October 3, 201110-Second Recipes: Stuff Yourself with Healthy and Economical Stuffed Meals
(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Stuffed food is often seen as an elegant and sophisticated treat, but it actually can be a surprisingly easy and economical way to perk up just about anything: a spicy bran muffin, for instance, filled with gourmet oatmeal or meatloaf brimming with jazzed up chili. Like using the oatmeal or a bean-filled chili, it can also be a way to up the health quotient of your meal, such as garden vegetables tucked into a baby shrimp filled chicken breast. Even nutritious desserts get the fun treatment.
Food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast - as the following split-second sensations prove. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. The dishes are delicious evidence that everyone - including you and your kidlet helpers - has time for tasty home cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family time in the kitchen that goes along with it! Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since there are no right or wrong amounts. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations, so whatever you choose to use can't help but draw "wows" at the table.
Upping the Excitement with Oatmeal
Scoop out a small hole in the middle of a bran muffin while still retaining thick "walls" of the muffin. Add dashes of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Fill with a dollop of dried fruit-filled, just-cooked hot oatmeal.
Memorable Extras for Eggs
Just before completing cooking omelets, fill with finely minced bits of cooked garlic bread that have been mixed with sauteed green onions, sauteed mushrooms and a dash of store-bought Italian seasoning.
Chicken with Lots of Charm
Carefully saute baby shrimp in a small amount of olive oil with fresh spinach, finely chopped baby carrots, minced garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle skinless chicken breasts with minced fresh thyme and rosemary. Slit chicken breasts in middle to form a pocket and fill lightly with shrimp-vegetable mixture before baking until chicken is fully cooked. Serve with a light drizzle of melted gorgonzola cheese.
Giving Meatloaf Even More Muscle
Divide meatloaf mixture in half and turn one half into a rectangle leaving a canyon open in its middle. Halfway stuff the canyon with canned or homemade bean-filled chili and top with finely crumbled cornbread muffins. Shape and use the other half of the meat to fully seamlessly cover the filled half and bake until meatloaf is fully cooked.
Pump it up with Pumpkin
From a mix or recipe, bake two layers of chocolate cake. Spread bottom layer with the filling of a store-bought pumpkin pie that you've scooped out of the pie and mixed with sugar-free chocolate fudge topping (available in the ice cream aisle of most supermarkets) and freshly ground cinnamon. Top with second cake layer and frost cake with store-bought or homemade vanilla icing that's been mixed with freshly ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Kooky Cookies Filled with Flavor
Posted by Staff at 12:00 AM
Spread large oatmeal-raisin cookies with a thin layer any type of nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.), top with a scoop of sugar-free ice cream that's been mixed with sugar-free chocolate chips and cover with another plain oatmeal-raisin cookie. Freeze, tightly wrapped, until ice cream is hard.
QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: Squeezing lemon juice onto a fresh fish meal is about as delicious and healthful as it gets. However, if you want to easily jazz that up just a notch, it's as simple as whisking the fruit's fresh juice or zest into your favorite condiments. Add it along with finely diced dill pickle to tartar sauce, along with finely diced green onion to cocktail sauce, along with minced fresh herbs and nonfat sour cream to Dijon mustard or along with minced garlic and chopped fresh dill to whipped margarine or butter.
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.