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Recipe: Healthy Baked Ziti

This great dinner recipe is courtesy trainer Jen Widerstrom of The Biggest Loser. She explains why this is one of her go-to meals.

“This is a recipe I did on the show! Often, baked pasta dishes have a lot of pasta and a little bit of veggies and a little bit of meat, so what I do is I switch the percentages. Instead of putting all this melted cheese in there, I prefer a hard Parmesan because it’s a lot of flavor for not a lot of fat or calories.”

Serves 1

1/3 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice pasta
Olive or coconut oil spray
1 1/2–2 cups broccoli (or asparagus or Brussels sprouts), chopped
4–6 oz. lean turkey meat
1/2–1 cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper, red chili flakes, oregano (optional)
1 large handful raw spinach
1 oz. grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese (optional)

If using pasta that isn’t bite-size, chop it up and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, very lightly spray your green vegetable of choice and cover. In a small sauté pan, brown turkey meat using only a small amount of spray. Once both the veggies and meat are completed cooked, add the meat to the vegetable pan, and then add tomato sauce. Mix in quinoa or pasta and turn heat to low. Lightly season the dish if desired. Fold the spinach into the dish, only cooking it for 1 or 2 minutes.

If you are not a cheese lover or want to save on calories, your dish is ready to serve. If you do use the cheese, put half of the dish in a bowl and sprinkle with half the cheese, then layer with the rest of the dish and top with remaining cheese. If desired, microwave for 30 to 60 seconds to melt the cheese on top.