Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Clean Crock Pot Ziti


 On a late work day I am always looking for ways to keep it simple and quick! Today I gave this amazing clean recipe a try and it was TO DIE FOR!!

My quick note is that when you are trying to lose weight I would not eat pasta or dairy meals like this more than once a week! Yes it is on the healthier side but it still packs quite a few calories and carbs with the cheese, cottage cheese and pasta! Mind your portion sizes and you will be just fine! You can also pair it with a nice side salad with low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing!

Crockpot Ziti bake
Ingredients•1 (1 lb. 7.8 oz.) jar marinara (no sugar added) look for sauce with the fewest ingredients.
•3 cups penne shells (whole grain, dry)
•2 cups fat free cottage cheese
•2 cups skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
•1 large zucchini (1/4” slices)
•1 tablespoon fresh oregano (finely chopped)
•1 tablespoon fresh basil (finely chopped)
•1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions
1.In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, oregano, basil and black pepper. In the Crock Pot, spoon 1/4 of marinara onto the bottom, add 1 cup penne shells, 1/3 of zucchini slices and top with 1 cup cheese mixture. Repeat until you have 3 layers. Top off with the remaining marinara and lastly, cheese.
2.Note: Keep penne shells and cheese away from the edges by about 1”. Pasta tends to get hard and cheese burns if allowed to touch the sides while cooking.
3.Cover and cook on low for approximately 2 hours or until penne noodles are Al Dente (firm but not hard). Not all crock pots cook the same so be sure that the penne is done before serving. The cook time is recommended based on the crock pot used when preparing this recipe. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
4.Tip: If you prefer your ziti a little more on the thick side, allow to cook an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.
5. I added chicken to this meal by boiling 4 chicken breasts until just cooked and then cutting up into chunks and layering with the pasta. That way I got my serving of protein.
Nutritional Content: (Makes 13 servings)

Serving Size: 3/4 cup Calories: 168 Total Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 4 g Trans Fat: 0 Cholesterol: 21 mg Sodium: 476 mg Carbohydrates: 25 g Sugars: 4 g Dietary Fiber: 2 g Protein: 15 g

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