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Video: Healthier Southern meals: Mac ’n cheese casserole

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    >>> 30 minutes , then you have enough time to cook up a healthy serving of comfort food for your family tonight.

    >> bobby dean is here. terrific recipes under 350 calories from his new book " bobby deen 's every day eats." congratulations, i understand you're a newlywed.

    >> i did. i got married in july.

    >> and your wife is here.

    >> she is. she makes things -- it's easier to cook healthy now that i'm married because she's a triathlete. she runs marathons.

    >> keeping you in shape.

    >> she does all that stuff.

    >> you're starting off with a great chili.

    >> yep. great chili. i like things to be inexpensive, very simple and all the ingredients to be accessible to everyday people. because that's how i like meals to be. but if you look at the ingredients here of this chili, it's completely meatless. and there's no saying you should e an old saying that says you should eat the rainbow for good health. it's completely meatless. we're using a chicken broth here.

    >> you want the vegetable broth.

    >> to make it completely vegetarian, you could. we're going to use mushrooms and onions, which is the basis for a lot of good recipes. and beans, white beans, black beans , and kidney beans .

    >> canned or cooked?

    >> they're canned. when i use canned ingredients, i like to drain and rinse them because there's a lot of sodium and preserves. that's a good start, and we're going to go ahead and add our broth to that.

    >> yeah.

    >> and heat it up. and garlic, jalapenos, chili powder , all the regular things you would expect. garlic, jalapeno, if you want to spice it up, leave the seeds in there. 2 tablespoons of the chili powder . and our kale, if you'd like to do that for me. and the tomatoes. canned tomatoes with all the juices. no problem with used canned, diced tomatoes .

    >> saves you time and the nutrition is just as good.

    >> absolutely. even more so is what i've heard. and this is what your chili will turn out looking like.

    >> fantastic.

    >> it's really quick, right?

    >> you can put this together in 15 minutes and let it boil for another 10 or 15 minutes and simmer and it's going to be good. these are going to be mcintosh baked apples. core them with a simple corer like this and get the center out. you wouldn't go all the way to the bottom. and then, stuff it --

    >> just a little.

    >> the chili is only 200 calories per serving. and these apples are only 128 calories per serving. a little bit of butter, a little bit of cinnamon right on top. a little bit of maple syrup .

    >> bake it up.

    >> bake it up.

    >> put a little water on the bottom.

    >> right, exactly. kind of steams while it's cooking. 10 minutes , 128 calories, recipes are super simple and light, vegetable macaroni & cheese for the kids, loaded with broccoli and cauliflower.

    >> how's your mom?

    >> she's doing well.

    >> tell her hi.

    >> i will.

    >> congrats on the wedding.

    >> thank you very much.

    >> you can get these recipes

TODAY recipes
updated 4/7/2014 5:57:19 PM ET 2014-04-07T21:57:19

Recipe: Veggie mac and cheese casserole

  • 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded gruyère cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into florets, large florets halved
  • 1 large head broccoli (about 13/4 pounds), cut into florets, large florets halved
  • 1 package (131/4 ounces) whole-grain fusilli
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mustard, salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Stir in the gruyère and parmesan. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a large bowl. Return the water to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

About a minute before the pasta is finished cooking, add the peas and cook until heated through. Drain the peas and pasta, re- serving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and transfer them to the bowl containing the cauliflower and broccoli.  Add the yogurt mixture and ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to the pasta and veggie mixture. Stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is well combined. Add more pasta water if it seems a little dry.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the panko and the remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Nutritional count per serving: 341 calories; 18g protein; 4g fat; 65g carbohydrate; 12g fiber; 353mg sodium

Serving Size

6 servings

Recipe: Three bean and kale chili

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (151/2 ounces) small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (151/2 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (151/2 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and veins removed, chopped
  • 2 cups packed chopped kale
  • 1 can (141/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high-heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened and the mushrooms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the white beans, black beans, kidney beans, garlic, jalapeño, kale, diced tomatoes and juices, broth, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve.

Nutritional count per serving: 211 calories; 12g protein; 6g fat; 35g crbohydrate; 11g fiber; 722mg sodium

Serving Size

6 servings

Recipe: Homey baked apples

  • 4 baking apples (5 to 6 ounces each), such as McIntosh
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Vanilla frozen yogurt, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Core the apples, making sure not to cut through the bottom, creating a 2-teaspoon cavity. Peel away 1 inch of the skin from around the top of the cavity. Press 1 teaspoon of the butter into the bottom of each cavity. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the butter and top with the maple syrup. Place the apples in the prepared baking dish and pour in enough water to cover the bottom of the dish by ¼ inch. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes.  Serve in bowls, with a scoop of frozen yogurt (if using) and the pan juices drizzled on top.

Nutritional count per serving: 128 calories; 1g protein; 4g fat; 25g carbohydrate; 4g fiber; 2mg sodium

Serving Size

4 servings

Recipe: Spinach and cheese-stuffed pork chops

  • 6 boneless pork loin chops (3/4 inch thick, about 5 ounces each)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 1/4 cup jarred chopped pimiento
  • ²⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a horizontal slit through the center of each chop to form a deep pocket. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, pimiento, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Divide this stuffing among the 6 pockets. Season the chops with salt and pepper.

In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, tilting the skillet to coat the bottom evenly. When the oil is hot, add the pork chops and cook, without moving them, until they are beginning to brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the chops and place the skillet in the oven. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the chops stand for 5 minutes, then serve them with the lemon wedges.

Nutritional count per serving: 196 calories; 27g protein; 8g fat; 3g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 452mg sodium

Serving Size

6 servings

Recipe: Pasta and bean soup with pesto

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (151/2 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups small whole-grain pasta shells
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons jarred or prepared pesto
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, beans, and rosemary sprigs, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the pasta, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Season with the salt, and use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl 1 teaspoon of the pesto into each serving. Sprinkle with the parmesan and serve.

Nutritional count per serving: 210 calories; 9g protein; 4g fat; 32g carbohydrate; 6g fiber; 573 mg sodium

Serving Size

6 servings

Recipe: Stir-fried chicken with green beans and cashews

  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or other chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¹⁄3 cup roasted, salted cashews

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and run under cold water to cool down, then drain again.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, broth, vinegar, cornstarch and Sriracha and stir until the cornstarch has dissolved.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 seconds. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no trace of pink remains on the surface. Add the green beans and the soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cashews and serve.

Nutritional count per serving: 246 calories; 29g protein; 10g fat; 9g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 293mg sodium

Serving Size

4 servings

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