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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quick and Easy Lower Carb Dinners

My husband's reached the point in hie diet where he can start adding in some whole grain carbs so I'm trying to introduce them slowly. I made two dinners in that vein and I'd like to share them with you. Tuesday, I made a veggie-packed tomato sauce with all meat meatballs. Sautee up some chopped bell pepper, half an onion diced, 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped and a can of diced tomatoes (with or without Italian seasoning.) I added a half cup of pureed pumpkin I had made over the weekend, plus half a cup of leftover vegetarian spaghetti sauce from the freezer. I added some frozen meatballs to the sauce and let that all simmer while the water boiled for the whole grain pasta. When the pasta was cooked I drained it quickly and served the kids pasta and sauce, hubby got the meatballs and sauce over wilted spinach and I ate mine with pasta, wilted spinach and sauce over all. I also steamed a large bunch of asparagus to serve as a side dish. The next day I still had pasta leftover and asparagus, so I decided to make a "Hamburger Helper" type recipe using them. I chopped up one whole orange bell pepper, half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic and cooked them in olive oil. I added 1 pound of ground turkey meat when the veggies had gotten soft and seasoned the meat with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. I let the meat cook while I whipped up a quick cheese sauce. In a separate pan I made a quick roux and thinned it with milk. I added about 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used a 5 cheese blend) to the pan and stirred and melted it in. I added 1/3 C of my leftover carrot soup to the cheese sauce, just to add some orange color and nutrition. I chopped the asparagus into bite sized pieces and added it to the meat and veggies in the pan. When that was heated through I added the leftover pasta and the cheese sauce overall and stirred it together. Dinner was ready to serve in big bowls, some lovely orange and green veggies, whole wheat pasta, lean protein and calcium all on one dish.

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