You don't have to sacrifice the traditional smoky punch of this Cajun favorite just because you're short on time. All you need is some purchased sausage and quick-cooking brown rice to create a rich, satisfying dinner on any weeknight. Have some sliced berries for dessert to cool off your palate!
1 teaspoon canola oil
8 ounces andouille sausage (see Note) or low-fat kielbasa, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 16-ounce bag frozen bell pepper and onion mix
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups instant brown rice
8 ounces raw shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and pepper-onion mix; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add rice, stir once, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Andouille sausage is a smoky, mildly spicy pork sausage commonly used in Cajun cooking. Look for it near other smoked sausages in large supermarkets or specialty food stores.
Makes 4 servings, 1½ cups each.
Active Minutes: 15
Total: 25 minutes
Per Serving: 412 calories; 10 g fat (3 g sat, 1 g mono); 142 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 3 g fiber; 685 mg sodium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (31% daily value), Vitamin C (25% dv).
Soaking onions in balsamic vinegar brings out their sweetness. Just don't use an expensive aged balsamic for this quick treat. To make these easy tortilla sandwiches into a meal, serve them with simple sautéed vegetables or a tossed green salad.
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
4 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 slices deli turkey, preferably smoked (8 ounces)
1. Combine onion and vinegar in a bowl; let marinate for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the vinegar for another use, such as salad dressing.
2. Place 2 tortillas in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (they will overlap); warm for about 45 seconds, then flip. Pull the tortillas up the edges of the pan so they are no longer overlapping. Working on one half of each tortilla, sprinkle one-fourth of the cheese, cover with 2 slices of turkey and top with one-fourth of the onion. Fold the tortillas in half, press gently with a spatula to flatten and cook until the cheese starts to melt, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until the second side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Make two more quesadillas with the remaining ingredients. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
Active Minutes: 15
Total: 20 minutes
Per Serving: 261 calories; 10 g fat (5 g sat, 0 g mono); 56 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 23 g protein; 2 g fiber; 702 mg sodium.