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Faster-Than-Takeout Dinners

Whip up a weeknight meal quicker than you can pick one up.

Deluxe Microwave Nachos

Journal as: 1 cup entrée salad with "starchy foods, light salad dressing" + 1 slice bread + 2 ounces low-fat cheese OR 2 cups "hearty stew, chili, bean soup."

1 can (16-ounce) fat-free or vegetarian refried beans
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (from packets such as Lawry's)
About 1 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese (Jack or cheddar or both)
4 green onions (white and part green), chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
Small can of chopped Ortega chili peppers
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup bottled or fresh salsa
About 8 cups reduced-fat tortilla chips

  • Open the fat-free refried (or vegetarian) beans and heat in a saucepan with a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning. Stir and cook until blended and beans are nice and soft (about 2 minutes).
  • Prepare the rest of your toppings: open a bag of shredded, reduced-fat cheese; chop green onions and fresh tomatoes; open a can of chili peppers; put a spoon into the container of sour cream, and in the jar or tub of salsa.
  • Arrange a serving (about 2 cups) of reduced-fat tortilla chips on a microwave-safe plate. Top with spoonfuls of beans, cheese, and sprinkles of green onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers, as desired. Microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute. Place a dollop of sour cream and salsa in the center of the plate and serve.
  • Repeat with remaining servings (each takes about 1 1/2 minutes to assemble and microwave).

Yield: 5 servings

Per serving: 450 calories, 22 g protein, 66 g carbohydrate, 11.5 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 13 grams fiber, 800 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%.

Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2006 Elaine Magee

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