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Hide the Spinach in this Deliciousness

Posted Feb 10 2011 9:26am

I got back in my cooking groove yesterday, but first an important news update:

Have you SEEN the new ketchup packets at Chick-fil-a?

Photo Feb 10, 8 37 50 AM

Photo Feb 10, 8 52 13 AM

It’s ok if your jaw drops- mine did.  They are dip-able OR squeezable.  Brilliant.

In other news, c’mon Groundhog, what is this?!

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The dusting is pretty, but I’m over my Uggs.  There, I said it.  Bring on spring… even if it means allergies.

But back to my adventures in the kitchen!  I decided to attempt a new recipe for me last night- stuffed shells!  I came across a recipe from the Pioneer Woman , and made a few alterations to healthify it a bit…

Here’s that you need, with my alterations in purple.

  • 8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
  • ½ cups Grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley Dried Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ pounds Italian Sausage almost 3/4 lb all natural ground beef
  • ½ cups Red Wine
  • 1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 whole 15-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
  • 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out

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Chop up the onion and add it into a large skillet with the olive oil and garlic.

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Sauté for a couple minutes, then add your meat. (check out the price-score!)

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Break up the meat into little pieces and brown.  Spoon out some of the grease if you’d like, but since mine was 90% lean, I left it in there for flavor.

Add your crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar.

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Mix well, add some crushed red pepper if you’d like.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for 25 minutes.

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Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water.  Add your shells and cook half the time (only 6 minutes).

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You want the shells al dente, so after 5-6 minutes, drain and rinse them with cold water.  Set them aside to cool.

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Then grab a large bowl for your ricotta. (Looks like cheesecake… Mmm!)

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Add your egg,

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1/2 your parmesan and all your romano,

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and some (to your liking) parsley and basil.

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Mix well.

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Add your spinach and mix well again.

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Get your dishes ready! Cover the bottom of each dish with a layer of sauce.

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Spoon the mixture into each shell…

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And place open-side-down in dish.

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Repeat, repeat, repeat.

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Cover with sauce and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

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Then stick the dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  I baked one and wrapped the other one up for the freezer- love when I have extra leftover for dinner another day.

Once you  pull it out of the oven, it will be bubbly and your house will smell amazing!

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Serve immediately. Because you’ll be HUNGRY.

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FABULOUS!!!

And I’m so excited I have another night’s dinner sitting in the freezer at my disposal :)

Sorry for the picture overload on this post, but I wanted to show each step.

Happy Thursday All! Let’s hope that groundhog wasn’t lying about spring being on it’s way… :P

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