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Avocado-bean salad adds fresh notes to quick meal

Serve this Southwestern skillet pizza right from the pan. It’s a quick and easy vegetarian dish.

Skillet cooking is very much a part of Southwestern cuisine. This unusual supper cooks the pasta and sauce together in one pan, so the pasta absorbs the sauce flavors.

It’s also adaptable. Any type of cheese – such as cheddar or fontina – may be used in place of Monterey jack. And, if you do not have a ripe avocado, leave it out and toss the beans with oil and vinegar dressing.

SOUTHWESTERN SKILLET PIZZA

Serves 2

Olive oil spray

1 cup sliced onion

Linda Gassenheimer/TNS
Serve this quick Southwestern Skillet Pizza with an easy avocado-and-black bean salad.

1 cup sliced green bell pepper

1½ cups sliced baby bello mushrooms

2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 ounces fresh or dried fettuccini

1½-cups canned reduced-sodium crushed tomatoes

½ cup water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup Monterey jack cheese (2 ounces)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil spray. Add the onion, green bell pepper and mushrooms. Sauté 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño pepper and garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the corn and cumin. Mix well. Add the fettuccini and toss with the vegetables. Add the crushed tomatoes and water and spread over the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover with a lid and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread cheese over the top. Cover and let cheese melt 3 minutes.

Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.

PER SERVING: 449 calories (20 percent from fat), 10.2 g fat (3.9 g saturated, 3.2 g monounsaturated), 18 mg cholesterol, 20.9 g protein, 74.9 g carbohydrates, 11.2 g fiber, 256 mg sodium

AVOCADO AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

Serves 2

½ small, ripe avocado (about ½ cup)

2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ small head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

½ cup canned reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

Peel, seed and mash avocado in a small bowl. Add the dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Place lettuce in a salad bowl and toss with black beans. Spoon avocado dressing over top.

PER SERVING: 132 calories (45 percent from fat), 6.6 g fat (0.9 g saturated, 3.9 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 5.0 g protein, 15.3 g carbohydrates, 7.6 g fiber, 60 mg sodium

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