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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Triple feature: ham, mac n' cheese and veggies

So we had a dinner party with some friends to celebrate the holiday season and as part of our dinner party circuit and made this triple feature.  Fire and spice ham, smoked gouda macaroni and cheese and braised zucchini and leeks. 

If you have two people, these were easy to make all at once.  The ham just needed basting while we prepared the mac n' cheese. The zucchini and leeks only needed 20 minutes to braise.

The ham had a sweet and spicy flavor to it.  It was great to have a switch up from the regular chicken or pork. 

The macaroni and cheese called for a surprising 5 cups of spinach!  Based on the reviews, we decided to cut back to 3 cups of spinach.  This was good, it was an easy way to get a little spinach in your diet while still enjoying the guilty pleasures.

The zucchini and leeks were so simple to make. I would highly recommend this side dish for any meal.  If you like zucchini then you'll probably like it as it is.  If you like zucchini but don't love it, I think this would be great with a little addition. Perhaps some red pepper flakes, or additional herbs like oregano and thyme. 

Fire and Spice Ham

Recipe by Cooking Light, 2002

Yield: 18 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces)


  • 1  (5 1/2- to 6-pound) 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham half
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  red pepper jelly
  • 1/2  cup  pineapple preserves
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cloves


Preheat oven to 425°.
Trim fat and rind from ham half. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern. Place ham on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Combine jelly and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Brush about one-third of jelly mixture over ham.
Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove ham from oven); bake an additional 45 minutes, basting ham with jelly mixture every 15 minutes. Transfer ham to a serving platter; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information

Calories:188 (23% from fat)
Fat: 4.9g (sat 1.6g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 18.4g
Carbohydrate: 16.8g
Fiber 0.0g
Cholesterol: 47mg
Iron: 1.4mg
Sodium: 865mg
Calcium: 10mg
Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
Cooking Light, March 2003

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)


  • 1  (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  fat-free milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/3  cup  (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 5  cups  coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 4  cups  hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 2 minutes). Add cheeses; stir until melted.
Add spinach and macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 399 (25% from fat)
Fat: 10.9g (sat 6.2g,mono 3g,poly 0.8g)
Protein: 20.1g
Carbohydrate: 54.9g
Fiber: 3.7g
Cholesterol: 33mg
Iron: 3.6mg
Sodium: 725mg
Calcium: 421mg
Braised Zucchini and Leeks
Recipe by Lorrie Hulston Corvin, Cooking Light September 2001

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)


  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  cups  finely chopped leek (about 2 large)
  • 6  cups  finely chopped zucchini (about 5 small)
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced


Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek; sauté for 2 minutes. Add zucchini, salt, and garlic. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories:52 (26% from fat)
Fat: 1.5g (sat 0.9g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 1.7g
Carbohydrate: 8.4g
Fiber: 2.9g
Cholesterol: 4mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 313mg
Calcium: 40mg

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