Healthy Stuffed Shells

… for only 331 calories per serving!

My mama found this recipe and halved it to serve the two of us with plenty of leftovers. This meal would be great to cook on a Sunday for those with busy jobs and eat throughout the week. We had a salad on the side to balance everything out! These do not disappoint!

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Stuffed Shells from Cook Yourself Thin

12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approximately 40 shells) 

For the tomato sauce
1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1 14-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 sprigs fresh basil
Salt
Pepper

For the stuffing
1-pound bag baby spinach
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups (16 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat, part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch grated nutmeg
1. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells, and partially cook 6 to 7 minutes — they should have started to become tender but will still be firm to the bite. Drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to the oiled baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer so that they don’t stick together. Let cool.

2. For the sauce, pour the tomatoes into a bowl and mash with your hands, or pulse in food processor to chop. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. (Check a few times during cooking; if vegetables begin to brown, add 2 teaspoons water and stir.) Add the tomatoes with juice, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently 5 minutes. Then simmer very gently, partially covered, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Scrape into another container with a rubber spatula; set aside.

3. Add the spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Place over medium heat, cover and cook, tossing every now and then with tongs for even cooking, until wilted, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, and let cool, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and chop. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

4. In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring every now and then, until tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add scallions during the final 1 minute. Add to the bowl with the spinach. Add the ricotta, the ham, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the parsley, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the nutmeg, and stir to combine.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of two 9-x-13-inch baking dishes. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 1 tablespoon per shell, and arrange the shells side by side in a single layer in the prepared dishes. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, and then sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

7. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.

Breakfast

I woke up ready for breakfast! I struggled to make it into the kitchen, though. My hamstrings are SO SORE. I went to Crossfit Tuesday morning and the strength exercise incorporated “good mornings.” HOLY HAMSTRING! 

If you are looking for an effective hamstring workout, check out good mornings (VIDEO).

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Blackberry Overnight Oatmeal! Before I went to bed, I combined equal parts oats, yogurt, and milk (1/3 cup.) with cinnamon and blackberries. In the morning, I added melted almond butter. This was sooo creamy! 

Lunch

I was craving Mexican when I got ready to make lunch, so I made a Mexican-inspired egg scramble. In the mix was 3 eggs, chopped red pepper, chopped onion, and cilantro. I topped it with Cholula chili-lime hot sauce and half of an avocado. Needless to say, I did not want it to end.

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And just for fun, and to show you all what kind of mess I look like walking in and out of my Crossfit box each morning- here ya go! 

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Hahahah…. crazy, huh? Note the “black eyes.” I didn’t even know stuff was up under them until I took this picture for fun. The black matted floor always leaves residue on my hands! 

See ya tomorrow! 

Mindy

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