What do I cook for dinner?

Today I sit in the lobby of a testing center waiting for my daughter to take her chemistry CLEP exam.  Perfect time to get some work done, but all I can think about is “what do I make for dinner?”  Of course, I know you must be thinking the same thing.  Aren’t we all?  I mean, there are the obvious answers like, order out pizza, grab some fast food, or the local Mexican restaurant always has great nacho’s…Oh nacho’s?  Yes, nacho’s!  What a great idea!  Why go out for nacho’s when I can make them, cheaper, better and a bit more healthy right from home?  So here is what I’ll pick up on the way home from the testing center to get dinner on the table tonight, and I know some of this stuff I already have in my pantry or freezer.

I sometimes make my own taco seasoning mix, but tonight I opt for the quick and easy and use the pre-packaged seasoning mix.

A bag of whole-grain tortilla chips (Snyder’s® makes a great tasting whole-grain chip), some sharp cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, ground meat, low-sodium taco seasoning mix and a bunch of scallions.  I always use 1½ pounds of meat with the seasoning mix instead of the designated pound.  This helps stretch the meal a bit more and, to tell you the truth, tastes better.

Nacho’s home style

1 ½ pound ground chuck (substitute ground chicken or turkey)

1 bag of low-sodium taco seasoning mix

1 15-ounce bag whole-grain tortilla chips

½ pint cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 bunch scallions (white and tender green parts), thinly sliced

1 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1.      Prepare ground chuck with seasoning mix as stated on package (being sure to use the 1½ pounds of meat).

2.      Place chips on large cookie sheet or oven proof platter, sprinkle with meat, tomatoes, scallions and top with cheese.  Place under broiler on low for approximately 3-4 minutes watching carefully not to burn the chips.  Enjoy!

Serve Nacho’s with salsa and a low-fat sour cream.  If you have time – make a side of guacamole.

Quick Tip: Use 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips in place of ground meat.  Brown in non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 8-10 minutes on medium high; stir occasionally before adding seasoning mix.

For Keeps:  Don’t throw out the leftovers!  The meat, tomatoes, scallions and cheese are great on a bed of greens the next day with a few chips crumbled on top.  Dress with some vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and you have one outstanding salad for lunch.

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