Healthy Dinner: Mostaccioli, Green Bean Medley & Salad. Under 600 calories.

Plus a lunch of Elk & Bean Chile Verde with Cornbread and a different salad, for about 500 calories.

I first recall trying mostaccioli last night before prom.  One of my best friends had been regaling me with how she was trying to get a recipe from her childhood but wasn’t sure if the nice old lady who prepared it was still alive and able to share it.  Yesterday the recipe arrived.  Very cutely phrased.  There was a warning not to use too much cheese because it’s “caloric.”  Made my day.  Especially after I got to taste the dish last night too.  Mmmhmmm.  I used a different recipe because it already had caloric values calculated.  Still pretty tasty.

Today’s recipes were inspired (read: straight from) Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking magazine and website.  Ms B gave me a bunch of the mags & I was just picking something simple.  The Dinner was served to Ms B and her guests, and everybody spoke contentedly of the mostaccioli.  The green beans were good, nothing spectacular, and the salad received no accolades because it was standard in that household.  My personal gripes were that the green beans were a bit softer than I personally prefer, and the salad may have accidentally been drowned in the tasty dressing.

Dinner. Truncated.  My adaptations included

Baked Mostaccioli.  35min prep, 30 min bake, 6 servings (I found this pretty true)

  • 8oz uncooked mostaccioli (penne in my case)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey (elk from my employers actually)
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained, & 1 (6oz) can tomato paste (I just used the 26 oz jar of chunky spaghetti sauce that was 70 cal/serving…)
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/8 t pepper
  • 2 C (16oz) fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 t marjoram (or italian spices or whatever green leafy mix you have on hand.  I used “Fine herbs”)
  • 1 1/2 C (6oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese & 1/4 C grated parmesan (lazy me, the pkg of pizza cheese comes in w 4 different cheeses, so I went with that.  All 8oz’s of it just for spite)
  1. Cook the pasta like the pkg says.  Meanwhile, cook the meat in a big saucepan.
  2. Toss in the tomatoe stuffs, water, oregano & salt & pepper.  (I add: Take a second to pour the measured spices into your hand to get a feel of how much you should be adding so you can gradually quit pulling out so many measuring spoons.) bring it all to a boil, reduce it to a covered simmer for 15 min (covered? so that’s how there was supposed to be liquid…)
  3.   In a sm bowl, like the one you bought it in, mix the marjoram & cottage cheese, then put it aside.  Drain your pasta if you’ve forgotten.
  4. 1/2 C red stuff goes into the 11×7 pam sprayed dish.  Then half the pasta, red stuff, and mozzarella.  Next all of the cottage cheese & repeat with the remaining pasta, red, and mozzarella.
  5. Bake, uncovered, 350o, for 30-40 min till is bubbly & heated through

About 300 calories.  And tasty.

Green Bean Medley.   gets done somehow during everything. serves 4 by my generous portions. 

  • 1lb fresh green beans, trimmed (takes time or costs extra)
  • 1 sm sweet red pepper, fine chopped
  • 4 green onion (scallions), chopped
  • 1/4 C sliced fresh mushrooms (or a full cup if you’re like me)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 garlic, minced, ran thru the press, or from the minced jar
  • 1 T sherry vinegar (we had seasoned rice vinegar on hand…)
  • 1/2 t dried basil (I like basil… so more like 1 T)
  • 1/4 t salt & pepper (measured?  yeah right.)

Cover beans with water in a large sauce pan, like your now empty pasta pot, and bring to a boil.  cook ‘em for 4-7 min until “crisp-tender”

meanwhile, prep your fresh veggies.  Then toss them all into another skillet & saute them with the oil & garlic till they’re tender, or till you’re just about ready to serve.  Toss in the beans, drained please, and everything else.  Heat it “through.”

The end.

technically, every 3/4 c serving = 59 calories.  Or figure under a hundred for a quarter of the total.

Organic Spring Salad with Strawberries and lemony dressing

  • one ziplock baggie of salad from the local food basket people
  • the leftover strawberries from something or other.  The small ones were the best.
  • The homemade salad dressing that used something vinegary, lots of lemon-olive oil (from Newzealand I believe), and a nice bunch of dried herbs.
  1. Slice the strawberries & toss it all together. 
  2. Realize you forgot the feta cheese.
  3. Ponder if you’ll ever get a real recipe…

somewhere around 100-150 calories, if you know what’s in your dressing.


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