Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Healthy AND Delicious Baked Ziti

This is a wonderful hearty meal that you can feel happy about feeding to your family and eating yourself. This is one of my favorite week night meals. I have found myself adding spinach to every meal I can lately. If I can add it without detection I do. Spinach is just so great for you, loaded with vitamins and minerals and if you use it in saucy recipes even your fussiest eater shouldn't complain.

The other nice thing about this recipe is you can adapt it to suit the needs and taste buds of your family. For example, I have made it and added sweet white corn also. You could add mushrooms, zucchini, peas etc. The more vegies the better!

Healthy AND Delicious Baked Ziti

1 lb lean ground turkey or extra lean ground beef
salt and pepper
2 cups shredded sweet carrots
2 cups fresh spinach chopped
1 small onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, passed through a press or grated
olive oil
26 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low sodium fat free chicken or vegetable stock
8 oz brown rice or whole wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped fine (or use dry if you don't have fresh)
1/2 to 1 cup of shredded low fat mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Once olive oil is heated, add ground meat. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Once meat has browned, add onion and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Add stock, tomatoes and spinach.
3. Once all the vegies are in the pot and combined, add the uncooked pasta. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
4. Just before removing from the heat add the chopped basil.
5. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare baking dish with a light coating of cooking spray. Place pasta mix into baking dish and sprinkle with cheese if using. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with a wedge of crusty wholewheat bread. ENJOY!


Alisa said...

It looks wonderful.I followed you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this baked ziti widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about recipes for baked ziti,Thanks!

Katrina said...

Just thought I'd tell you, I Googled Hawaiian Haystacks just to see other ideas for toppings and came upon your blog and while seeing your family picture at the top I thought in my mind they look like such a nice family I'll get they're LDS. While browsing through your blog further and reading your profile stuff, I see that you are!
Just thought I'd let you know it shows in your faces! ;)
And I'll be back to check out more yummy food I see here.
I have a food blog, too, and am LDS and live in Utah as well.

Sherry G said...

I love all the vegetables oyu snuck in there. Including more vegetables and making dinner healthier is always a task at my house!

Amber said...

im making this for dinner tonight. I got my mom and mil hooked on your blog so keep up the good work girl!