Quick, Easy Recipes: More Halfway Homemade Dishes

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All I’m asking for is about 15 minutes. That’s all the time it takes to put recipes together when they’re what I like to call “halfway homemade.” Basically, this means you’re using products from your supermarket that make home cooking faster and easier — like canned broth, bottled marinara, roasted chicken, pre-shredded reduced-fat cheese, and bags of salad mix. Get the picture? Although I call them halfway homemade “recipes,” you aren’t really cooking so much as assembling these quick and easy recipes. You throw some things together and voila! It’s dinner or dessert!

What’s the benefit of making things at home instead of buying them already made from a restaurant, fast-food outlet, or supermarket? You get to make choices about the foods and the amounts you use, so that the dish can end up being more healthful.

The way I see it, there are at least five health reasons to choose “halfway homemade” instead of store-bought:

1. You can have your favorite comfort foods and eat light, too!

I feel so strongly about the importance of having frozen dinner light

Nutrition Information per serving: 275 calories, 17 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 60 mg chocolate pudding mix into 1 1/3 cups COLD milk in mixing bowl on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl halfway through, and continue mixing. Stir in a cup of Cool Whip, mixing by hand just until blended. Pour into individual serving dishes, using the back of a spoon to smooth the tops.

  • In same mixing bowl, beat chocolate fudge pudding mix into 1 1/3 cups COLD milk on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl halfway through, and continue mixing. Stir in a cup of Cool Whip, mixing by hand just until blended. Pour into serving dishes.
  • Cover individual dishes with plastic wrap or foil and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. For optional garnish, add a dollop of Light Cool Whip to the center of each and top that with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings

    WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 portion light dessert OR 1/2 cup 2% milk + 2 teaspoons sugar

    Nutrition Information per serving: 104 calories, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2.8 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 346 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 24%.

    Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2008 Elaine Magee

    Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the “Recipe Doctor” for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.