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Hungry Girl Today: 6.3.14
CHEW THE RIGHT THING
HG's Cheese-Stuffed No-Noodle Manicotti
Man' of the Hour
Ready to sink your fork into some cheesy rolled-up Italian goodness? This carb-slashed manicotti swap is out of this world!
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Sixteen 1/4-inch-thick zucchini slices, cut lengthwise from 2 - 3 large zucchini (see HG Tips!)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup light/low-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil, or more for topping
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parm-style grated topping
1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Optional topping: chopped basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" X 8" baking pan with nonstick spray.
Evenly lay 8 zucchini slices on a large microwave-safe plate. (They can overlap slightly, if needed.) Cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 3 minutes, or until mostly softened. Uncover and let stand for 1 minute. Thoroughly blot dry. Repeat with remaining 8 zucchini slices.
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion until soft and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion to a medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese, basil, Parm-style topping, salt, and pepper. Add 1/4 tsp. each Italian seasoning and garlic powder, and mix until uniform.
Lay 4 zucchini slices vertically on a dry surface, slightly overlapping, to form a rectangle. Spoon 1/4th of the ricotta mixture (about 1/4 cup) onto the bottom of the rectangle. Carefully roll up the rectangle over the filling and continue rolling until you reach the top. (The zucchini doesn't need to look perfectly uniform... It just needs to hold the filling!) Using a wide spatula, transfer to the baking pan, seam side down. Repeat to make 3 more manicotti.
In a medium bowl, mix canned crushed tomatoes with remaining 1/4 tsp. each Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Evenly top manicotti with seasoned tomatoes. Bake until hot, about 18 minutes.
Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Enjoy!
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
HG Tips! To prevent the zucchini from rolling around when you slice it, cut off a thin piece from the length of the zucchini, creating a flat surface. Then lay the flat part on the cutting board, and slice vertically. Make sure your slices are no thicker than 1/4 inch each.
Serving Size: 2 stuffed manicotti (1/2 of recipe)
PointsPlus® value 8*
Cheese Manicotti, Average
Don't get us wrong -- of course we want to eat saucy pasta stuffed and smothered with cheese. EVERYBODY wants to eat saucy pasta stuffed and smothered with cheese. The problems with this are a) the carby calories from the tubes of pasta and b) the fatty calories from all that cheese. An average serving of stuffed manicotti has more than 600 calories and nearly 30g fat -- BOO!! But we're really good at swapping out noodles for veggies, so we've pulled an HG-style switcheroo and used zucchini in place of pasta. We also slimmed down the cheese factor with light ingredients. We even saved sodium by using canned crushed tomatoes rather than standard sauce. Now everybody who wants to eat cheese-infused tasty goodness can do so without the seemingly inevitable diet destruction. Another win for Hungry Girl!
Serving Size: 2 stuffed manicotti
PointsPlus® value 15*
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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark. For more info on the new PointsPlus® program, visit weightwatchers.com.
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