Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 7 Day 1 – Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Beans are Green and healthy too!

Valentines Day... a day that has evoked so many different emotions in me over the years. I didn't have alot of boyfriends or date much in middle or high school so Valentines was always a dreaded holiday. Everyone's sweet little boyfriends would send them balloons or flowers to school and and everyone one would Ooo and Ahh over them. I was lucky if I got something from my parents. Sigh... But in College things were better. I believe there was only 1 V-day in college that I didn't have a date. I think I remember that day was celebrated with other bitter and angry girls who had recently been brutally rebuffed by someone of the opposite sex. Lots of man hatin' going on. But in 1998 I started dating the man the would be my Valentine for the rest of my life. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed February 14th. Flowers, candy, romance...What's not to love? Okay... enough with the gushy love stuff...on to the food!

Monday of Week 7 was V-day. My husband is great and says Valentines is for girls so he doesn't want me to get him a gift. Score! I am horrible at picking out gifts for him anyway. So I figured the least I could do is cook him in an awesome dinner! I wanted to go easy on myself since I was a pampered Valentine so I took some help from the good people at Fresh Market. I bought 3 (already prepared and ready to bake in a 350º oven for 25min) Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu breasts at the meat counter and added some fresh green beans and boxed rice pilaf for sides. The dinner was delicious and I only spent about 25 min total in the kitchen! Happy V-day to me!

Some of you may think this was a cop-out meal, but I don't believe it is. People think there are only 2 options for dinner sometimes. Home cooked or Dinner out. But really, there are so many delicious options in the middle. I think it is important to give yourself a break sometimes and take a little help from the grocery store. This meal was healthy, economical, and, if I do say so myself, pretty fancy!

Oh and since it was February 14th, we also enjoyed some yummy petit fours (also from Fresh Market) and Chardonnay after the kiddos hit the hay. AND here is a picture of the beautiful Ardent Sparrow necklace Steve gave me! He knows me so well. I give Valentines Day 2011 an A+!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week 6 – MVP Highlights. A week in review.

I am now embarrassingly behind so I need to do something drastic. I am going to just lay out week 6's dinners right here in one post. It was a wonderful week of dinners and I would love to chit chat about them all but it is time to get real and give the people what they

So here is the line up for the week...
Day 1 – Brinner (Breakfast for dinner to the lay person)
Day 2 – Chicken Pot Pie
Day 3 – Easy Beef Enchiladas
Day 4 – Chicken Spaghetti
Day 5 – Chicken Corn Chowder-ish Soup

Day 1 – Who doesn't like a good ole hearty Brinner? I was tired and needed to go grocery shopping and feeling like I was running out of options and then it hit me! Breakfast! Everybody loves a good old fashioned breakfast. So we had drop biscuits (Thank you Bisquick), sausage, and eggs. It was delicious and easy and perfect for a monday night. I have no pictures of this and no recipes because really, I know you don't need anyone to tell you how to cook breakfast. But it did satisfy my "something different every night" requirement so I'm happy with that!

Day 2 – Continuing on the path of comfort food. Tuesday night was deliciousness cooked up nicely in a pretty pie plate. Chicken Pot Pie! Yum. This recipe came from the lady at the Independent Pres bible study I mentioned here. It has been great for us and you can make two while you are at it and freeze one or pay it forward to a neighbor.

Chicken Pot Pie
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup green pepper chopped
1/2 cup carrots chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
small can green peas
1 large potato, cooked, diced
1 tsp sage or poultry seasoning
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
refrigerated double pie crust (like Pillsbury)

Saute onion, green pepper, carrots in butter until tender. Blend in flour. Gradually stir in broth. Cook until smooth and thick. Add the rest of the ingredients. Place 1 pie crust in plate. Pour in filling and top with 2nd crust. Make air vents. Bake at 425º for 45 minutes or until brown.

Day 3 – Beef Enchiladas. Thank you Amanda for giving my family another wonderfully delicious meal. This recipe makes a pretty large portion so I froze half of it and then took it to John David and Becky (and baby Owen) so they would have a quick ready made meal when needed.

Beef Enchiladas
1 lb ground beef (I used turkey. again.)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
8oz cheddar
8oz monterey jack
2 cans mild red enchilada sauce
10 small flour tortillas

1. Brown meat, drain. Mix beef, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheddar, 1/2 of monterey jack. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spread thin layer of sauce in greased 8x12 dish.
3. Roll tortillas with beef mixture and place in dish
4. Top with remaining sauce and monterey jack
5. Bake uncovered at 375º for 20 min. Ole!

Day 4 – My mother-in-law's Chicken Spaghetti recipe! To die for! This one is a little time consuming and also makes ALOT. I usually wait to make it when I am cooking for someone that has had a baby. I give half to them and keep the other half for us.
I took one small casserole dish of this to JD and Becky. Steve and the kids ate while I was out. When I came home this was all that was left for me. Needless to say it is a giant hit at our house!

Chicken Spaghetti
2 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 stick butter
2 lbs chicken, cooked, and pulled or chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cans rotel
2 cans cream of chicken
1 lb pack of spaghetti
4 cups shredded cheese (i like mexican blend)
1 cup chicken broth

Cook spaghetti and drain. Saute onions and celery in butter. Combine all ingredients (except broth and 2 cups of cheese reserved for topping). Place into two casserole dishes. Pour a little broth over each if they need more moisture (I don't always do this step. Usually is moist enough for me).
Cover and bake for 45 min. Take out and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 min.

Day 5 – So we invited our friends Jason and Amanda and their little boy Louis over for dinner on Friday of week 6. The pressure for cooing for guests was just too much for me so I decided to take Friday off and cook Sunday's dinner instead. I was feeling guilty about not cooking anything on Friday so I baked a chocolate chip pound cake for us all to enjoy that night. I love having dinner with Jason and Amanda! They completely support my need to have dessert after every meal. And it is almost always homemade!

I am posting the pic of the chocolate chip pound cake because it was far more delicious and picture worthy than the Day 5 dinner that we had Sunday night. Earlier I called it Chicken Corn Chowder-ish Soup because it was supposed to be Corn Chowder but I don't believe it would pass for chowder. When you cook this many different meals you are bound to have some flops. Well, here you go. There were so many reasons this recipe didn't work. But the main reason is because I tried combine two recipes to make something great. My culinary skills are not that advanced because it went in the opposite direction of great. Blah. So here is the original recipe, the way it should have been created. If you try it, I hope you have better success. This recipe comes from The Complete Crockery Cookbook.

Chicken Corn Chowder
2 TBSP butter
An all-purpose seasoning to taste
1 1/2 pounds chicken cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 small onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 small carrots
2 cups frozen sweet corn, thawed
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 to 1 cup half and half cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet melt the butter and sprinkle in an all purpose seasoning to taste. Add the cubed chicken and saute till lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. Add the next seven ingredients to the slow cooker, cover with the lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is done and veggies are tender. During the last 15 minutes of cooking add the half and half cream and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 5 Week 5 – Grown-up Grilled Cheese

Friday night again... Amelia has requested game night instead of movie night. I have to say I was pretty excited about that. There is only so much Disney Princess hoopla a parent can stand before you just go crazy and start having really weird cartoon dreams. I've said to much...

Soup and Sandwich seemed the way to go on this Friday evening. This time, thanks to Everyday with Rachel Ray, I tried something new. Grilled Cheese and Kale Sandwiches with Tomato Soup. That's right, I said Kale. Honestly, this was the first time I even laid eyes on Kale. I am not too adventurous with leafy greens. But I decided to give it a whirl because the picture in the magazine looked too good to pass up. I can't get Amelia to eat a plain grilled cheese much less one with Havarti Cheese and Kale! She would just laugh/cry in my face if I offered that to her. So Amelia and Walt just ate left over Fettucini from the night before. The tomato soup turned our really great. I was pretty excited because it was my first time to use and immersion blender, pretty handy dandy little tool that I didn't even know I had. However, I wasn't as turned on about the grilled cheese. The strong flavor of the Havarti and the Kale was a little much for me. Steve, on the other hand, LOVED it. Seriously, he said it was one of the best meals ever! So there you go... a pretty mixed review but an overall positive one I think. Thanks Rachel Ray, for making my husband go crazy over something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich!

Grilled Cheese and Kale Sandwiches with Tomato Soup
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 lb Kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped
8 slices multigrain bread
8 slices havarti cheese

tip: fold the kale leaves in half and cut along the stems to remove any tough bits

1. In a medium pot, heat 2 TBSP of the olive oil over med -high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 min. Stir in the carrot, cover and cook for 5 min more. Add the tomatoes and veggie broth, bring to simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 20 min. Stir in the cream and using an immersion blender, puree until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over med-high heat. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 min. Remove from heat.

3. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat (or use George Foreman grill like we do at the Summy house). On a work surface, layer each of 4 bread slices with 1 slice of cheese and some of the kale, then top with a second slice of cheese and bread. Brush the outside of the sandwiches wit the remaining 3 TBSP of olive oil. Grill, turning once, until the cheese is melted and grill marks appear, about 5 min. Serve with the tomato soup.

Day 4 Week 5 – Fettucini in honor of Owen

So here I am at home again on a Sunday morning with a sick kid. Pretty soon these kids are going to cause me to lose some street cred. or Church cred. At the very least make me look like a slacker. But nevertheless, I am here again and have a chance to catch up with the Jolog. Let's see, I have made it to Feb 3rd (by the way it was still crazy cold here. I was beginning to think that groundhog doesn't know what he is talking about) which was baby Owen's birthday. I spent almost the entire day at the hospital waiting on that little boy to make his grand entrance. Much like a Dowdle, he was fashionably late. It was exciting and challenging since I had both of my kids with me. Lots of running in circles and squealing in the waiting room. And the kids were pretty wild too! I am sure all of nice people who had to share that space with us were wishing Owen would hurry up get here already! So around 3pm, we rushed home ate a quick dinner and jumped back in the car to head back to the hospital to welcome our new little family member. I just told that whole play by play so that you could see how pressed for time we were. Since we needed something super fast, I found another super quick Real Simple recipe that was delicious and satisfying. Fettucini with Cream Sauce, Peas, and Chives. The recipe was for the basic Cream Sauce, a good thing to have in your repertoire. The sauce takes about 10 min to make and you just add your favorite pasta and a few extra upgrades (peas and fresh chives).

The kids LOVED this and so did I. What is not to love about a creamy cheese sauce over pasta? I am sure the gigantic bowl I ate was not very healthy, but I feel like it was better than the standard Mac and Cheese from the box. Anytime, I can use fresh ingredients I feel a little better about feeding it to my kids. Don't get me wrong... we eat our weight in Kraft mac n cheese around here, but it is nice to mix it up every now and then.

Fettucini with Cream Sauce
1 lb of dried pasta
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup (4 oz) grated parmesan
10 oz frozen peas
2 TBSP chopped chives

Cook pasta according to the package directions. In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, warm the cream, milk, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked pasta and Parmesan and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 min.

Stir 10oz frozen peas into the pasta with cream sauce and warm over medium heat until heated through, about 3 min. Top with 2 TBSP chopped chives.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 3 Week 5 – CousCous = YumYum

It is Sunday morning and I am home with 2 sick kiddos. They are both getting some much needed rest so I thought I would do a little blogging. I am going to take a minute to write about my sweet daughter because one day I will forget these things. Amelia really is a sweet heart. She will be 5 next week and that blows my mind. She is growing up before my eyes and it kind of makes me sad to see it happen. She no longer mispronounces words the way most toddlers do. She is tall and slender and has lost all of her baby fat...even in her once squishy cheeks. She is very rational and argumentative and gets in trouble regularly for rolling her eyes at us. (That's not supposed to happen for at least 8 more years, right?) But she has a gigantic heart and loves everyone. She decided to stay home from church today because she is coughing and sneezing and was very worried that she would spread her germs to her friends at church and get them sick. So even though she really didn't feel bad, and I tried to convince her to go, she didn't want to take the chance of getting anyone else sick. So she is sitting in her room quietly listening to bible stories on her CD player. Such a kind little girl. I hope that is something she never outgrows.

I am not a writer so I have no idea how to transition from gushing over my little girl to talking about last wednesday's dinner... So forgive me as I just jump right in...

Wednesday was another Real Simple masterpiece. Rosemary Chicken Kebabs and Lemony Couscous. This dish was once again super simple and really tasty. AND it is looks very pretty on the plate. So if you are cooking for guests and you want to do something that looks really fancy but is not difficult, this would be a great recipe to have up your sleeves. The thing that makes this look so cool is the rosemary "skewers". You just pull the leaves off several long rosemary sprigs leaving some leaves at the top so it is pretty and smells great. And if you haven't cooked couscous, you should try it. It is a really great alternative to rice or pasta. Amelia actually really loved this meal. I took the tomatoes and chicken off the skewers for her and in her mind, it was just fancied up grilled chicken and rice!

Rosemary Chicken Kebabs and Lemony Couscous
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup grainy mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
8 long rosemary springs
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
salt and pepper
2 TBSP chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, garlic and half of the lemon juice. Set aside 1/3 cup and reserve the rest for dipping sauce.

Preheat the broiler to high. Leaving the tops of the rosemary sprigs intact, remove some of the bottom leaves to make room for threading. Thread the chicken and tomatoes onto the rosemary sprigs. Brush kebabs with some of the 1/3 cup mayo-mustard sauce and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil about 8 inches from the heat, turning occasionally and basting with the remaining sauce, until cooked through, about 15 min.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in the remaining lemon juice, the lemon zest and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the kebabs and dipping sauce.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 2 Week 5 – Love and Best Dishes

So it is February 1st. (Well it was February 1st a couple of weeks ago. Just pretend that I am caught up with my writing and you are reading this in real time) I am kind of excited to start a new month. February is a good one for our family. Tons of birthdays...Now that we have Owen (Feb 3rd) and his mom Becky (Feb 5th) it really adds to the fun. Then it is Valentines day, Amelia's birthday, My aunt Dianne's birthday, My grandfathers birthday, My grandparents anniversary, my father-in-law's birthday... AND if that isn't enough, my cousin Rob's baby is due Feb 18th. Whew, for such a short month February has a lot to offer! But I can't lose focus. Must keep on cooking...

Tuesday's meal was an oldie but such a goodie! Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Who in their right mind doesn't love meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Don't answer that. I don't think I want to know about those people. My meatloaf recipe is pretty good, if I do say so myself. I took it from Paula Dean and altered it just slightly to fit our family's taste. So here you go, straight from Paula, to me, to you. What is it she always says?..."I send you love and best dishes, from my kitchen to yers".

Old Fashioned Meat Loaf
1 pound ground turkey (Paula uses ground beef)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 oz canned diced tomatoes no juice (Paula's says with juice)
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup bread crumbs or more for desired consistency (Paula uses quick cooking oats)

1/3 cup ketchup
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 375º. Mix all meatloaf ingredients well (gonna have to get your hands dirty) and place in a baking dish. Shape into a loaf.

Mix ingredients for topping and spread on loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

Day 1 Week 5 – Dear Diary,

Sorry Bloggy friends. I have been really lazy with my blogging lately. This is why I was never good at diaries or journaling. A few years ago I found my little 4th grade diary with the lock and key (do you remember those. super cute) and had a great time reading the entries. But much to my dismay after the first several daily entries they started to taper off to once a week then once a month until they said stuff like..."Dear Diary, I am so sorry that it has been 6months since I wrote to you , but i am so busy..." Funny how even in the fourth grade I loved to use the "so busy" excuse. If that is really true, I have been SO busy for 22 years! Sigh. My husband is right, I can be so dramatic.

So anyway, even though my blogging has been pitiful, I have doing really well with the cooking. Last week was crazy with my new little nephew being born... Let's take a moment to check him out...

Mr. Adorable! Cheeks so squishy they are just asking to be pinched!

Even with hanging out at the hospital all day waiting on Owen to arrive I managed to run home in time to cook a quick meal for the family. I guess I am more competitive than I thought. I can't stand the thought of ruining this 5 week streak. This is big for me. I have to say I am pretty proud.

I am torn because I feel like I need to condense these posts to catch up, but last week was packed with new and a delicious meals. Those meals really deserve adequate attention... Hmm. Bear with me as I try to play catch up again...

So Monday night, the first night of month 2 (wow!!!) I tried a new Real Simple recipe. I am so excited to finally be writing about this recipe! It is pretty brilliant and delicious. I would have never thought of doing this and it is so easy! So it is called Last Minute Lasagna but for my records I am going to change the name to Ravioli Lasagna. Just makes sense to me. So easy and good and got my kids to eat spinach! So without further ado here it is in all of its cheesy glory...

Ravioli Lasagna
1 (24 to 26 oz) jar marinara sauce
2 (20 oz) packages refrigerated large cheese ravioli
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375º. Spoon a think layer of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.

On top of the sauce, layer a third of the ravioli, half of the spinach, half of the mozzarella, and a third of the sauce; repeat. Top with the remaining third of ravioli and sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Uncover and bake until bubbling, 5 to 10 minutes.

Note: Using cheese ravioli allows you to skip the time consuming process of boiling the lasagna noodles and mixing the cheese filling. Like I said, brilliant!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 5 Week 4 – Walkin on Sunshine

Sunny and 67º on January 29th! Amazing! Such a beautiful day to hang out with my sweet family. We started the day with pancakes then we were off to run a few errands. Errand 1: Car wash. Something about a beautiful sunny day that makes you want to have a beautiful shiny car. With the car cleaned, we moved on to Errand 2: Visit JD and Becky for last time before baby Owen arrives this week. We took our clean car to Germantown for a visit and then it was time to scoot on over to the Commissary for some BBQ. Perfection as always! Then on to Errand 3: Charlie's Meat Market. Oh yeah, on a day like today you have to get some steaks out on the grill. I don't care if it is the middle of winter, you don't take weather like this for granted!

Well, since I skipped Thursday night cooking, I needed to figure out a good and different recipe for tonight's steak dinner. And since we had a super delicious yet heavy lunch at the Commissary I decided to go with Jillian's (of Biggest Loser fame) Grilled Sirloin Salad.

Steve and I started this Jillian's Making the Cut diet last summer after seeing my friend Katie have some pretty impressive results from it. It is a very intense and strict 30 day plan that promises to help you lose those last 10 to 20 pounds. I am not saying that the diet isn't great. Like I said, it worked beautiful for Katie. But I struggled with it. I was able to keep up with the required exercise, but it was the diet that I has so much trouble with. I am an extremely picky eater. The older I get, the better I am about trying new healthy foods, but it is very hard for me. There were a few meals that required me to eat seafood (which is just not going to happen) or cook something called a spaghetti squash and expect the family to eat it. I could not get on board with those. There were, however a few great recipes that we really enjoyed and still make today. This is one of them. It is so delicious, I can't believe it is considered diet food.

And for those of you who are worried about my kids and what they eat. They really enjoyed the steak. I just cut them a few tender bite-sized pieces and served it with cooked carrots (from the can) and cinnamon apples. We were all very happy!

Grilled Sirloin Salad
1 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb lean boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 (8.75 oz) can whole-kernel corn, drained and rinsed

1. Combine first 6 ingredients; rub over both sides of steak. Heat a nonstick grill pan over med-high heat. Add steak; cook on each side 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Cut the steak across grain into thin slices.

2. While steak cooks, combine salad greens and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Top with steak.

Day 4 Week 4 - Ode to Food Network

So we are skipping from Wednesday night to Friday night because Steve and I had a grown up dinner with friends Thursday night. I was kind of stressed about it messing up the challenge at first, but then I decided that I would just have to cook dinner on Saturday night to make up for it. I think being flexible will be the only way for me to keep this up for the month of February. So the rule is 5 different meals a week. Preferably week nights, but if something comes up... just make it up on the weekend. Ahh. That little bit of freedom lets me relax a little bit.

So, as I was saying, Friday night I was back in the kitchen and creating a culinary masterpiece. (if I do say so myself). Four Cheese Baked Penne. I got this recipe out of Self Magazine. I believe it is an Ellie Krieger (from the Food Network) recipe. This one is delicious AND nutritious. Relatively easy, but more work than my recent dinners. This recipe makes a lot and can be made a day ahead. Then you just chill it and bake before serving.

For those of you who don't know me, I LOVE Food Network (seriously, Giant Fan here). And for healthy eating, I love Ellie Krieger. I have tried several of her Health Appetite recipes and they are all so good! In fact, I was at her website today and noticed there is a video of her cooking this exact meal! So if you want to watch the real Chef in action here is the link...

Now I am a little embarrassed to show you my picture because it will not look as amazing as her's, but that is why she is on Food Network and I am not (well except for in my dreams).

Four Cheese Baked Penne
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne
  • 1 1/2 cups small-curd low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (3/4 ounces)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and parsley in a bowl and stir with a fork to incorporate and set aside. Cook pasta until tender but still firm, a minute or 2 less than the package directs. Drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Return pasta to pot with sauce and turn off heat. Add cottage cheese mixture.

Spray a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray then transfer pasta mixture to pan. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 minutes.

Per Serving:

Calories 540; Total Fat 15 g; (Sat Fat 7 g, Mono Fat 3.5 g, Poly Fat 0.5 g) ; Protein 30 g; Carb 73 g; Fiber 9 g; Cholesterol 35 mg; Sodium 860 mg