Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells*

What you need:

Jumbo Pasta Shells (12-18 shells)
1 26 oz jar/can of spagetti sauce
1 16oz-package frozen chopped spinach
1 15oz container ricotta cheese (can be subtituted with part skim)
Parmesean Cheese to top


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the shells according to the package. This recipe makes about 12-16 filled (depends how full you make them), but I always cook some extra shells because they tend to split while cooking and the extras that split are just added to the pan (see rest of directions). Drain the water when they are done cooking.

While pasta is cooking, boil or microwave the spinach according to package directions. Strain.

Once the spinach is done, stir in the package of ricotta cheese, mixing well.

Spray the bottom of a rectangle shapped pan (I use a glass dish) with non-stick cooking spray. Pour enough spagetti sauce to just cover the bottom of the pan.

Spoon the ricotta spinach mixture into the shells. Place the shells in the pan. Any shells that split while cooking can be added to the pan as well, just don't fill them.

Once you have all the shells placed in the pan, top each shell with a spoonful of spagetti sauce. Sprinkle parmesean cheese over the sauce.

Bake 15-25 minutes until heated through.

*Using fat free spagetti sauce & low fat/part skim ricotta cheese, the shells are 2 weight watchers points each.

Lemon Poppy Chicken Over Rice

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This is a recipe I originally got from the Rachael Ray show, but in her recipe she serves it over couscous with peas. To see her orignal recipe, see the link at the bottom of the blog.

I usually serve this with asparagus, and if not asparagus, then whole green beans.

What you need:

2 14oz cans chicken stock (or chicken broth), 2c set aside for the rice
2 cups dry quick cooking rice
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 lemons zested, 1 juiced
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter or margerine
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

In a sauce pan, boil 2cups chicken broth. Stir in 2c rice and let it stand for 5 mins.

While the rice is cooking, place a large skillet over high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3-4 tablespoons. While the skillet is heating up, place the flour on a plate. Toss the chicken in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken pieces to the hot skillet. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and the lemon zest, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every now and then to get them brown all over.

Once the chicken has browned, add the remaining chicken stock to the skillet. Once the stock is hot, add the butter and poppy seeds. Stir until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened up a bit, about a minute. Turn off the heat and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pan.

With a microplane or the smallest grade of a handheld box grater, grate in the garlic the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Serve the chicken over the rice. With the other remaining lemon you used for the zest, you can cut up and use it as garnish. It's good over the asparagus, or if you like extra lemon flavor, add it over the chicken/rice.

Orignal recipe can be found here.

London Broil with Peppers & Onions served over rice

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm making this meal with the left over london broil from my previous entry "Egg Noodles & London Broil".

What you need:

-2lbs London Broil cut into bite size strips
-2 green bell peppers, thin strips
-1 white onion, thin strips
-1 packet Lawrys meat marinade (or one of your choice)
-2 cups dry quick cooking rice
-1 14oz can of cream of mushroom soup*

Cook the meat, peppers, & onion together in the same pan. When the meat is almost cooked (about 10 minutes), and the peppes & onions are "wilted" down & tender, stir in the marinade (mix according to directions on packet). Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, cook the rice. Once the rice is done, stir in the cream of mushroom soup.

Serve the meat mixture over the rice and enjoy!

*Optional: You can leave out the cream of mushroom soup and serve over the rice by its self, or even melt swiss or provolone cheese over the top. Also good with french bread or bulky bread.

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