Thursday, 22 May 2014

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

I'm just in love with Rachael Ray. I've been checking out her books from the library here and there, and every recipe has turned out so well.

This recipe is based on her Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-ups recipe. It's packed with veggies and cheese -- two of my favorite things. I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta in the recipe.

Can we talk about cottage cheese? It's kind of been a game changer for me. I always thought it was soooo '80s -- I remember my mom serving it to our family with either pineapple or salt and pepper and fresh onions. It was good but it seemed so ... dated. Now, I've realized that mom, as usual, was right.

Cottage cheese is insanely good for you. One cup of full-fat cottage cheese has 25 freaking grams of protein -- that's almost as much as a serving of chicken! It only has 5-9 grams of fat per serving, too. It's extremely versatile. My mom (why is she so smart?) gave me the idea of using it in dips in place of mayonnaise. If you pulverize it in the food processor, it has this fluffy, creamy texture perfect for the spicy chip dip my husband lives on. It's also WAY cheaper than Greek yogurt. I thought Greek yogurt was basically the second coming of Christ, but I soon realized I can't stomach regularly spending $6 on a container of Fage.

Obviously, this post is bringing in the cash-money from my great sponsors, the cottage cheese industrial complex (Ha. Ha.). But seriously, if you're not on the cottage cheese train, get it together!

Now, on to the recipe.

Rachael (yes, we're on a first-name basis. Duh.) recommends serving this with asparagus and broiled tomatoes. I'll include my broiled tomato recipe at the end, and I usually steam whatever green veggie is on sale and serve on the side. A salad would go well with it, too.


Serves: 2-3
Preparation: 40 minutes

1/2 pkg. of jumbo shells (about 6 oz.)

Olive oil
1 pkg. baby bella mushrooms
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
11-oz. package fresh spinach
1 Tbsp. butter
1.5 c. cottage cheese

1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. heavy cream
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook shells according to package directions. Drain, drizzle with olive oil, cover to keep warm and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pulverize the mushrooms in the food processor and add to pan.
3. Finely chop the onions and garlic in the food processor and add to the mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
4. Chop the spinach in the food processor and add to the mixture. Add the butter and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cottage cheese. Cook until the mixture is heated through.
5. Combine the cream and chicken broth over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Bring to a light simmer and stir in the cheese. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.
6. Stuff each shell with 1-2 Tbsp. of the mushroom mixture. Top with Gorgonzola sauce and serve.

Broiled Tomatoes
2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
Olive oil
Fresh Parmesan

Preheat the oven to broil. Place the tomato slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with shredded Parmesan and broil until cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes.