Cod Manicotti Wraps

This was on the front cover of the latest Clean Eating magazine and it looked so good I knew I would be making it. The problem was finding whole wheat lasagna noodles, I ended up going to three stores before finding some. This is messy to make but is really good, so it's worth it.

olive oil
3-4 green onions
8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 carrot, peeled and grated
8-10 oz cod*
4 oz neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp chopped dill
1/8 tsp salt
2 oz shredded mozz

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9x9 cooking pan with olive oil and set it aside. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of water. While they are cooking, rinse the onions, then slice them LENGTHWISE, to make long strands. Make sure you have at least 8 long strands. During the last 90 seconds of cooking, add the onion strands. Take the noodles and onions off the burner, drain, and set aside to cool. Cover the pot with a lid to keep the noodles pliable. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, mist with olive oil, then cook the fish until opaque and flaky. Set it aside to cool slightly. In a medium saucepan, mix the neufchatel cheese, skim milk and dill. Heat over low heat, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add half of the mozz, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and bechamel is smooth. Take it off the burner and set aside half of the cheese mixture. Shred the fish with a fork, then add the fish and the carrots to the remaining cheese mixture and mix together. Take one of the lasagna noodles, put about 2 Tlbs of the fish bechamel sauce mixture on one end, and roll it up gently. Tie one of the green onions around it to keep it closed. Continue doing this until all the mixture and noodles are used. As you wrap them, place them in the 9x9 pan close together. Pour the remaining bechamel sauce over the top, and add the rest of the mozz. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly toasted.

*I use cod because I like it and it is one of the few white fishes I can find that is caught wild. The magazine recommends tilapia, but ever since I saw 40 tilapia jammed in a tank at a local store, I can't bring myself to buy farmed fish.

This was a bit of a process to make, but really didn't take that long to put together. In the future, I will probably not use the green onions as I really didn't care for the texture when they were cooked. You could probably use a toothpick or something to keep it together, although they were close enough together in the pan that you really wouldn't need it.

Rating: 4.5/5
Why? Although it is messy to assemble, it is really good and very filling.


Shrimp Amatriciana

To say I've recently fallen off the healthy eating train would be the equivalent of saying that teenagers are occasionally obnoxious - a shocking understatement. This recipe is the perfect step to get back on the train. According to tradition, it is an ancient Roman recipe created by poor shepherds, and has only 4 ingredients, although this history is hotly debated. Wherever it came from, it is incredibly simple and extremely delicious. The original recipe is from allrecipes.com, but I changed several ingredients.

2 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can stewed tomatoes
10 medium shrimp, roughly chopped
2-3 oz pasta
3 leaves chopped basil
grated Parmesan

Spray a skillet or flat saucepan with olive oil. Saute the onions and bacon together for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for about a minute, then add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then add the shrimp. Simmer for 7-8 minutes. While it is simmering, cook the pasta. Drain, then top the pasta with the tomato mixture, then garnish with the basil and Parmesan.

In the original recipe, there was no shrimp, less red pepper, and the basil was mixed in with the tomato sauce. I felt the need for more protein, so I added the shrimp, and I forgot to add the basil until the dish was already plated, so I just tossed it on top. The original recipe also called for the bacon to be raw, cooked in the pan, and use the grease to cook the onions. I cook an entire package of turkey bacon at a time and keep it in the freezer and I also shred and freeze Parmesan, so I changed that part of the recipe as well.

Rating: 5/5
Why? This was filling, delicious, nutritious, easy and tasty. A complete winner!!


Lime Tortilla Soup

Normally, I prefer thick, chowder-like soups, but something about this one really appealed to me when I saw it in Clean Eating last month, and the fact that it came together quickly was a big selling point. It was totally worth it! This soup is completely delightful and super easy! I did change the recipe slightly as I was out of some ingredients and didn't realize it until I was in the middle of prep.

2 Tlbs olive oil (divided)
1 chicken breast, in 1/2" cubes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp cumin
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 shallot, finely minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 10" whole wheat tortilla
1 lime, quartered
low-fat Greek yogurt for garnish

Heat 1tlbs oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the chicken, jalapeno, cumin and green pepper, and cook 2-3 minutes, until chicken is done. Add the chicken broth, water, shallot and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. When mixture is at a hard boil, remove it from the heat and add the tomato, cilantro, and remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the soup and let it sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors blend. While the soup is resting, mist a non-stick pan with oil and heat over medium heat. Using a pizza cutter, cut the tortilla into narrow strips (1/8" wide) and then each strip into 2" lengths. When the pan is hot, toss the tortilla strips in and toast them, turning constantly to prevent burning. When they are crispy, remove them from the heat. Put soup into a bowl, then add a dollop of Greek yogurt and garnish with tortilla strips and squeeze a quarter of a lime into the soup.

This soup is so delicious, I will definitely be making this again. The original recipe called for scallions in place of the shallot and 3 cups of chicken broth instead of a chicken broth/water mixture. It also called for baby spinach and a corn tortilla instead of whole wheat.

Rating: 5/5
Why? So good....perfect flavors, light and filling.