2.05.2011

Monday: Dari's Picante Chicken and Spinach Ricotta Bake with Superior Spaghetti Sauce

Okay the 5 star rating is for the picante chicken......I give the side dish a 3 star rating.

Mo's Spinach-Ricotta Bake:
1 package (1 lb) frozen, chopped spinach
15 oz fat free ricota cheese
3t reduced fat parmesan cheese
2 large egg whites
1/4t garlic powder
pinch of ground nutmeg
1.5C Superior Spaghetti Sauce

Drain and squeeze water out of the spinach. In a large mixing bowl mix the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg whites, garlic powder, and nutmeg. Mix and place in a 8" x 8" greased baking dish. Cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until the top is brown. Pour spaghetti sauce and serve. It makes 6 servings.
This was good, but I am not a huge spinach fan unless it is mixed with TONS of cheese - but I suppose the lack of cheese is what makes it healthy. 

Superior Spaghetti Sauce:
1/3c chopped onion
2t minced garlic
1.3c crushed tomatoes
1T tomato paste
1T water
1t honey
1t dried oregano leaves
1t Italian seasoning
1t extra virgin olive oil
1/2t dried basil leaves

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 3-5 minutes. Do not brown. Turn the heat to low and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Makes 3 half cup servings.
I have never made my own spaghetti sauce. I absolutely loved it and will continue to make it whenever it is needed. 

Dari's Picante Chicken:
1/3C and 1/2C picante sauce - I used medium sauce
4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6t light cream cheese from a block, softened
1/2C shredded fat free cheddar cheese

In a 13'' x  9'' baking dish spread the 1/3c picante sauce evenly in the bottom. Flatten the chicken so their are even in thickness and evenly spread the cream cheese over the chicken. Place chicken in the baking dish, cream cheese side up and cover with the remaining picante sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350. Remove the foil and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered for 15 more minutes.
I LOVED this dish. It reminded me of a recipe for chicken enchiladas that I have without the tortillas. I will absolutely make this again.

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