Home plate meals | MomsCharlotte.com
comments

Home plate meals

HealthyEating.org

MCT

Our national pastime is back! With East Coast (New York) origins in the early 1800s, baseball has been played coast to coast since 1867. Now that the 2013 baseball season is in full swing, our bases are loaded with ball park favorites and dishes inspired by our favorite teams.

Fill your home plates with Crispy Taco Shell “chips,” Chile Con Queso and Sunny Chicken Salad. Stay in the swing of things all week long with Yankee Grits, Boston Lettuce Salad, “Giant” bowls of Seafood Chowder and Bases Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes. Make sure to participate in the Seventh Inning stretch with a family walk around the block.

“Family Meals Matter” features registered dietitian-approved recipes with foods from all the food groups to reflect Dairy Council of California’s nutrition philosophy. For more information, nutrition tools and additional family meal recipes, please visit our new website, HealthyEating.org.

———

FEATURED FAMILY MEAL:

CRISPY TACO SHELLS

Total Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes

Actual Cooking Time: 15 to 30 minutes

Number of Servings: 6

Surprisingly easy and far better-tasting than store-bought taco shells.

To Make Ahead: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat at 375 degrees for 1 to 2 minutes before serving.

Equipment: Baked-taco rack

Ingredients:

12 6-inch corn tortillas

Canola oil cooking spray

3/4 teaspoon chili powder, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Wrap 4 tortillas in a barely damp cloth or paper towel and microwave on High until steamed, about 30 seconds. (Alternatively, wrap in foil and heat in the preheated oven until steaming, 5 to 7 minutes.) Coat both sides with cooking spray; sprinkle a little chili powder and salt on one side.

3. Drape each tortilla over a panel on a baked-taco rack and bake until crispy and brown, 7 to 10 minutes. (Or see Kitchen Tip.)

4. Remove the shells from the rack and repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the remaining 8 tortillas.

Cook's Notes:

Alternate recipe — baked tortilla chips: Cut tortillas into quarters and bake flat on oven rack to make baked tortilla chips for use with dips.

CHILE CON QUESO

Total Preparation Time: 15 to 30 minutes

Actual Cooking Time: 15 to 30 minutes

Number of Servings: 10 or more

Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-gooey-cheese lovers celebrating. Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip with less fat and fewer calories. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and used sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup pale ale or other light-colored beer

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar, preferably orange

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles (see Cook’s Note), drained, or 1 1/4 cups drained petite-diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

1/4 cup sliced scallions

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute.

3. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.

4. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.

6. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

Cook's Notes:

We like the flavor of Rotel brand diced tomatoes with green chiles the best in this dip. Choose original or mild, depending on your spice preference.

SUNNY CHICKEN SALAD

Total Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes

Actual Cooking Time: No cooking required

Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice, cooled

2 cups cantaloupe, cubed

1-1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed

1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 pound plain fat-free yogurt

4 lettuce leaves

Preparation:

1. Mix together rice, cantaloupe and cubed chicken in a bowl.

2. Combine the mint, parsley, garlic and yogurt in another bowl. Gently stir yogurt mixture into rice mixture until well combined.

3. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, until chilled. Serve lettuce on individual plates topped with chicken salad.

ADDITIONAL RECIPES:

YANKEE GRITS

BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD

SEAFOOD CHOWDER

LOADED TWICE-BAKED POTATOES

———

For more healthy meal planning made simple, go to www.healthyeating.org

———

© 2013, Dairy Council of California

See more at www.healthyeating.org

Distributed by MCT Information Services

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more