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One dish meals

One dish meals offer a positive solution to the time crunch problem in our fast-paced lifestyles. It's a concept we can build a system around to ensure the best use of our time and ingredients in the preparation of the family meal.

Formerly the casserole, one dish meals have been updated to meet the needs of today's hectic time schedules. One dish options range from skillet stir-fries to the traditional baking dish or Dutch oven. Add a fresh salad and you have created your own super simple gourmet meal.

Develop a system for quick meal preparation, and you may find it easier to create a meal at home than to settle for fast food lane fare. Fast food is generally less than satisfying, costly and poor in nutrition. Working with simple ingredients to meet the demands of your family's discerning tastes can be very satisfying. Consider the variations in the traditional favorites of pizza, chicken and pork chops and you will be certain to please most anyone.

Our goal is speed and our results are simple, nutritious, one dish meals. Consider these tips as you implement the one dish system:


Stocking your kitchen with the right utensils is an important part of the one dish system. Here are some of the utensils you will need:

  • Every cook's best friend is a good sharp knife. For your first investment, a utility knife serves as a good all purpose tool.

  • Have an assortment of glass bake ware available, including a 9" x 13" oblong and a 9" square, with lids to fit each dish. Remember that a one dish meal will be presented at the table so an attractive casserole dish will help make the presentation more appealing.

  • The more you can get in one skillet, the fewer utensils you will need. Have a large, curved-edge skillet with a tight-fitting lid available or a Wok for stir-fry, as well as for sauteing.

  • A 5-6 quart Dutch oven that goes from stove top to oven is a worthwhile investment.

  • Have at least two non-stick surface saucepans, each with a three- or four-quart capacity.

  • Purchase flame-proof spatulas and spoons for stirring.

  • Wire whips are an asset for smooth sauces.

  • Pourable glass measuring cups (1 qt. and 2 qt.) serve to measure as well as to pour.


  • Short-cut recipes make good use of frozen vegetables
    Keep the fresh vegetables you are most likely to eat on hand and select frozen vegetable combinations to complement the fresh.

  • Canned broths provide the foundations for many low fat sauces
    Consider buying low sodium varieties and add your favorite spices to enhance flavors. Base allows the flexibility of using small quantities without opening a can. Varieties include chicken, ham, beef and vegetable.

  • Experiment with herbs and spices
    Amazingly, recipes take on an entirely different flair when herbs are used and substituted. A simple chicken dish (see the recipe for Apricot Chicken) makes a character change when rosemary is used instead of cardamom. Purchase a few for experimentation. It will be a worthwhile investment. If your herbs and spices are old, pitch them. Using herbs over six to eight months old is like using dust.

  • Establish a pantry list of items to keep on hand
    This will help to avoid last minute grocery trips as well as the frustration of not having what you need.

  • The magic ingredient
    The difference between blase and delectable can be as simple as adding one "magic" ingredient to give the dish a characteristic flare. In low fat cooking, some of the magic ingredients include garlic, fruit chutney or marmalades, fat free Parmesan cheese and brandy. Add one of these magic foods when your dish needs a boost.

  • Try cooking with mustard
    Cutting the fat in many recipes means compromising on sauces. Mustard comes to the rescue in these recipes. Gourmet mustards give just enough zing to enhance flavors without any fat.

Cooking with pork

Fresh pork is a great buy. Lean cuts such as pork tenderloin, sirloin chop and top sirloin chop offer great quality protein, are low in fat and high in flavor. Pork can be purchased in quantities to meet your needs with simple recipe adjustments. Try these ideas, add a little of you own imagination and the possibilities will be endless.

To serve four: 4 (4oz) boneless top sirloin or tenderloin chops

Trim all visible fat. Place meat in oiled casserole dish. Select a combination of ingredients, blend together. Spoon over chops and bake or saute as directed.

The stir fry system

Formerly known as skillet dinners, this trendy name gives new flair to easy meals. The secret to success is the simplicity. Combine a few of your favorite fresh vegetables with a complement of frozen vegetables (out of season or difficult to store). Add sliced meat for balance and viola: a meal in a few minutes. Vary the seasonings to create an international flair.

Stir fry items to stock:

  • Olive oil, Extra virgin gives the purest flavor. If this oil isn't to your taste, try Canola oil
  • Minced garlic, Fresh or bottled varieties
  • Ready to go meat or chicken. Slice meat or chicken diagonally into thin strips. This can be bought in bulk to freeze for later.
  • Wok or skillet with curved sides

Getting started

Keep what your family likes in mind and choose from those foods. Nothing is more frustrating than a meal of "we should eat this", when no one likes it. A few, tried-and-tested, simple recipes will be your salvation, when fast food seems the only alternative.

Meals don't have to include all food groups to be complete. Remember it's all in a day's time. Develop a more lenient, flexible philosophy about family dinners. Focus on complementary flavors and textures and forget the meat and potato tradition. Use nutritious snacks to fill the gaps. Peanut butter and crackers are a great snack on meatless days and nibbling on raw veggies with dip during afternoon snack helps take the pressure off trying to include everything in one meal.

The one dish meal concept we have used in this segment will be to consider a dish with at least three complementary foods as a meal. Some meals may be meatless or based on pasta or grains. With many of the recipes, there are tips on what you may want to add to complete the meal.

Give yourself the liberty to add or substitute with these recipes, and to customize your repertoire of Hearty family recipes. Enjoy!

Quick Chicken Varieties    
Use this one recipe to create many great chicken dishes.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 onion chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
9 or 10-inch microwave-proof baking dish

  1. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in baking dish. Microwave on high 35 seconds.
  3. Add STARTERS (from table) and stir. Cover with wax paper, microwave on high for 1 minute; stir.
  4. Place chicken on top of starter mixture with the thickest part of chicken toward outside of dish. Cover and microwave on high 6 to 8 minutes, turning chicken over after 4 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes.
  5. Add GARNISHES (from table) and serve.
Country French
Cal 170
Fat 4 gm
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper
1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
1/4 cup ripe olives
Mild Italian
Cal 218
Fat 6 gm
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Spicy California
Cal 172
Fat 3 gm
1 lg. tomato, chopped
1 sm. jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 orange, peeled & sectioned
2 tsp. cilantro or parsley, chopped
Cal 189
Fat 6 gm
1 jar(6oz) marinated artichoke hearts+liquid
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, halved; add after step 4
1 Tbsp. chopped basil or parsley
New Orleans Style
Cal 206
Fat 4 gm
1 can(8oz) stewed tomatoes, crushed
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen cut okra, thawed
2 oz. Canadian bacon, diced
1/4-1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped celery leaves
Cal 213
Fat 5 gm
1/2 cup orange juice mixed with 2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. orange-flavor liqueur
1 tsp. dark-brown sugar
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 orange, peeled & sliced
2 Tbsp. toasted almonds
Home-Style Brunswick
Cal 279
Fat 3 gm
1 pkg(10 oz) frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1 can(8oz) stewed tomatoes, crushed
1 can(7 oz) whole-kernel corn, drained
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 scallions, chopped
Cal 146
Fat 3 gm
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
lemon wedges
Pineapple Teriyaki
Cal 208
Fat 4 gm
2 Tbsp. orange juice mixed with 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 can(8oz) pineapple chunks, drained
1 green pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

A fresh garden salad and bread sticks or hard rolls will complement any of the chicken variations.

Quick Tip: When you're in a hurry, use your microwave to thaw chicken. Place unwrapped chicken in microwave safe dish. Cover and defrost on medium or low power 12-15 minutes for 1-1/2 pounds chicken breasts.

  Rubs and Marinades  
Even if it's too cold to grill, marinades and rubs still add flavor and tenderness. This five spice blend offers a welcome addition to baked chicken.

2 chicken breasts, skinned, boned and sliced in strips
2 Tbsp. gourmet mustard
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (fat Free)
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic

Combine all ingredients except chicken together in plastic container with lid. Add chicken pieces. Rub seasonings into chicken, coating thoroughly. Refrigerate 30 minutes (this can be done the day before and marinated overnight). Saute in skillet sprayed with vegetable oil spray or bake in casserole dish for 20 minutes.

Serve with couscous or a hearty grain and fresh fruit.

Serves: 4
Calories: 200
Fat: 8 gm

    Apricot Chicken
1 Tbsp. olive oil, butter or margarine
1/2 cup chicken broth or 1 tbsp. chicken bouillon or base plus 1/2 cup water
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2 chicken breasts)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cardamon or marjoram
1/2 cup apricot or peach preserves
1 Tbsp. gourmet mustard (spicy brown or Dijon varieties work well)
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt or fat free sour cream
1 cup baby carrots
2 Tbsp. slivered almonds, walnuts or pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine or butter (or add oil) in baking dish. Shake chicken in a plastic bag with flour, salt and cardamon or marjoram, until coated. Place chicken in the baking dish, turning to coat with oil or butter. Bake for 20 minutes. Combine preserves, mustard and yogurt or sour cream. Spread mixture over chicken. Add carrots to baking dish. Pour chicken broth over vegetables, surrounding chicken. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Top with nuts. Continue to bake for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or bulgur.

Variation: Add 1 cup each mushrooms and broccoli florets during last 10 minutes of baking.

Serves: 4
Calories: 331
Fat: 7 gm (4 gm are monounsaturated)

Florentine Chicken    
1 pkg. (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (3 chicken breasts)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (fat free works well)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup fresh whole mushrooms

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spinach in package for 3 minutes. Drain well. Spray baking dish with vegetable spray or coat bottom with oil. Place chicken in baking dish. turning to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove chicken. In shakable container with lid, combine flour, chicken broth, remaining Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Reserve 1/4 cup sauce. Stir spinach into remaining sauce. Spread in bottom of baking dish. Top with chicken. Add carrots and mushrooms. Pour reserved sauce over chicken pieces. Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes.

Serve with baked or sweet potatoes and crunchy bread.

Serves: 6
Calories: 210
Fat: 5 gm

  Lauren's Favorite Chicken  
1 (10oz) can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1 cup water or skim milk
1/2 cup low fat or fat free shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup instant rice
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2 whole breasts)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika

Spray 2 qt. baking dish with vegetable spray. Combine soup, milk or water, and cheese, reserving 1/4 cup of this mixture. Combine remaining soup mixture in with rice. Spoon into baking dish. Top with chicken. Spoon reserved mixture over breasts. Sprinkle with thyme and paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Variation: Add peas or carrots to rice.

Serve with sliced fresh apples and grapes.

Serves: 4
Calories: 215
Fat: 6 gm

    "Skinny Chicken Cordon Bleu"
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded (2 whole breasts)
3 oz - 4 oz shaved ham
3 oz shaved low fat Swiss cheese

1 pkg (10oz) frozen broccoli spears
1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning blend
2 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Lee & Perrins wine n' pepper sauce or make your own by combining:
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. wine or sherry
  • 1 tsp. pepper
 For Topping Combine:
  • 1/4 cup crushed Total or other whole grain cereal
  • 1 Tbsp. oat bran (optional)
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray. Place chicken in dish, sprinkle with 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash. Pour 2 Tbsp. wine n' pepper sauce over chicken. Top each piece of chicken with 1 slice each shaved ham, then Swiss cheese. Place broccoli around chicken. Sprinkle crumbled ricotta cheese around broccoli. Top entire mixture with remaining seasoning and sauce. Finish by sprinkling dish with topping. Bake 30 minutes.

Serve with couscous or bulgur and fresh fruit.

Serves: 4
Calories: 196
Fat: 5 gm

Cranberry Chicken    
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (2 chicken breasts)
1 - (15oz) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp. curry powder

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Season chicken breasts to taste with salt and pepper. Bake chicken for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Mix remaining ingredients together. Pour mixture over chicken. Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Serve with couscous or noodles and a spinach salad.

Serves: 4
Calories: 350
Fat: 5 gm

  Sweet Rainbow Rice  
2 - 2 1/2 cups hot cooked rice
1 (6oz or less) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 (7-8oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds (can be toasted)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup coconut (can be toasted)
2 - 3 Tbsp. mango chutney
dash - 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cook rice in a large container. Add remaining ingredients to rice and stir well. Serve immediately over your favorite flavored boneless chicken breast strips.

Fat can be reduced significantly by using only 1/4 cup almonds and substituting coconut extract for the coconut.

Serves: 4-6
Calories: 175
Fat: 7 gm (4 gm are monounsaturated)

    Low Fat Vegetable Pie (Quiche) Variations
All recipes begin with a crust. Instead of using traditional pie crust, which is high in fat, try using the following recipe.

  • 3/4 cups instant rice (yields 1 1/2 cups when cooked)
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 egg substitute
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (reduced fat or Parmesan topping)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook rice with water according to package. Stir in remaining ingredients. Press firmly into 9-inch pie pan, forming a crust. Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven.

    Serves: 8
    Calories: 70
    Fat: < 1 gm
 Try adding different herbs to the rice for varying flavors or use couscous instead of rice. Try the pie fillings below or be creative and combine your favorite ingredients.

Spinach Filling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1-(10oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup skim milk

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place onion and oil in a non-stick skillet. Saute onions 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and spinach, cover until spinach is tender and water has evaporated. Add lemon juice, lemon pepper, nutmeg and stir.

    Put filling into already prepared crust. Sprinkle cheese evenly over filling. Combine egg substitute and milk, stir and pour over pie. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until center is firm.

    Serve with sliced tomatoes and roasted pineapple.

    Serves: 8
    Calories: 95
    Fat: 5 gm
 Broccoli Filling
  • 1(10oz) pkg frozen chopped broccoli
  • 2 tsp. prepared mustard (honey dijon)
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup skim milk

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook broccoli according to package until tender and all water has evaporated. Add mustard, pepper and stir. Place in already prepared crust. Sprinkle cheese evenly over filling. Combine egg substitute, milk and stir. Pour over filling mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the center is firm.

    Serve with sliced apples or oranges and a soft bread.

    Serves: 8
    Calories: 77
    Fat: 3 gm
 Mushroom Filling
  • 3 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. prepared mustard (honey dijon)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup skim milk

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place mushrooms and garlic in a non-stick skillet. Saute for 5 minutes. Mushrooms will shrink in size. Add mustard and stir. Spoon filling into an already prepared crust being careful to leave excess liquid in the skillet. Sprinkle cheese evenly over filling. Combine egg substitute, milk and stir. Pour over filling. Bake 40-45 minutes or until center is firm.

    Try serving with slices of herb bread and a tossed green salad.

    Serves: 8
    Calories: 73
    Fat: 3 gm

Pizza "101"    
Pizza is a term which is very familiar. All we need to do is pick up the phone and dial a number and a pizza will be delivered to our homes in less than an hour. But how nutritious is pizza? Is pizza considered a junk food? It must be, since it's a favorite of children young and old.

Pizza can be a very nutritious and complete meal, depending upon the toppings you choose. Let's disassemble a pizza and create a low fat version, but maintain the taste.

  • 1 pkg. yeast
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute

  • Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Mix flour with sugar and salt. Add yeast, oil and egg. Stir until well blended. Knead on floured board until smooth and elastic. Place in a sprayed bowl, cover and put in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down. Knead slightly. Continue to let rise for 1 hour. Divide in half. Pat into two 9-inch crusts.

    Using a food processor or bread oven to combine the ingredients saves a tremendous amount of time. Some crust alternatives include: bagels, English muffins, split pita bread, French bread, soft tortilla shells, convenience mixes, refrigerated crusts or frozen crusts.
  • 1-16oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 sm. can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • Combine all ingredients. Stir until blended. Spread over crust.

    Sauce alternatives: already prepared spaghetti sauce, flavored tomato sauce or canned pizza sauce. Be sure to add plenty of cooked tomatoes in with the sauce, as recent studies have shown cooked tomatoes help with cancer prevention. They contain the antioxidant, lycopene which wards against precancerous cells.

This is the area which can cut the amount of fat added to the pizza significantly. Be wise and choose toppings lower in fat. Vegetables are virtually fat free and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Instead of a typical sausage and pepperoni pizza, try chicken strips, turkey, Canadian bacon, or lean ground round. Also, try combining a nonfat and low fat mozzarella cheese to complete your pizza.

  Kale Stew  
1 tsp. olive oil or vegetable spray
1/2 lb. polish sausage (low fat), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 tsp. minced garlic
4 large potatoes, diced
1 lg. bunch kale, stemmed and sliced
4 cans (16oz) chicken broth (low sodium, low fat or non-fat)
2 cans (16oz) white beans
2 tsp. black pepper

Heat olive oil in a wide, deep soup pot over medium heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until onions are soft, stirring often. Add potatoes, kale, and broth. Increase heat to high bringing stew to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the potatoes and thicken the broth. Add beans and heat through. Season with pepper.

Serve with chunks of sourdough bread.

Serves: 6
Calories: 452
Fat: 5 gm

Adapted from The Fast Lane, by Sarah Fritschner

    Pasta with Tomatoes and Beans
2 cans (14.5oz) tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, diced
1 can (19oz) cannellini beans or other white bean (drained & rinsed)
1 bag (10oz) fresh spinach, chopped (about 8 cups)
4 cups hot cooked penne pasta (about 1/2 lb. uncooked)
1/2 cup finely crumbled feta cheese (2oz) or grated romano

Combine tomatoes and beans in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Add spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring occasionally. Place 1 cup pasta on each of four plates; top each serving with 1 1/4 cup sauce and 2 tablespoons cheese.

Serve with a mixed green salad and garlic bread.

Serves: 4
Calories: 424
Fat: 5 gm

Nutrition tip: Feta cheese is considered moderately low fat and contains approximately 5 grams of fat per ounce.

Microwave Chili    
4 oz ground round
1 (15 oz) can chili beans (or kidney beans)
3 Tbsp. Mexine chili powder
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans chopped or chili style canned tomatoes
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cilantro or dried parsley

Combine all ingredients in microwave safe casserole or glass bowl. Microwave on high for fifteen minutes. Stir to blend. Continue to microwave for 20 minutes.

Serve with spaghetti or as soup.

Serves: 6-8
Calories: 125
Fat: 4 gm

Courtesy of Catherine Philpot

  Barb's Pork  
4 (4 oz) chops
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine garlic and mustard, rub over surface of meat. Marinate overnight. Grill or bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serve with oven roasted potatoes and zucchini.

    Peach-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops
4 boneless loin chops
1 (16 oz can) peach slices in light syrup
2 tbsp. peach or apricot marmalade
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. black pepper

Place pork in oiled casserole dish. Combine ingredients in small bowl, stirring to blend. Spread mixture over chops. Cover and Bake.

Serve with tossed salad and baked potato.

Serves: 4
Calories: 261
Fat: 7 gm

Smoky Citrus Chops    
4 boneless loin chops
1/3 cup smoky barbecue sauce
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 cup fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup slice onions
1/2 green pepper, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in plastic container with lid. Shake closed container to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove chops from marinade. Place in oiled casserole dish. Surround meat with mushrooms, onions and green peppers. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with seasoned baked potato wedges and a mixed green or fruit salad.

Serves: 4
Calories: 237
Fat: 5 gm

  San Francisco Chops  
4 boneless loin chops (1/2-inch thick)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. dry sherry or fat free broth
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp. water
Microwave safe dish

Combine oil and garlic in dish. Microwave for 1 minute. Combine sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar and pepper in bowl. Place pork in dish, turning to coat both sides with garlic/oil mixture. Pour sauce mixture over pork. Cover, microwave for 4 minutes, turn chops over after 2 minutes. Keep covered. Microwave at medium power for 12 to 15 minutes or until meat is tender and no pink remains. Remove chops to serving dish. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Stir into pan juices. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened. Leave uncovered and stir once. Pour sauce over chops and serve.

Serve over cooked noodles or with rice. Add your favorite vegetables to complete the meal.

Serves: 4
Calories: 235
Fat: 8 gm

    Oven Roasted Vegetables and Pork Chops
4 medium potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 large garlic cloves, peeled (leave whole)
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless loin chops
Salt and pepper to taste
dried thyme (optional)

Coat the bottom of a large, shallow baking sheet with olive oil. (The pan should be large enough to hold all the food in a single layer.) Place vegetables in pan, turning them until coated evenly with oil. Place the pork chops in the center of the pan, moving vegetables to make room for the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and an herb, if desired. (One tsp. dried thyme works well.) Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring the vegetables every 10 minutes or so. The vegetables should be tender and browning when done.

Serves: 4
Calories: 349
Fat: 8 gm (5 gm are monounsaturated)

Oriental Stir Fry    
1 Tbsp. sesame oil or olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb. broccoli spears, chopped in bite size pieces
1 carrot sliced on the diagonal in bite size pieces
2 cups, combination of your favorite vegetables, mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, green pepper
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup chicken broth (low sodium, low fat or nonfat)
1 tsp. ginger

Heat vegetable oil in skillet. Add garlic; saute until golden brown. Add chicken. Fry 5 minutes over medium heat. Add vegetables to skillet. Add frozen first, fry 2 minutes before adding fresh. Fry 2 to 3 minutes. Place spices, broth and cornstarch in shaker jar; shake to blend. Add sauce, pouring evenly over vegetables. Saute all together 3-5 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Serves: 4
Calories: 160
Fat: 5 gm (3 gm are monounsaturated)

  Mexican Stir Fry  
Version #1

1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1/2 Cup prepared salsa
3 cups mixed vegetables, start with green peppers and onions, add a blend of zucchini or other squash, tomatoes and corn

Saute garlic in oil until golden brown. Add sliced meat or chicken. Stir-fry 5 minutes. Add seasoning and salsa to meat. Add vegetables; continue to fry 3 to 5 minutes.

Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas or pita bread. Top with plain yogurt for a saucy touch.

Version #2

In place of salsa and taco seasoning, add with meat to sauteed garlic:

1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper
optional: 1 tbsp. cilantro or parsley

Saute 5 minutes. Add vegetables. Cook as directed in version #1.

    Italian Stir Fry
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 lb. sliced meat or chicken
3 Cups vegetables. Use a combination of zucchini and other squash sliced in 1/2 inch pieces. Complement with green pepper, mushrooms, onions and carrots. Cut these on the diagonal for an appealing touch.
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp oregano
1 chopped tomato
1 cup prepared tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese (reduced fat)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (reduced fat)

Saute garlic in oil. Add meat and continue to saute 5 minutes. Add vegetables. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, sauce and Parmesan cheese. Saute 2-3 Minutes. Add mozzarella cheese; cover pan to melt cheese.

Serve with your favorite pasta, fresh fruit or chunky bread.

Serves: 6
Calories: 151
Fat: 6 grams

Tomato Soup Spice Cake    
4 Tbsp. light margarine
1-1/3 cups sugar
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 (12oz) can tomato soup
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium mixing bowl combine margarine and sugar; stir to blend. Add tomato soup; stir to blend. Add egg whites and vanilla. Mix together until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Stir or mix until well blended. Pour into 9 x 13-inch oiled baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes.

Serves: 20
Calories: 113
Fat: <2 gm

  Chocolate Chip Meringues  
2 egg whites at room temperature
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 oz. chocolate chips (mini chips or reduced fat work well)
1/2 cup candied cherries, chopped
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, so egg whites remain stiff and do not become grainy. Fold chocolate chips, cherries and nuts into egg whites. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until meringues are golden and can be lifted easily off paper. Cool completely and store in air tight containers.

Makes 30 cookies
Calories: 46
Fat: <2 gm