On the Menu This Week

Greek Style Cheeseburgers
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Roasted Cornish Hens with Quinoa and Broccoli

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recipe of the Week 12/5/09

Four Cheese Baked Penne


  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne
  • 1 cup small-curd low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese or Fat Free Quark
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes more if you like it on the spicier side
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese(or quark, I prefer quark, less calories and fat, but it's not available everywhere), 1/2 cup mozzarella and parsley in a bowl and stir with a fork to incorporate and set aside. Cook pasta until tender but still firm, a minute or 2 less than the package directs. Drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Return pasta to pot with sauce and turn off heat. Add cheese mixture.

Spray a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray then transfer pasta mixture to pan. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 minutes. You can assemble this dish in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Makes 8 servings

Per Serving:

Calories 400
Total Fat 10 g
Sat Fat 5 g
Protein 24 g
Carb 55 g
Fiber 7 g
Cholesterol 25 mg
Sodium 670 mg

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Plan

I did WeightWatchers once before in 2004-2005. I lost 50 pounds. I gained some back going through my divorce but the good news is I kept off 20 of them until I restarted WeightWatchers in January 2009.

For the first time, I have found a plan that was easy to stick to. Something just felt right this time. Before embarking on WeightWatchers I re-read some books I had found helpful in the middle of my last journey. The books are listed under "Weight Loss" Books on the side bar, and a blog post about them will follow soon. These books helped get me mentally prepared to lose weight and they are the reason I think I am finding losing to be less of a struggle. I am not letting myself get discouraged by small gains and I am seeing far more consistent results.

WeightWatchers gives you a points target based on weight and basic daily activity level. Every food has a points value based on calories, fiber and fat. Then its like a checkbook you start with your daily balance, subtract for foods eaten and add for activity done which can earn you points. Exercise=More Food. Each food point is roughly 50 calories and each activity point is worth roughly 100, I use a heart-rate monitor to calculate my activity points earned.

You also get 35 weekly points to use as you want anytime during the week. For me the most successful both mentally and on the scale is to use most of those points on Saturday night for a splurge and to then stick to my daily points fairly closely the rest of the week. It helps me to know my favourite foods are only a week away if I want them. People can manage the plan however they want but for me this is the most successful. When I'm working out a lot I try to eat some of those activity points as well. Ironically I get much smaller losses the weeks I don't eat those points on Saturday, maybe it shakes up my metabolism, who knows I just know it works

Finally my last key to my plan is attending meetings. It helps keep me accountable and on track.

Weight Loss Slideshow