Snack smart

Adding planned snacks is the next step in your diet.


FAMILY DINNER #1: Italian Sausage and Cheese Pasta
4 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta
8 cups baby spinach
1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce
3 Italian precooked chicken sausages, sliced (Hans or Amy's)
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

Serving directions: Sauté spinach, sauce and sausages about 8 minutes. In large bowl, mix warm noodles with sausage mixture. Top with cheese.

FAMILY DINNER #2: Mexican Pita Pizzas
4 whole-wheat pitas, split
3 cups canned low-fat refried beans
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
4 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 oz. can black olives, drained
1/2 cup salsa

Serving directions: Preheat broiler. Put pita on baking sheets. Toast pita under broiler for 3 minutes. Warm beans in microwave. Spread beans on pita. Sprinkle with cheese. Finish under broiler until cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes more. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, olives and salsa.

FAMILY DINNER #3: Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli in Peanut Sauce
4 cups whole wheat bow tie pasta
6 cups frozen broccoli
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
8 oz. precooked grilled chicken breast strips

Serving directions: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Microwave broccoli. Mix peanut butter with soy sauce, reserved water and pasta. Stir broccoli and chicken into noodles.

FAMILY DINNER #4: Barbecue Burgers with Green Beans and Corn
4 frozen soy burgers
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
4 small ears of corn
4 tsp. unsalted butter
6 cups frozen green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon pepper

Serving directions: Warm burgers in a microwave or on a grill for about 5 minutes. Put barbecue sauce and burgers on buns. Microwave or grill ears of corn (about 8 minutes) and rub wth butter. Microwave green beans and toss with olive oil and lemon pepper.

FAMILY DINNER #5: Grilled Cheese with Turkey
12 oz. turkey breast
4 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
8 slices whole grain bread
6 cups raw vegetables (such as cucumber, baby carrots, celery)
6 Tbsp. low-fat ranch dressing

Serving directions: Spray a pan with cooking spray. Put turkey and cheese between bread and grill. Serve with raw veggies and dressing on the side.

FAMILY DINNER #6: Lemon-Butter Fish and Veggie Packets
16 oz. fish such as tilapia or halibut (fresh or thawed/frozen)
2 lemons, juiced (about 4 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. frozen mixed vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
4 cups cooked instant brown rice

Serving directions: Preheat oven to 375º  F oven or warm up grill. Put fish, lemon juice, butter and veggies in foil packet. Crimp foil edges to tightly close. Bake in 375º F oven or on grill until fish is flaky, about 12 minutes. Serve lemon-butter fish and veggies on brown rice.