Healthy One-Dish Dinners

Skillet Vegetables on Cheese Toast
8 slicesrustic wheat bread
1/2 8 ounce packagepeeled fresh whole baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 8 ounce packagebutton mushrooms, halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, cut in thin wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)
Fresh basil (optional)
Preheat broiler. Place bread on baking sheet; set aside. In large skillet cook carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and onion in hot olive oil over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes, until vegetables just begin to brown. Add 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook over medium heat 5 minute, or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, for cheese toast, lightly toast bread 3 inches from boiler heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Spread goat cheese on one side of each slice. Broil 3 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese is softened. On plates, top cheese toast with vegetables. Drizzle with additional olive oil; sprinkle with fresh basil. Makes 4 servings.

Mexican Skillet Dinner
12 ounces chorizo or pork sausage
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 14 1/2ounce candiced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15 ounce canpinto beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheeses or Colby and Monterey Jack cheese (3 ounces)
If present, remove casing from sausage. In a large skillet cook sausage over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until brown. Drain in a colander; set aside. Add corn, tomatoes, uncooked rice, the water, chili powder, and cumin to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in beans and cooked sausage; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.

Bean-and-Rice-Stuffed Peppers
4 medium green, red, and/or yellow sweet peppers
1 15 ounce canchili beans with chili gravy
1 cup cooked converted rice
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 15 ounce cantomato sauce
Remove tops, membranes, and seeds from peppers. In a medium bowl, stir together chili beans with chili gravy, rice, and 1/2 cup of the cheese; spoon into peppers. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Place peppers, filled sides up, in slow cooker. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 6 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Transfer peppers to serving plate. Spoon tomato sauce over peppers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Veggie Grilled Cheese
2 cups jarred pickled mixed vegetables (giardiniera)
3 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
1/2 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, snipped
1 teaspoon fresh chopped or dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
12 sliceswhole grain bread, toasted
Rinse and drain the pickled vegetables well. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine all ingredients except the bread. Microcook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes or just until the mixture is warm, the spinach is wilted, and the cheese is beginning to melt. To assemble sandwiches, layer half of the cheese and vegetable mixture on four slices of bread. Add another slice of bread and top with the remaining cheese mixture and another slice of bread. Slice diagonally across.

Cheesy Noodle Casserole
2 1/2 cups water
1 10 3/4ounce canreduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 14 1/2ounce canno-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
2 clovesgarlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces dried extra-wide noodles
1 16 ounce packageextra-firm tofu (fresh bean curd), drained, if necessary, and cubed*
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker whisk together the water and cream of mushroom soup. Stir in tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. If using low-heat setting, turn cooker to high-heat setting. Stir in uncooked noodles; cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more or until tender, stirring once halfway through cooking. Gently stir in tofu cubes. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until cheese is melted.


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