Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baked Ziti & a Delayed Menu Post

I apologize for the delay in my weekly menu post.  We went out of town for the weekend.  While I attempted to type and schedule the post last Friday, some sort of glitch occurred and the entire post was lost.  I'm not really sure what happened.

Being we were out of town over the weekend, my spring break is over, and there is a new time change to adjust to, I tried to keep things pretty simple this week.  Today's post will include our menu for the week and a recipe I use when I know there will not be much time to prep ahead.  Here is this week's menu:

Sunday 3/18        Baked Ziti with Broccoli

Monday 3/19       Chipotle Chicken Salads with Tortilla Chips

Tuesday 3/20       Left-overs

Wednesday 3/21  BBQ Cheddar Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday 3/22      Left-overs

Friday 3/23          Chicken Pot Stickers over Mixed Greens

I learned this handy trick from my friend Jen back when we were in college.  This recipe requires no boiling, can be adapted to your taste by adding meat, more veggies, more cheese, whatever.  I've made this several times by using pizza toppings such as pepperoni, chicken sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives, and loads of cheese.  The beauty of the dish is that you can make it ahead and then pop it in the oven when you are ready to bake and serve.  Let this recipe be your canvas to an easy weeknight meal!

Baked Ziti

1 box gluten-free penne pasta (or any regular, tubular shaped pasta)
4 cups spaghetti sauce (I used 4 cups of my own sauce I had made earlier, you can use jarred)
2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 box thawed and drained chopped frozen spinach
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese

In a large bowl, mix your dried pasta and spaghetti sauce until the noodles are coated.  Pour the noodles into a large casserole or lasagna pan coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, spinach, and garlic powder together until combined.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Top the ricotta layer with the mozzarella cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Then remove the foil and bake until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.  Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. I topped my serving with additional sauce and Parmesan cheese before photographing and consuming.

So no one is left out of the loop, I will be posting the Chipotle Chicken Salad recipe tomorrow and the Veggie Burgers on Thursday.  Hopefully by Thursday I will be caught up on posting.  Stay tuned throughout the week.

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