Pasta Cobb Salad

This time of year, I’m always looking for refreshing recipes to keep the kitchen cool. Pasta Cobb Salad does just that. It also is great to take it to summer cookouts, tailgates, and BBQs. Cobb Salad is one my favorite meals. If I spot it on a restaurant menu, I have a hard time passing it up. Starring chicken, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, and hard-boiled eggs, this main dish salad makes me happy. Pasta Cobb Salad is a delightful twist on the classic Cobb salad. Incorporating pasta into the salad give you an extra dose of hearty comfort and satisfaction. It’s the perfect meal as the weather warms up and it only takes 30 minutes to make.

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Pork Chops in Garlic Mushroom Sauce

This is a tasty entree that is a 30-minute meal and fancy enough for company. The mushroom sauce is wonderful not only for the pork but also for your side dish. Mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta would work well with it. You can use bone-in or boneless pork chops. I personally prefer bone-in as I think they have more flavor. Make sure to adjust cooking times based on the thickness of your pork chops. Bone-in will also take a bit longer to cook. Using a digital thermometer, the internal temperature should be 145F.

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Slow Cooker Ham

When I was growing up, one of my favorite meals was my mother’s baked ham. I still love the flavor of ham, but also love the simplicity and ease of cooking it in a crock pot. This 2-ingredient dish has all the flavor without the work. Crock pot ham is juicy and delicious with a no-fuss recipe that’s perfect for holiday meals or special occasions. The only ingredients you need are brown sugar and a bone-in picnic ham.

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Low Carb Taco Bowl

Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture reported that tortilla chips are high in calories per gram and are filled with saturated fats and high levels of sodium? Today’s recipe is a lower fat and low carb take on tacos and taco salad. You’ve probably seen taco and burrito bowls everywhere in restaurants. A taco bowl is a deconstructed taco with all of your favorite taco filling ingredients. A traditional taco bowl would involve beans and grains like corn and rice. This recipe is easy to adapt to multiple diets as the taco bowls can be customized as desired. Use all of the taco bowl toppings listed or mix and match your favorites. How about setting up the toppings on the dinner table and each family member makes their own version? First we start with lean ground meat. I suggest either ground chicken or turkey. Of course another option is lean ground beef. Be sure and pour off any fat after cooking. Add 2 tablespoons taco seasoning; for great taste and economy, make your own using my easy taco seasoning recipe.

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Mexican Casserole, One Dish Meal

Today’s recipe is another easy and tasty one dish meal but with a Mexican flavor. I’m using lean ground beef, 93% fat free, but you could also use ground turkey. Start with a bed of crushed tortilla chips and then add sauteed ground beef with salsa, taco seasoning, and chili beans. Spread low-fat sour cream over the beef and bean layer. Sprinkle the fresh tomatoes, green onions, and black olives over the sour cream and top with grated Cheddar cheese. Bake until it’s hot and bubbly for a great dinner. I’d serve it with a green salad. I always look for lower fat sour cream and cheese as it’s better for you but still gives you great flavor. Regular sour cream is fairly high in fat and calories. Reduced fat sour cream has a similar nutrient profile and a pleasant taste but with fewer calories and about 38% less fat. I don’t recommend fat free sour cream as they add fillers to give it a creamy texture.

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Garlic Herb Grilled Salmon

Summertime is the perfect time for a grilled dinner. Start with a quick garlic herb marinade of salmon filets and then grill for 10 minutes.  A great side dish is grilled asparagus. You can add potatoes or a wonderful fresh salad to complete your meal.  As usual, crusty bread or rolls completes this fast and tasty meal that also provides great nutrition for your family.

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