Sunday, February 8, 2009

# abby # health

Red for Women

Friday was Wear Red for Women Day, to help remind us all that heart disease is still a major killer of women. My beautiful friend, Abby, is a survivor and while I didn't wear red (I know, I know..slacker extraordinare, but I did get up waaaay late for school.), I did wear something really special to me. I wore the scarf that she made me. I wore it all day long and every time I looked down, I remembered how blessed I am to have her as a friend. Clearly the world wasn't done with her way back then.

So having this all in mind, imagine my surprise when I was working on this week's challenge and on my shelf, I found the Go Red for Women Light and Easy Recipes cookbook. Dang, how long have I had this? Well, in honor of Abby and all us women out there who need to take better care of ourselves, I'm posting a recipe. Enjoy!

Swiss Chard & Ricotta Manicotti (serves 4, 2 filled shells per serving)


Cooking Spray
8 dried manicotti shells

1 bunch swiss chard (about 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 large egg white
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 large italian plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and cut into wedges
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Lightly spray a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain well in a colander, being careful to not tear the shells. Set aside.
Meanwhile, discard the stems of the chard. Stack several leaves and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Repeat with remaining leaves.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring occassionally. Stir in the chard. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the chard is wilted and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool slightly. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 375 (F).

In a food processor or blender, process the sauce ingredients for about 20 seconds, or until chunky (do not process til smooth). Pour 1 cup sauce into the baking dish spreading to cover the bottom.

Gently spoon about 1/4 cup filling into a manicotti shell, being careful not to tear the shell. Transfer to the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining shells. Top with the sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella.

Bake, covered for about 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Ok..I lied..I found this one and had to share it too!

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (serves 16 - 1 piece per serving)


Cooking spray
3 ounces light cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg white
1/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking oatmeal
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon light tub margarine
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking oatmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350(F). Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar, and egg white until smooth.

In a seperate small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup oatmeal and brown sugar. Using a fork, cut in the margarine until it is distributed evenly throughout the oatmeal mixture. The mixture will be crumbly.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, remaining 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup sugar, and baking soda. Make a well in the center. Pour the remaning ingredients except the strawberries into the well. Stir until just combined; the batter will be somewhat lumpy. Do not overstir or the coffee cake may be tough. Pour into the baking pan, smoothing the surface.

Lightly spread the cream cheese mixture over the batter. Arrange the strawberries on top. Sprinkle with the oatmeal crumb mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

** If anyone actually wants the nutritional information for either of these, just let me know. It's in the cookbook, as well. **


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