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Make your next meal fun and family friendly

What better way to spend time with the family than to get everyone in the kitchen to cook up a fun meal! Kathleen Daelemans, author of the best-selling cookbook “Cooking Thin,” was invited on the “Today” show to share some meal ideas that will help facilitate quality time with Mom, Dad and the gang. Here are the recipes:If you've never made pizza dough before or if you have and wish you ha
/ Source: TODAY

What better way to spend time with the family than to get everyone in the kitchen to cook up a fun meal! Kathleen Daelemans, author of the best-selling cookbook “Cooking Thin,” was invited on the “Today” show to share some meal ideas that will help facilitate quality time with Mom, Dad and the gang. Here are the recipes:

If you've never made pizza dough before or if you have and wish you hadn't, you'll be delightfully surprised at how simple this recipe is. It takes longer to read the recipe through than it does to prepare it (unless, of course, you have taken one of those speed-reading courses). This dough keeps well in the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer.

No time to make dough? Don't call for carryout! Keep your eye out for ready-made pizza dough, which can be found in most Italian delis and gourmet markets.

As an adult who can’t afford the indulgences of her Taco Bell youth, I love to have this casserole once in a while. It has all the flavors of cheesy, beefy tacos with a fraction of the calories. Serve with dollops of light sour cream and salsa from a jar or, if you have the time, with Quick Avocado-Mango Salsa. It’s outrageous with this casserole, not to mention a sneaky way of getting in another serving of fruit before the day’s out.



This soup delivers all the flavor and satisfaction of an Italian sausage meal but with way fewer calories and way more nutrition. Vegetable-rich and protein-packed, it is layered with ingredients that have high flavor impact.



My grandmother used to feed these to my mother as a child. They’re called porcupines because they look like porcupines to a child. All the rice sticks out of the meatballs. If you’ve got finicky kids, you might be able to talk them into these.

Porcupines

Kathleen Daelemans

Really great salads can be easy to prepare. At their simplest, a thoughtfully chosen head of lettuce will do and require just the smallest amount of oil, salt and vinegar, and perhaps a crack or two of fresh black pepper, to bring out their best flavors. With all the wonderful oils and vinegars on grocery store shelves, who needs bottled dressings filled with sugar and tasteless bland oils?  

Kathleen Daelemans is the author of the best-selling “Cooking Thin, 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss,” Houghton Mifflin, 2002, and “Getting Thin & Loving Food, 200 Easy Recipes to Take You Where You Want to Be,” Houghton Mifflin, 2004. She hosts her own show, “Cooking Thin With Kathleen Daelemans,” on the Food Network. Talk to Kathleen live and swap recipes at chefkathleen.com.