Cheese Grits and Ham Bake (Sunday)Makes 6...


Cheese Grits and Ham Bake (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 45 to 50 minutes

2 1/2 cups water

3 1/2 cups skim milk, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups quick grits

3/4 cup cooked, diced ham (about 4 ounces)

3/4 cup reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (3 ounces)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pickled jalapeno pepper, rinsed and drained, then minced

1 large egg

5 egg whites

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a shallow, 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat water, 1 1/2 cups milk and salt to boil over medium-high heat.

Gradually stir in grits, stirring constantly with whisk. Cover and simmer over low 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in ham, cheeses and jalapeno.

In a large bowl, whisk egg and egg whites and 2 cups milk. Gradually add grits (mixture will be lumpy). Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 45 to 50 minutes or until top is set and edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

Fresh Strawberry Pie (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Baking time: pie crust (see package); chilling time: 30 minutes

1 (9-inch) commercial (or your own) graham cracker or other pie crust

1/2 cup red (strawberry, red currant or other) jelly

3 pints chilled fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and divided

Bake crust according to directions. Save half the largest berries and slice the rest.

In a 1-cup measure, microwave jelly on high 15 seconds or until melted. Spread a thin layer of jelly over bottom of crust. Spoon sliced berries evenly in shell and top with half of remaining jelly. Arrange remaining whole berries, pointed side up, starting at the center and moving to the edge as far as the berries will go. Spoon remaining jelly over and between berries. Refrigerate until jelly is set.

Minestrone Soup (Monday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: About 25 minutes

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces) Italian-style tomatoes

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups any frozen vegetable mix

1 cup uncooked medium pasta shells

Parmesan cheese

Combine above ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Beef Minestrone Soup (Monday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: Under 10 minutes

1 pound lean ground meat

leftover minestrone soup

Place lean meat in a large, nonstick skillet. Cook, breaking apart until meat is no longer pink. Drain well.

zTC Combine with Monday's leftover soup and heat. Serve with a fresh spinach salad and Italian bread.

Ricey Taco Filling (Thursday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 pound ground turkey or ground chicken breast

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup salsa

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 cup cooked brown rice (1/3 cup uncooked)

8 baked taco shells (for half of mixture)

In a large, nonstick skillet, cook turkey or chicken and beef, breaking meat apart until no longer pink or about 5 minutes. Drain. Stir in tomato sauce, salsa, Worcestershire, vinegar and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat about 10 minutes. Spoon half into taco shells and freeze other half for future use.

Mediterranean Chicken Breasts (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

4 bone-in chicken breasts

8 garlic cloves

olive oil cooking spray



dried oregano

fresh lemons, 4 plus an extra 1 or 2 for garnish

12 Nicoise or kalamata olives

feta cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Separate, but don't detach skin from chicken breasts; place 2 garlic cloves under skin of each breast and replace skin. Coat with olive-oil-flavored cooking spray and season with salt and pepper and dried oregano. Place slices from 4 lemons on bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle 12 sliced Nicoise or kalamata olives around chicken. Bake 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese. Garnish platter with fresh lemon slices and serve.

Tip of the week

Foods containing acidic ingredients (such as tomatoes, lemons or onions) should not come in direct contact with aluminum foil. Natural acids create a chemical reaction that can eat through the foil and also affect the food's flavor.

-- Food Lover's Tiptionary

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author an registered dietitian. She can be reached by e-mail:

Pub Date: 5/17/98


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