Monday Meals No.3

Baked ziti is one of my favorite meals- I’m Italian, what do you expect šŸ˜‰

But being a Registered Dietitian, I tried to come up with a way to make it a little healthier than the original!

For this dish, I substituted regular pasta for whole wheat pasta. Normally I would use a rigatoni, ziti, or penne pasta, but elbows were all I had on hand this day. I try to add veggies into every meal I make, and for this dish, I added asparagus. Green beans would also be really good with this as well!

I also try to make my meals well rounded, so I added organic ground turkey as the protein. Top it off with the lowest sodium sauce (sauces can be VERY high in sodium, so make sure you always read the labels- and if you want a blog post or insta story of how to read a nutrition facts label or anything nutrition related let me know!) I could find at Trader Joe’s, its something like 30mg of sodium per serving which, trust me, is unheard of in sauce world! I also topped this pasta dish with a nice dusting of shredded mozzarella. I love melted mozzarella cheese,  the crispier the better, so I leave it in the over longer!

INGREDIENTS:

                                       – 1lb Whole Wheat Pasta (Go veggie by using chick pea pasta)

                                       – 1 pack Asparagus

                                       – ~1lb ground chicken or turkey

                                       – TJ Marinara Sauce (this one has no added sodium)

                                       – TJ Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

DIRECTIONS:

                                     – Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees

                                     – In a 5.5Qt pan cook chicken/turkey until 1/2 cooked

                                     – Add Asparagus and cook until almost done

                                     – Add ~1/4-1/2 cup tomato sauce and stir to coat all ingredients with sauce

                                     – Cook Pasta 1-2 minutes shorter than package directions

                                     – Transfer pasta to saucepan with meat and asparagus and mix together, add                                              more sauce as desired (I don’t like too much sauce so I only added enough                                            to coat everything)

                                    – transfer to a 9×13 casserole dish 

                                    – Sprinkle desired amount of Mozzarella on top

                                    – Cook for 30-50 minutes- I like my cheese dark, so I left it in for 50 minutes

Thanks so muchfor reading! ENJOY!

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