Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Super Busy Summer = Still using that Crockpot!

Between teaching summer school, taking grad classes, and doing my health & fitness coaching, I have very little time to cook during the week.  I survive on the food I meal prep on Sundays and my crock pot!  I love to throw everything in it in the morning and then come home to a delicious, nutritious meal! 

Check out this recipe!  Great even on hot days! 

Healthy Crockpot Ziti 

Ingredients •
1 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

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 bake a little more on the thick side, allow to cook an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.

5. You can add 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 you get your serving of protein.

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