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Tag Archives: Italian food

Turkey meatballs and spaghetti that will leave you wanting more!

Low fat spaghetti and turkey meatballs!

I went home to my parents house this weekend and decided to cook for my family. I wanted to show them my new cooking capabilities and impress them with a delicious meal! I opted for a dish that would be fairly easy however serve a lot of hungry stomaches (8 people to be exact) and still maintain nutritional value. My sister suggested spaghetti and meatballs, but since I do not eat red meat I decided to switch up the recipe and add turkey meatballs instead of beef. It wasn’t too bad, and everyone seemed pleased by the dinner, considering there wasn’t any leftovers!

What the recipe calls for:

  • 1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1 slice wholewheat bread, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fat freemilk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
* This recipe only serves 4, so I doubled most of the ingredients to serve all 8 family members.

Perfect inexpensive meal for a big family!

Directions:
Place ground turkey in a bowl with bread crumbs, milk, egg white, cheese, oregano and pepper. Combine thoroughly. Without handling the meat too roughly, shape the mixture into 12 evenly sized meatballs. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add meatballs and cook over a medium heat until meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cook spaghetti according to instructions on package. While the spaghetti is cooking, uncover the skillet with the meatballs and tomatoes, and continue to simmer until the pot of spaghetti is ready.
Nutrition:
Calories: 259 • Fat: 5.7 g • Protein: 15 g • Carb: 33 g • Protein: 18 g
Steals & Deals:
 
I was fortunate to be using my parent’s kitchen so the only ingredients that I had to go out and buy were the turkey meat, crushed tomatoes and spaghetti noodles.  I found Jennie-O brand 99% fat free ground turkey meat at a Super Walmart for only $2.00 per lb. The 28 once can of crushed tomatoes was only $3.25 and the thin spaghetti noodles were also on sale for $3.75 a box! This was a great inexpensive meal that only cost me about $11.00!
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The perfect spin on your everyday chicken pizza!

Delicious grilled chicken pizza!

I had one of my best friends stay with me over the weekend, and we decided that we wanted to stay in and cook dinner instead of going out to eat and spending a lot of money. After searching for some tasty recipes she stumbled upon a low fat grilled chicken recipe that her sister had recommended. It was a simple recipe and the pizza turned out delicious! I ended with a lot of left over ingredients and ended up making it again two more nights!

What the recipe calls for: 

  • 1 lb prepared whole wheat pizza dough
  • 2 ounces chopped chicken breast
  • 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

The perfect pizza recipe for a beginner cook!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with nonfat cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add onion, chicken and crushed green pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion is beginning to brown, about 3 minutesSpread the onion mixture evenly over the crust and top with mozzarella and goat cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with Roma tomato.

Nutrition:

Calories: 275 • Fat: 6 g • Protein: 15 g • Carb: 30 g • Fiber: 2 g

Steals & Deals 

Chicken breast was on sale again at Safeway Grocery Store for $1.69 lb. Then I found the Walmart brand True Value pizza dough for only $2.89, Roma tomatoes for $3.99 and goat cheese for $4.12 at Walmart as well. I already had a purple onion along with the mozzarella cheese. So this great pizza only cost me about $14.00, however I was able to make two other nights and I still have left over ingredients to make more!

Quick and easy baked ziti!

Low Fat Baked Ziti

I was extremely busy this week, so I decided I needed to cook a dish that would last all week, and taste relatively good for left overs. My mother (the cooking expert), suggested that I try a low fat Baked Ziti recipe of hers because she said it was fairly easy, it serves 8 and I had most of the cheese left from my last meal- Pasta with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach. It actually turned out great, and it was nice because I was able to have a lot of carbs without feeling guilty.


What the recipe calls for: 

  • 1 lb high fiber ziti such as Barilla Noodles
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic,minced
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 2 cups (8 oz) part skim mozzarella
  • Non stick cooking spray

Bon Appetite!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non stick cooking spray. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to instructions until the noodles are firm. Drain noodles and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic. Add salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes. Season with garlic salt. Add sauce to the pasta and combine the ziti. Add half of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and ricotta. Mix well then transfer to the baking pan. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Top with the remaining mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.

Nutrition: 

Calories: 331 • Fat: 7.1 g • Protein: 17.5 g • Carb: 54.7 g • Fiber: 7.8 g

Steals & Deals:

I already had the garlic cloves, ricotta cheese, non stick cooking spray and olive oil from my previous dinner last week. I went to Wal Mart and bought Hunt’s Crushed Tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano for $3.00. I also found a box of Barilla Ziti noodles for $2.00, Great Value Parmesan Cheese for $1.58 along with 8 oz of skim mozzarella cheese for $4.70. So for my low fat baked ziti it cost me about $13.00 and lasted 6 nights!

Zesty pasta with ricotta cheese and spinach!

Rotini Pasta with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach

This week I thought I would try to make a dish that was a little more formal than chicken breast, so I opted for rotini pasta with ricotta cheese and spinach. I found the recipe off of the TLC television website: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/pasta-with-spinach-and-ricotta-recipe.htm. I wanted to make an Italian main entree and stumbled upon this recipe that only took 24 minutes total to prepare and cook, so I decided to try it out.

What the recipe calls for:

  • 12 ounces rotini, penne or shell pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk

Preparation

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat medium to low heat. Saute garlic for about 5 minutes or until it’s soft. Add spinach and basil to the skillet, and stir until wilted. Then add ricotta cheese and milk to skillet and stir well. Drain pasta, but keep 1/4 cup or so of cooking water. Combine cooked pasta and ricotta mixture in a large bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of cooking water to mixture if needed. Serve immediately with salt and pepper.
Nutrition facts:

Calories 296, Total Fat 5.9g, Carbohydrates 47.2g, Fiber 3.1g, Protein 13.8g

Steals & Deals:

I was able to find the 16 oz rotini shells on sale for $1.50 at the Fry’s Grocery Store on Rural Rd and Southern Rd, as well as Frigo low fat Ricotta cheese 32 oz tub for only $3.99. I bought a large container of organic spinach leaves for $3.75 at the same store. The rest of the ingredients I already had, so all together it cost be about $10.00 for this meal; however I was able to make it 4 additional nights for dinner. I would say that is a deal!