- Serves: 4 complete meals
- Approximate costs: $4.25 per serving; $17.00 to feed a family of 4
- 1-1/2 cups bow-tie pasta, or corkscrew or penne pasta, (measured dry)
- 1 medium-sized green pepper, (about 2 cups), sliced into strips
- Canola oil as needed
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pickled jalapeno, with seeds, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, (about 2/3 cup), diced
- 450 g/1 lb lean ground pork or beef
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
- 1-1/4 cups/398 ml/10 ounce can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, diced
- The juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- Canister of canola oil cooking spray
- 2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella and cheddar mix
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until el dente. Drain, and then set aside.
- Meanwhile, saute the green pepper in oil in a large, deep skillet; cook over a moderate heat, for 5 minutes. Add the onion and jalapeno; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the ground beef; sprinkle with oregano, salt and black. Crumble the meat as it cooks. Cook for 7 to 9 minutes, or until all of the meat has lost its pink.Remove the pan of meat and vegetables from the heat. Add the tomato sauce, beans, chili powder, garlic powder and cooked pasta. Mix together. Toss the sliced avocado with lime juice, and then gently fold the avocado into the chicken/bean mixture.
- Spray a glass or ceramic casserole dish with cooking oil. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown. Sprinkle with parsley before slicing.
Calories: 457 per serving; fat content: 5 g
Food writer: Carolyn Cashen