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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chicken, Cheese & Spinach Manicotti

Hello Everyone!

I know from reading your emails that lots of you get pasta cravings now and again. We know that pasta is a simple carbohydrate with little nutritional value for the space it takes up in our tiny gastric pouches. But we also know that cravings are powerful things. Last week I tried this manicotti recipe from Kraft Foods. While not on the top of the "Protein First" recipe chart it does go along way for providing protein, nutrients and comforting carbs in the form of pasta. Unlike spaghetti or macaroni, manicotti is a controlled portion of pasta so it rates better in my book as a "for emergencies" indulgence. I'm sharing this recipe exactly as it is published on Kraft Foods. I suggest for WLSers one manicotti is plenty.

Chicken, Cheese & Spinach Manicotti

Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Makes: 5 servings, two stuffed shells each

What You Need!
1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 egg whites
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 container (16 oz.) BREAKSTONE'S FREE or KNUDSEN FREE Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
10 manicotti shells, cooked, drained
1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Make It!
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Combine chicken and garlic in large bowl. Add egg whites, spinach, cottage cheese and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon evenly into manicotti shells.

PLACE in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with spaghetti sauce.

BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until heated through. Top with the remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese; bake an additional 5 min. or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Make Ahead: Assemble recipe as directed; cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. When ready to bake, uncover and bake 35 to 40 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and continue as directed.
Substitute: Substitute fresh parsley for the basil.

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