Baked Ziti and Summer Vegetables

Thing 1 and I made dinner last night. We don’t often cook together but we really should. It gives us a chance to talk, she gets to learn about cooking and I don’t have to do everything, especially after a long day. πŸ™‚Β  You don’t always have to take your kids places and spend money to have quality time. Cooking meals, coloring pictures, walking the dogs, or whatever – all these things are great ways to hang out with your family. Just don’t forget to open your mouth and talk! πŸ™‚

I found a recipe for a baked ziti dish low on fat and calories and chock full of delicious veggies. You know, when you throw loads of veggies into your pasta dishes, that tends to take up the space for a whole bunch of extra cheese. Now, don’t get me wrong, cheese is great. Especially Brie. I. Love. Brie. But, too much can certainly take a dish from healthy to not in an extremely short amount of time. And, I’m a runner – runners love pasta but we don’t often appreciate all that fat making us feel sluggish out on the road. This dish won’t make you feel that way, I promise! And, it’s guaranteed to make your sailor (and maybe even your kids) ask for any leftovers to be put in a lunch container for the next day. Hearty yet light, the summer veggies add fabulous and delicious pops of color to this ziti. What are you waiting for? Grab a family member or even a friend and get to cooking!

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Baked Ziti and Summer Vegetables
Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Cooking Light

4 ounces uncooked ziti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow squash
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped tomato
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup (2 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Cooking Spray

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add squash, zucchini,Β  and onion; saute 5 minutes. Add tomato and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 1/2 cup mozzarella,Β  herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

4. Combine ricotta, remaining salt, and egg. Stir into pasta mixture. Spoon into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. (Okay, fine, I used an oval stoneware dish. Worked out petfectly!) Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Per serving:
Calories 301; Fat 12.1g (sat 5.3g, mono 5g, poly 0.9g); Protein 16.5g; Carbs 32.8g; Fiber 4.1g; Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 640mg; Calcium 291mg

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