Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BBQ-Pork Sandwiches

This is a perfect dinner to freeze and reheat - it's kid-pleasing flavors actually improve over time.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 pkg (2lbs.) pork tenderloin, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 8 sandwich buns
  • Coleslaw (optional)
  • Pickles (optional)
How to make:
  1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, dry mustard, add cinnamon. Cook 1 minute. Add ketchup, honey, orange juice, and vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil and add sliced pork tenderloin. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  2. Place half of BBO-pork mixture in a resealable container; cool to room temperature, cover, and place in freezer. Place 4 sandwich buns in resealable storage bag, and store in freezer.
  3. Divide remaining BBQ pork among remaining sandwich buns, and serve with coleslaw and pickles, if desired.
Nutrition per serving: 364 calories, 30 g protein, 9 g fat, 43 g carbohydrate, 62 mg calcium, 2 g fiber.

To reheat: Defrost BBQ pork in refrigerator overnight. Reheat mixture in saucepan over medium-low heat, or microwave until heated through. Defrost sandwich buns to room temperature.

Mini Meat Loaves with Ketchup Glazes

These individual-size loaves are a great instant meal for busy families. Keep several in the freezer to reheat for dinner, or slice up for lunch-box sandwiches.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 meat lovers

1. Meat Loaves:
  • 2 lbs. lean ground round beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 packets (98 oz. each) instant oatmeal, regular flavor
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
2. Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
How to make:
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, mix together meat, onion, instant oatmeal, eggs, ketchup, milk Worcestershire sauce, and salt until well-combined. Divided meat mixture into 8 servings and shape into individual loaves. Place meat loaves in a 9" x 13" baking pan.
  2. Prepare glaze: In a small bowl, blend together ketchup and brown sugar. Brush tops and sides of meat loaves; bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degree F when inserted into center of loaves. Let cool 10 minutes.
  3. Serve 4 meat loaves with mashed potatoes, if desired. Cool remaining meat loaves for 25 minutes. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze.
Nutrition per serving: 379 calories, 25 g protein, 21 g fat, 21 g carbohydrate, 71 mg calcium, 1 g fiber.

To reheat: Place meat loaves in a pan, and thaw in refrigerator overnight. Unwrap and bake 15 minutes in 350 degree F oven, or microwave loaves just until heated through.

Vegetable Manicotti

Our speedy, healty version of a classic. By adding extra liquid to the dish, we've eliminated the need to cook the shells before stuffing them.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 55 minutes
Yield: 14 manicottis

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 15oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone or mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 14 pieces (8 oz. box) manicotti, uncooked
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup water
How to make:
  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add squash and zucchini. Cook, stirring. Until vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup provolone, Parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Transfer cheese mixture to a large resealable storage bag. Push mixture toward one corner and twist bag closed. Make a 3/4" cut in a corner of bag, and squeeze filling into each pasta tube.
  3. In bowl, combine marinara sauce and water. Spread 2/3 cup each into two 2-quart baking dishes, arranging in a single layer. Top with remaining marinara sauce.
  4. Cover 1 pan with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with 1/4 cup provolone cheese. Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  5. Cover remaining dish tightly with double layer plastic wrap and freeze.
Nutrition per manicotti: 207 calories, 11 g protein, 9 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 215 mg calcium, 1 g fiber.

To reheat:  Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove plastic wrap, cover with foil, and follow baking directions in step 4.

Double-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Oblong russets are a good choice for double baking. The brown skin crisps nicely, and the flesh has flaky texture that freezes well.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes if using a microwave, 75 minutes if using a standard oven
Yield: 8 servings

  • 8 russet or baking potatoes (about 3/4 lbs. each)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 4 cups cooked broccoli florets
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
How to make:
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick potatoes several times with fork. Place in microwave oven, four at a time; cook 18 to 22 minutes. If using a standard oven, bake 60 minutes, or until potatoes are softened and cooked through. Let cool 15 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are baking. Cook bacon in a large skillet over high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate; crumble. Remove all but 1 tablespoon. Bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion and cook until softened, about 1 minute; cool.
  3. Slice open skin from each potato; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving shell intact. Place pulp in a large bowl, mash, and stir in bacon, onion, broccoli, sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper.
  4. Stuff potato shells with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle tops of potatoes with cheese. Place 4 potatoes in oven and bake 15 minutes, or until cheese melts and potato is heated through. Store remaining potatoes in container with lid and freeze.
Nutrition per serving: 422 calories, 13 g protein, 14 g fat, 63 g carbohydrate, 118 mg calcium, 7 g fiber.

Note: To reheat, thaw potatoes in refrigerator overnight. Place in baking pan, and cook 25 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, or microwave until heated through.