Thursday, May 15, 2014

Skinny Spinach Manicotti (Vegetarian)

This is another one my of my freezer meals. You make a big batch and separate it into three aluminium tins and freeze it. This recipe also has the added benefit of being vegetarian. This recipe makes three 8X8 tins that you can freeze separately or you can make one large batch. 

What you need: 

1 large box of dry manicotti
1 jar of marinara sauce (16 oz) or your own (2 cups)
1 frozen bag of chopped organic spinach (16 oz) thawed
2 ricotta cheese 8 oz tubs (fat free if you are so inclined)
1 egg
1 large bag of shredded mozzarella 8 oz (fat free for me)
Italian seasoning
red pepper flake
olive oil spray  

What you do:

1. set a large pot of water to boil at least six quarts, once at a boil add one tablespoon of salt and the box of manicotti 
2. cook the manicotti for five minutes, it will still be quite raw but you want that so that it is not mushy when you put it in the oven
3. drain the manicotti, and spread on a large cookie sheet to cool 
4. drain the thawed chopped spinach and squeeze with your hands to remove any excess water
5. in a large ziptop bag mix together the spinach, ricotta, egg, and season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flake according to taste
6. prepare the baking dish(es) spray with olive oil spray, spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of the dish or dishes 
7. spread out the manicotti rolls in a single layer in the baking tins
8. snip one of the bottom tips of the ziptop bag with the spinach ricotta mixture 
9. fill each of the manicotti rolls with mixture
10. covered the filled manicotti with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to taste
11. you can then cover with foil and bake right away, keep in the fridge for a day, or freeze them 
12. once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
13. cook for an hour covered, and uncovered for 15 minutes 
14. serve with chopped basil, Parmesan cheese on the table, a green salad and a good Italian Chianti 
15. enjoy with happy people who love you and love food 

as always, many blessings, much love, and happy cooking  

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