A quick and tasty "on the way to Thanksgiving" meal.

Yes, November is all about Turkey Day but everyday dinners leading up to the feast don't stop. More than just about any other time of year, busy parents need easy to throw together meals that are delicious and healthful.

The following recipe fills the bill. It's a one-pot wonder, a fusion of Latin American and Italian flavors. It makes a generous skilletful, so leftovers can be eaten the next day for lunch. To add even more nutrition and a crunchy fresh taste, top the bowls with shredded lettuce and a spoonful of your favorite salsa.

TACO PASTA BOWL
Makes 6 servings
This recipe is from Eat for Life, a bi-monthly column in the Dispatch Food section.

1/2 pound ground round
1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chili beans with liquid
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt added diced tomatoes with juices
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups cooked pasta shells, cavatappi or elbow macaroni
1 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cook meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to crumble. Drain. Return meat to skillet. Add chili beans with juices, tomatoes with juices, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes.

Add pasta. Heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Add cheeses. Stir until melted. Spoon into bowls.

PER SERVING: 357 calories; 18 g protein; 38 g carbohydrates; 6 g fiber; 14 g fat (6 g saturated); 44 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium.