onion, chopped

4 lemon slices

1 large green bell pepper

In large skillet (preferably with nonstick coating) heat oil over moderately high heat. Add steaks and cook until they are lightly browned on both sides, two – three minutes each side. Reduce heat to moderately low. Move pork to one side of skillet. Add onion and saute until soft, about five minutes. Stir barbecue sauce in with pork and onion. Cover pan and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, continue cooking until meat is fork-tender, about 15 more minutes. Meanwhile, core, seed and cut green pepper into thin strips. Stir pepper into pork mixture, cover and cook until crisp tender, about six minutes. Transfer pork steaks and sauce to serving plates, top each steak with a slice of lemon and serve. Makes four servings.

 

LOW-FAT MASHED POTATOES   

1 1/2 lbs. all-purpose potatoes

1/3 c. plain low-fat yogurt  Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 c. part-skim ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil or chives

Peel potatoes, if desired, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in large saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to moderate; continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, using electric blender or food processor fitted with chopping blade, process yogurt and ricotta until mixture is completely smooth. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Heat potatoes over moderate heat to evaporate excess moisture, 30 seconds to one minute. Remove from heat. Using potato masher or hand-held electric mixer, beat yogurt mixture into boiled potatoes until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped herbs, transfer potatoes to bowl and serve immediately. Serves four.

 

TIP:  Dressed Mashed Potatoes: Prepare four servings instant mashed potatoes according to package directions, except reduce amount of water by 1/4 cup Stir in 1/4 cup creamy Italian salad dressing. Top with two tablespoons cooked and crumbled bacon.

 

SCOTTISH OAT WEDGES  

 

3/4 c. butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3 c. packed light brown sugar

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

3 c. old-fashioned oats

In large bowl beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in flour and half of the oats until well mixed. Using wooden spoon or by hand work in additional oats until dough just holds together. Press mixture into ungreased 9-inch round baking pan. Using a knife divide dough into eight wedges without cutting all the way through to bottom of dough. Bake in preheated 350° oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool in pan, then cut into wedges.

 

BACON & CORN CHOWDER    

3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 c. milk

1 large yellow onion, chopped

Chopped parsley

2 medium-size potatoes,   peeled and diced

1 1/2 c. canned reduced-  sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels

Salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan fry bacon pieces until crisp, about four minutes. Using slotted spoon remove bacon and let drain on paper towel. Pour off all but one tablespoon of drippings from pan. Add onion and saute until soft, about five minutes. Add potatoes and broth and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn kernels and milk. Heat soup over moderate heat until just hot but not boiling. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with some bacon and a pinch of chopped parsley. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.

(320) 573-2655  • e-mail: valerie@upstel.net

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