Almost Cook Yourself Thin Stuffed Shells

This is another recipe seen on the Lifetime show Cook Yourself Thin. Now what you see below is *slightly* naughtier than the original (need. more. cheese.), but still much healthier than your standard shells with all the hidden veggies to bulk up the filling. And they’re pretty freakin’ cute too.

Almost Cook Yourself Thin Stuffed Shells
serves 4 (4 shells per person) / adapted from this recipe / 7 ww pts for original recipe

Here’s what I used:

  • 9 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly into half moons
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1- 1 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley plus more for garnish (if you remember, I didn’t)
  • grated whole nutmeg, S&P
  • about 2 cups (better part of 1 jar) of store-bought pasta sauce (I used Muir Glen Organic Italian Herb pasta sauce because it had the lowest cal/fat content and it was yum)
  • 16 XL shells (about 1/2 lb)

What I changed from the original recipe:

  1. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup grated parmesan — I didn’t have any so I left it out.
  2. I added garlic because, well, I can’t not.
  3. I added a smidge more mozza cheese and glad for it. Original recipe calls for 3/4 cup.
  4. I omitted the ham. Ham?
  5. I didn’t make my own sauce — not really necessary for this recipe since it’s under all that CHEESE anyway.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When boiling, undercook cook shells for about 6-7 minutes (will finish cooking in the oven later). Drain and separate to cool on a work surface so they don’t stick together.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Heat a little water in a large skillet and wilt the spinach, about 5-6 minutes. Season with S&P. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Once cool, squeeze as much water from spinach and roughly chop it up and put it in a medium bowl.
  4. In same skillet, heat olive oil and saute zucchini until lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season with S&P. Add scallions and garlic during the last minute. Add mixture to the spinach bowl.
  5. To the bowl, add the ricotta, 1/4 cup of mozza, parsley, nutmeg, S&P.
  6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a baking dish (I used 2 small ones). Fill each cooked shell with about 1 tbsp of the cheese/veg mixture and arrange side by side in the baking dishes. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella (and parmesan, if you’re using).
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is melty. Stick your face in it!
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