Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Baked Ziti

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Baked Ziti

This is a great basic recipe for an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love.  A satisfying, creamy cheesy meal that is surprisingly low calorie-and a great way to get some extra vegetables into your diet!  The vegetables can be substituted for whatever you have on hand, mushrooms, green peppers, eggplant or spinach would all be great in this dish.  You can make this with the chicken, or leave it out for a hearty meatless option.   

We recommend cooking and eating from home most often, and this can easily be made ahead of time and heated just before dinner time for those busy afternoons and evenings when you just don't feel like cooking!  Simply assemble the dish and freeze or refrigerate without cooking it in the oven.  Before serving, thaw (if frozen) and bake as directed.  

4 ounces uncooked whole wheat ziti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow squash
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped tomato
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 Tbsp The Delicious Dietitian Italian Spice Blend
1/4 cup (2 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Fresh  Uncooked Chicken 3- 4 breast
2 Tbsp of The Delicious Dietitian White Muscadine Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Tbsp of The Delicious Dietitian Italian Spice Blend

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add squash, zucchini, and onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomato and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and spice blend.

*Chicken (Omit if preparing vegetarian)

Combine vinegar, oil and spice blend together.
Place chicken in a plastic bag and pour marinade over meat until evenly covered.
Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
Saute chicken in pan for about 12 minutes, flipping half way through cooking.
Slice chicken and add to dish

4. Combine ricotta, remaining spice blend, and egg whites. Stir into pasta mixture. Spoon into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned.