I rely on a few standard recipes if I have to serve an entree to a ton of kids. This is one of them.
It takes a little time to put together, but it can easily be made ahead. With cottage cheese as its base it is pretty healthy, and it is only 335 calories per 1 cup serving. This recipe also contains a ton of crimini mushrooms which are known to boost immunity (read more about that here). You can take the presentation up a notch by serving it in 8 oz. ramekins (which you can also use the next day to grab and go). I guess I should have done that here.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- cooking spray
- 4 cups thinly sliced crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 gloves of garlic
- 3 packed cups fresh baby spinach (in the box in the produce section)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (16 oz) container 2% cottage cheese (could use 0%)
- 4 cups hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked, could use whole wheat)
- 2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (bake 2 breasts covered with salt and pepper in a pan for 30 minutes at 375, then shred or chop it up)
- 1 cup (not packed) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (we use Tilamook brand)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Saute 4-5 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not let garlic brown. Add spinach, oregano and black pepper; saute until spinach wilts.
- Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup of cheddar, 1/4 cup of Parmesan and milk in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart (7×12 or 8×8) baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. (Bake 8 oz ramekins for 15 minutes at same temp.)