I love to cook. But I almost never cook for my Hubby. He’s a little on the picky side, a little on the carnivorous side and I am a little on the health nut, veggie lover side. It’s so uber challenging living with someone that doesn’t have the same palate as you. What was he thinking marrying a nice German girl who loves her some sauerkraut, pickles and mustard (not necessarily at the same time) when he runs screaming from any of them! I love experimenting with fermenting foods and he’s terrified of it. Seriously though, who hates pickles and mustard? They are two of my FAVORITE FOODS!
I have a few go-to comfort foods that I cook (neither extraordinarily healthy nor vegan) for him every so often. His favorite being my chicken and spinach stuffed shells. I cooked them the other night and posted a picture to facebook. I had quite a few people ask me for the recipe. The trouble is, I almost never cook with recipe (unless I am baking). I feel my way through from the 14 years of experience I had waiting tables and from growing up watching the women in my life cook and my obsession with the food network. Now I am going to feel my way through writing a recipe for my stuffed shells!
One thing I know is weird about my stuffed shell recipe is that I don’t use milk or egg in the filling. I personally don’t think it needs it. You’ll also know that I haven’t really added quantities…umm I don’t pay attention to that stuff. I measure by sight and handfuls.
- Shells – the big ones (2/3 of a box will fill a 9×13 pan and will feed 2 people about 3-4 times).
- Organic chicken breast (2-3)
- Part skim ricotta cheese
- Part skim shredded mozzarella
- Fresh baby spinach
- Your favorite (or homemade) tomato sauce
- Your favorite Italian herbs and spices: salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley
Pre-Game + Game Time
- Bring a large pot of water (for the shells) to a boil (add EVOO + salt) – cook to aldente (not to squishy or they will get super soggy and mushy when you bake them) I rinse with cold water and set aside. Most chef’s say not to do this.
- slice or cube (raw) chicken
- Rinse the fresh spinach. (2-3 over flowing fist-fulls)
- Saute the chicken with a little EVOO and lots of garlic (fresh, minced) add salt, pepper, and any dried herbs you like to taste. Set aside when cooked through.
- Saute spinach until wilted in a little EVOO and garlic – add salt + pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl, mix ricotta (medium sized container) warm spinach and 1/2 a bag of shredded mozzarella. Add salt, pepper, your favorite herbs to taste.
- In a large (9×13) glass pan, dump about half a jar of the sauce – spread around.
- begin stuffing shells with the spinach-ricotta mixture – I use my hands. It’s easier. They’re slippery little suckers.
- Line the shells in the sauced pan in an orderly fashion!
- Sneak in the sauteed chicken in between the shells.
- Top with the rest of the jar of sauce.
- Cover with mozzarella cheese to taste. (some like more, some like lots)
- Add some fresh herbs to the top (last time around i just used parsley)
- Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes until bubbley and melty.