Home & Garden

Dining In: Put some zip into spring break lunches

recipes by Karen Diefendorf
Try something new, tasty, and healthy with the kids at home next week with these recipes.

Waldorf chicken sandwich
   1 can (4 1/4 ounces) chunky chicken spread
   1 pkg. (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
   1/2 medium apple, finely chopped
   2 tbsp. raisins
   1 stalk celery, finely chopped
   6 slices whole grain bread
   In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Serve on whole grain bread. Makes 3 servings.

Taco soup
   1 lb. extra lean ground beef
   1 medium (1/2 c.) onion, chopped
   1 medium green pepper, chopped
   1 (1 1/4-oz.) package taco seasoning mix
   1 (1 qt.) bottle
   4 c. vegetable tomato juice
   1 c. thick and chunky salsa or picante sauce
Toppings:
   Light sour cream or no fat sour cream
   Shredded lettuce
   Sliced green onion
   Chopped tomato
   Shredded Cheddar cheese
   Baked tortilla chips
   In a four-quart saucepan, cook ground beef, onion, and green pepper over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink (6-10 minutes). Drain off fat. Stir in seasoning mix and continue cooking for one minute. Stir in vegetable tomato juice and salsa. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (3-5 minutes). To serve, spoon soup into serving bowls; garnish with desired toppings. Yield: six servings. Nutritional information for 1 serving soup (without toppings): Calories 220, Protein 17g, Carbohydrate 16g, Fat 10g, Cholesterol 45mg, Sodium 1460mg.

Cheese zombies
   1 (1 lb. loaf) frozen white or wheat bread dough
   6 oz. processed American or Cheddar cheese
   Thaw loaf of bread dough. Allow dough to rise. Divide dough into six pieces. Cut cheese into six cubes. Wrap dough around cube of cheese. Form dough into ball, making sure that cheese is in the center and entirely covered. Pinch dough edges together to seal. Allow to rise again for about one hour. Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until bread is browned. One loaf makes six zombies. Note: If you are using cheddar cheese, it will melt more evenly if coarsely grated.

Peanut butter and jelly medley sandwich
   4 slices bread
   2 Tbsp. peanut butter
   2 Tbsp. strawberry jam
   2 Tbsp. grape jelly
   Spread grape jelly on one slice of bread. Top with second slice and spread with peanut butter. Top with third bread slice and spread with strawberry jam. Top off with fourth bread slice. Cut sandwich into quarter triangles (makes two servings). Serve with: an orange, fat-free potato chips, one percent milk and low-fat granola bar. Nutritional information: 726 calories; 13 fat grams, 16 % calories from fat.

Roll-ups
   2 slices turkey bologna
   1 slice fat-free American cheese
   1 slice fat-free Monterey Jack cheese
   1 tsp. fat-free mayonnaise
   2 slices of bread
   Roll each slice of bread with a rolling pin until flattened. Spread each slice with mayonnaise and top with one slice of bologna and one slice of cheese. Roll each into a log and cut crosswise into about 5 pieces. Fix with a toothpick if necessary. Serve with: orange juice, reduced-fat corn chips, cucumber slices and a pudding cup (made with skim milk). 637 calories, 12 fat grams, 17% calories from fat.

Quick Italian beef & vegetable soup
   1 lb. lean ground beef
   1 large clove garlic, crushed
   1/2 tsp. pepper
   1/4 tsp. salt
   2 cans (13-3/4 to 14-1/2 oz. each) ready-to-serve beef broth
   1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained, broken up
   1 cup sliced (1/4 inch thick) carrots
   1 can (15 to 19 ounces) cannellini (white kidney) or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
   1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half and crosswise into 1/4- inch slices
   2 c. torn spinach leaves, lightly packed
   Heat Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef and garlic; brown 4 to 5 minutes, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Season beef with pepper and salt. Stir broth, tomatoes and carrots into beef. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in beans and zucchini; continue to cook 4 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Garnish as desired. Makes 4 servings.

Tomato melts
   4 English muffins, split
   8 thin slices tomato
   4 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
   4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
   Top each toasted muffin half with a slice of tomato, grated Cheddar, and crumbled bacon. Broil just until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. Serve warm.

Sunny vegetarian sandwich
   3//4 c. (2 oz.) low fat cottage cheese
   1/2 tsp.. lemon juice
   1 small garlic clove, minced
   3-4 drops hot pepper sauce, or to taste
   Salt and pepper, if desired
   4 slices whole wheat bread
   1/4 cup (1 oz.) walnut pieces
   1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
   1 carrot, very thinly sliced
   1/2 c. (about 1/2 ounce) alfalfa sprouts
   4 slices tomato
   In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients and blend until smooth. Season with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper, if desired. Spread each slice of bread with 1/4 of the mixture. Divide walnuts equally and sprinkle on top of cottage cheese on two of the slices of bread. Divide zucchini and carrot slices equally and use to top walnuts. Then top vegetable slices with 1/2 of the sprouts and 2 slices of tomato each. Top with the other slices of bread. Cut in half diagonally. Serve with a pear or apple. Serves 2. Per serving: 385 Calories, 13g fat (2g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 14g protein, 62g carbohydrate, 495mg sodium.

Tuna roll-ups
   3/4 cup dried tomato halves, snipped into 1/2-inch pieces
   2 cans (6 1/8 oz. each) chunk light tuna in water, drained
   6 Tbsp. reduced-calorie mayonnaise
   1/3 c. diced celery
   1/4 c. minced red onion
   1/4 c. chopped parsley
   1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
   4 8-inch flour tortillas
   Green leaf lettuce leaves
   Place tomatoes in medium bowl; cover with boiling water and set aside 10 minutes. Drain tomatoes and return to bowl. Add remaining ingredients except tortillas and lettuce. Mix well. For each sandwich, spread 1/2 cup tuna mixture onto 1 side of a tortilla; and cover with lettuce. Roll up, jellyroll-fashion. Repeat with remaining tortillas, tuna and lettuce. Serve immediately or individually wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Makes 4 servings.