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Healthy Casserole Recipes: Mexican Baked Ziti, Strawberry French Toast

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05.28.15
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Need an easy way to crank out a wholesome and satisfying meal for the whole family? Make a casserole, baby! (Haven't you heard? Casseroles are cool again.) We've got recipes to eat in the a.m. and p.m., so get ready for some oven lovin'...

 
 
Hungry Girl's Mexican Baked Ziti
Mexican Baked Ziti

1/6th of recipe (about 1 1/4 cups): 247 calories, 6g total fat (3g sat fat), 519mg sodium, 30g carbs, 4g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 19.5g protein

Freestyle SmartPoints® value 6* 

Cheesy baked pasta is a total comfort-food favorite, and we're nuts about this Mexican-themed twist. You will be too... Trust us!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

Ingredients: 
5 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked high-fiber penne pasta 
10 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less) 
2 tbsp. taco seasoning mix 
1 cup chopped bell pepper 
1 cup chopped onion 
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn kernels 
3/4 cup light/low-fat ricotta cheese 
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese 

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8" X 8" baking pan with nonstick spray. 

Cook pasta al dente per package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain well, and transfer to a large bowl. 

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. taco seasoning. Cook and crumble until beef is mostly cooked, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, onion, and corn. Cook and stir until beef is fully cooked, veggies have partially softened, and corn has thawed, about 4 minutes. 

Remove skillet from heat, and stir in ricotta cheese. Transfer mixture to the bowl of pasta. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, 1/4 cup shredded cheese, and remaining 1 tbsp. taco seasoning. Mix until uniform.

Transfer mixture to the baking pan, and smooth out the surface. Top with remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese. 

Bake until entire dish is hot and cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. 

MAKES 6 SERVINGS  

 
 
 
Glazed Strawberry French Toast Casserole

Hungry Girl's Glazed Strawberry French Toast Casserole

1/4th of recipe: 296 calories, 8g total fat (4g sat fat), 499mg sodium, 50g carbs, 7.5g fiber, 14.5g sugars, 24g protein

Freestyle™ SmartPoints® value 8* 

When the thought of standing over the stove making batch after batch of French toast is too much to bear, load up the baking pan, and let breakfast cook itself...

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
Casserole
8 slices light bread
3/4 cup light vanilla soymilk
3/4 cup egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups light/low-fat ricotta cheese
1 tbsp. Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener (or another no-calorie granulated sweetener)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sliced strawberries

Glaze
1/4 cup Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener (or another no-calorie granulated sweetener)
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. light vanilla soymilk
1 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
1 tbsp. lite maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" X 8" baking pan with nonstick spray.

Lightly toast bread.

To continue making the casserole, in a medium-large bowl, combine soymilk, egg whites/substitute, and cinnamon. Whisk until uniform.

In another medium-large bowl, combine ricotta, sweetener, and vanilla extract. Stir until uniform.

Thoroughly soak 4 toasted bread slices in the soymilk mixture, and lay in the baking pan, overlapping as needed.

Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the bread. Thoroughly soak the remaining 4 toasted bread slices in the soymilk mixture, and lay in the baking pan, overlapping as needed. Finish layering with the remaining ricotta mixture. Top with strawberries.

Bake until center is firm and cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, whisk sweetener with cornstarch until uniform. In another medium microwave-safe bowl, combine soymilk, butter, and syrup; microwave for 20 seconds, or until soymilk is hot and butter has melted. Mix well, and add to the sweetener mixture. Vigorously whisk until completely smooth and uniform. Microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds, or until mixture is fully bubbling.

Immediately drizzle glaze over casserole.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

HG FYI: Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener is about twice as sweet as sugar. If using a no-calorie granulated sweetener that measures cup-for-cup like sugar instead of Truvia, double the amounts called for in this recipe.

 
 
 
 

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CHEW ON THIS:

On this date (May 28th) back in 2009, we debuted our first foil-pack recipes. We've been loyal to foil ever since...

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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.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.



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