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Posted Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2013  Print Reprints

Lightened-up dinner classics provide a week's worth of calorie savings

These lightened-up classics are as satisfying as ever. All that's missing is the guilt. Here's a week's worth of dishes. Everyday Food magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals, from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. Questions or comments should be sent to: everydayfood@marthastewart.com.

Smothered pork chops with cornbread

Thursday

Leave the reserved cornbread unwrapped at room temperature overnight, so it can dry out and reach the right consistency for Friday's stuffed shrimp.

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided, plus more for dish

1 cup fine yellow cornmeal

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), divided

4 teaspoons baking powder

Coarse salt and pepper

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 bone-in pork chops (1 1/2 pounds total; 3/4 inch thick)

1 medium white onion, sliced

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves cut into pieces

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, 1 cup flour, baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add milk, egg and 3 tablespoons oil, and whisk until combined. Transfer to baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack. Crumble one-third of the cooled cornbread onto a rimmed baking sheet (you should have 2 cups) and reserve for preparing cornbread-stuffed shrimp.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil over high. Season pork with salt and pepper, and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and loosely tent with foil. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons flour and stir to combine. Gradually whisk in broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Serve sauce over pork chops, alongside remaining cornbread.

Nutritional information per serving: 588 calories, 55 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), 55 grams carbohydrates, 39 grams protein, 4 grams fiber and 38 percent of calories from fat.

Cornbread-stuffed shrimp

Friday

Shrimp are a great low-fat protein. Instead of frying them, we bake them at high heat.

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for baking sheet

1/2 medium white onion, diced small

5 stalks celery, 2 diced small, 3 thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups day-old crumbled cornbread

16 frozen extra-jumbo shrimp (about 1 pound), thawed and peeled (tails left on)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped

Reserved dressing

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and diced celery and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, add broth and cornbread, and stir until combined. Mince 4 shrimp (discard tails) and stir into stuffing along with egg.

2. Run a paring knife from head to tail along the backs of remaining shrimp, slicing almost completely through. Open, then remove vein with knife. Pack each with about 2 tablespoons stuffing. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil and arrange shrimp, stuffing side up. Bake until stuffing is golden and shrimp are opaque throughout, about 18 to 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss together sliced celery, lettuce, dressing and blue cheese. Serve alongside shrimp.

Nutritional information per serving: 453 calories, 23 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), 28 grams carbohydrates, 34 grams protein, 3 grams fiber and 46 percent of calories from fat.

Lighter chicken cordon bleu

Monday

We've taken a traditional dish and given it a healthier spin by using the broiler instead of a skillet. The result has plenty of flavor with less fat.

1/2 cup Japanese breadcrumbs, or panko

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided

Sugar

8 chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total)

Salt and pepper

8 slices Canadian bacon (1/2 pound total)

4 ounces sliced Swiss

5 ounces tender baby lettuces, such as spring mix (5 cups)

1. Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix together panko and 1 teaspoon oil until coated. In a small jar, combine vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard, remaining 1/4 cup oil and pinch of sugar; shake to combine.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. On a rimmed baking sheet, make 4 stacks, sandwiching Canadian bacon and Swiss between 2 chicken cutlets. Brush tops with oil, season with salt and pepper, and broil until golden and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Spread each stack with 1/2 teaspoon mustard and sprinkle with panko. Broil until panko is golden and toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Toss lettuces with half the dressing (reserve remaining for cornbread-stuffed shrimp on Friday), season with salt and pepper, and serve alongside chicken.

Nutritional information per serving: 515 calories, 25 grams fat (9 grams saturated fat), 13 grams carbohydrates, 56 grams protein, 1 gram fiber and 44 percent of calories from fat.

Turkey sloppy joes with kale chips

Wednesday

1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves torn into pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Salt and pepper

1/2 medium white onion, diced small

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground dark-meat turkey

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained

1/3 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 large potato hamburger buns

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss kale with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake on two rimmed baking sheets until crisp, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion and sweet potato and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; season with salt and pepper. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, ketchup and Worcestershire, and cook until sauce is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Serve on buns alongside kale chips.

Nutritional information per serving: 498 calories, 21 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat), 52 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 5 grams fiber and 38 percent of calories from fat.

Loaded slow-cooker baked potatoes

Tuesday

4 medium russet potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered

1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, stalks peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth, hot

2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt, room temperature

1. Wrap each potato in foil and place in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until potatoes are tender, about 8 hours.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes, then add broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Split potatoes, scoop out flesh and transfer to a medium bowl, reserving skins. Add broth and yogurt to bowl, then season with salt and pepper, and stir until combined; divide among potato skins. Top each stuffed potato with broccoli mixture.

Nutritional information per serving: 344 calories, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 58 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein, 7 grams fiber and 21 percent of calories from fat.

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