Labor-Saving Recipes Using Store-Bought Shortcuts

Copyright 1994 Miami Herald
From Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Selected and Prepared by Tribune Media Services

By Felicia Gressette
Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Here a few recipes that demonstrate how to use store-bought preparations to save time
in the kitchen.


1 pound coarse or chili-grind beef chuck
1 11- or 19-ounce can black bean soup
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1&1/3 cups water
1 cup medium or hot chunky salsa
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions


1/4 cup light sour cream
Fresh cilantro sprigs

In a Dutch oven, brown the beef over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until no longer
pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings.

Stir in bean soup, beans, water and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and
simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in green onions. Remove from heat. Garnish
with sour cream and cilantro. Serves 4.

Source: National Beef Cook-off.

Nutritional information per serving: 510 calories; 36 grams protein; 42 grams
carbohydrate; 23 grams fat; 40 percent of calories as fat; 4.6 grams fiber; 77 milligrams
cholesterol; 994 milligrams sodium.

This recipe from the Beef Industry Council could also be made with ground turkey or
chicken or shrimp.


1 pound lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 ounces snow pea pods, ends trimmed, or 1 6-ounce package frozen pea pods
3 cups cold cooked rice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 cup sliced green onions

In a large, nonstick skillet, brown beef, garlic and ginger over medium heat for 8 to 10
minutes, until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Remove beef;
pour off drippings. In same skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Stir-fry
bell pepper and pea pods 3 minutes, until crisp tender. Add rice, soy sauce and sesame
oil; mix well. Return beef; heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in green onions. Makes 4
1&1/2-cup servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 571 calories; 27 grams protein; 43 grams
carbohydrate; 29 grams fat; 46 percent of calories as fat; 2 grams fiber; 84 milligrams
cholesterol; 852 milligrams sodium.

I put this together from what was in the cupboards and the refrigerator. The result,
served with a quick salad and hot bread, was a quick, hearty, low-fat supper.


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
2 19-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed or chopped
1/2 cup tiny pasta, such as tubetti or orzo
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into strips (optional)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped (may substitute 1/2 of
10-ounce package frozen, chopped spinach)

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, then cook and stir onion until softened and
translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until you smell its aroma, about 1
minute. Add broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Let cook about 10
minutes, so flavors combine. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until tender, then
drain and add to soup. If soup is too thick, add 1 cup water or additional broth. Just
before serving, stir in basil and spinach and cook just until spinach is bright green and
wilted. Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 440 calories; 28 grams protein; 76 grams
carbohydrate; 4 grams fat; 8 percent of calories as fat; 15.4 grams fiber; 1 milligram
cholesterol; 818 milligrams sodium. A heart-healthy recipe. Exchanges: 1.6 vegetable, 4.5
bread, 1.9 meat, 0.2 fat.

I like to keep a roll of pizza dough in the refrigerator to turn into a quick supper for one.
Here's my favorite combo. 


3/4 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
Dried oregano to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 10-ounce package refrigerated pizza dough

Following package directions, stretch pizza dough into a circle or rectangle on a baking
sheet. Spread evenly with ricotta, then top with roasted peppers. Sprinkle with oregano,
then with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake, according to directions, until crust is browned
and cheese is bubbly. Serves 2.

Nutritional information per serving: 575 calories; 32 grams protein; 67 grams
carbohydrate; 19 grams fat; 30 percent of calories as fat; 0.2 grams fiber; 4.8 milligrams
cholesterol; 1467 milligrams sodium.

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