Monday, May 31, 2010

Meal Plan for Two

We've been doing our best to meal plan lately as a way to save money in between grocery shopping and watch our caloric intake. Well, okay, the latter is mostly for me. We've stumbled across some delicious recipes that I cut out of magazines. I thought I'd share them here. Enjoy!
Grilled Tilapia & Avocado Tostada
(a perfect early summer dish!)
Serves: 4

4 flour tortillas
3 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. tilapia filets
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1 heart of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C cilantro leaves
4 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lime, quartered into wedges

1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high.
2. Brush tortillas with 1 TBSP oil. Grill, flipping once or twice, until crisp (about 2 mins).
3. Brush tilapia on both sides with 1 TBSP oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.
4. Grill, flip once, until cooked through (about 8 minutes). Let rest 4 minutes and pull into chunks with fork.
5. Place each tortilla on a plate. Scatter on onion, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and radishes. Lay tilapia on top. Fan avocado over tilapia and sprinkle with remaining salt and oil. Serve with lime.

Per Serving:
380 calories
19 g fat
3.5 g sat fat
55 mg cholesterol
660 mg sodium
31 g carb
5 g fiber
26 g protein
Squash Gnocchi Soup
(courtesy Parents, March 2009)

1 pkg. (12 oz) cubed butternut squash
1 pkg. (16 oz) gnocchi
2 1/2 C fat free reduced sodium chicken stock
1/4 C fat free evaporated milk**
thyme sprigs (optional)

**you can substitute tinned coconut milk for a dairy-free recipe

1. Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add squash, then reduce heat the medium-low and look for 25 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occassionally. (I found I had to keep the heat higher and cook it for longer because our stove is old.
2. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes. Then, puree in a food processor or blender.
3. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi according to directions; drain.
4. Sti gnocchi and milk into squash puree and heat through. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

We found it helpful to add salt, pepper, etc. to season the soup, but it made a nice meal with the Caprese mini-sandwiches (below).
Serves: 4

Per Serving:
151 calories
0 g fat
335 mg sodium
32 g carb
3 g fiber
6 g protein
1 mg iron
96 mg calcium

Caprese Mini-Sandwiches
(from Pampered Chef Season's Best, Spring/Summer 2006)

4 flat pita bread rounds
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning mix
1/4 C (1 oz) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 - 3 balls (about 8 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 lg plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2C lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 toasted walnuts, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP light balsamic salad dressing
4 C mixed baby salad greens or spinach leaves

1. Toast walnuts by spreading over the bottom of a microwave safe dish. (I used a small stone) Microwave on high 2 - 3 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted, stirring after each 30-second interval.
2. Allow walnuts to cool completely before finely chopping with the basil.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pita rounds on a baking stone; drizzl with oil, spreading evenly. Sprinkle evenly with seasoning mix. Coarsely grate Parmesan cheese over pita rounds (or just use grated cheese). Bake 8 -10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven.
4. Meanwhile, slice mozzarella cheese and tomatoes; set aside. For pesto, place basil and walnuts together and finely chop using a food processor or handheld chopper. Combine the basil mixture, pressed garlic and salt in a mixing bowl; mix well.
5. Turn over pita rounds on baking stone; drizzle with dressing, spreading evenly to edges. Cut each round into 6 wedges (sic).** Remove half of the pita wedges to cutting board. Top each wedge with a small amount of the greens. Place one slice of mozzarella cheese over green; top with pesto and one slice of toato. Top with remaining pit wedges, cheese side up, forming 12 mini-sandwiches (sic).** Secure with sandwich picks, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves: 12 (sic)**

**I found it easier to quarter the pita wedges (shown below), which would make 8 sandwiches/servings.

Per Serving (when making 8):
225 calories
12 g fat
5.25 g sat fat
22.5 mg cholesterol
240 mg sodium
19.5 g carbs
3 g fiber
10.5 g protein

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