Metro-East Living

Stir Crazy: Cookies, then a healthy dinner

Quick Chicken Tortilla Bake
Quick Chicken Tortilla Bake

It’s difficult this time of year to find a balance between the sweets offered at parties or at the office with a healthy meal in the evening.

These two recipes from Better Homes & Gardens keep an eye on calories and fat content.

The Quick Chicken Tortilla Bake is fast, fast, fast and has 291 calories per serving. It serves 8, so there are leftovers if you’re making it for a week-night dinner.

Baked Shrimp with Rice takes a little work and time to put together, so it would be great for company. It serves 6 and has 290 calories per serving.

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Quick Chicken Tortilla Bake

2 cans reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into thin bite-size strips

3 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 1 pound)*

1 cup shredded taco cheese (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine soup and undrained tomatoes; set aside.

Sprinkle one-third of the tortilla strips over the bottom of an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish.

Layer half of the chicken over the tortilla strips; spoon half of the soup mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with the remaining tortilla strips.

Bake, covered, about 40 minutes, or until bubbly around edges and center is hot. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

*Save even more time and use a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Makes 8 servings, each with 291 calories, 10 grams fat, 64 mg cholesterol, 658 mg sodium, 28 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 22 grams protein.

Baked Shrimp with Rice

12 ounces fresh or frozen, peeled and deveined cooked shrimp

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

1/4 cup chopped green or red sweet pepper

2 cups cooked white rice

1 can condensed cream of shrimp or cream of celery soup

1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream

2 tablespoons dry sherry, optional

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Snipped fresh cilantro, if desired

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add onion and sweet pepper; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Stir shrimp, cooked rice, soup, half-and-half, sherry, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper into vegetable mixture. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart square baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro.

Makes 6 servings each 3/4 cup with 290 calories, 13 grams fat, 141 mg cholesterol, 624 mg sodium, 23 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 19 grams protein.