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Great Eats, Simple Treats



By Michal Brown
      Staff Writer, Tampa Bay

 Being law students time is limited, funds are limited, case briefs are never-ending, and active involvement is time consuming. To make matters worse some of us work part-time or full-time jobs that further consume our time. Needless to say many meals are quick and purchased on the go. In an effort to promote healthy eating and cost cutting, Great Eats, Simple Treats will provide weekly recipes which are simple, inexpensive, and promote a healthy well-balanced meal.

Parmesan Chicken Manicotti

This recipe yields 7 pieces of Manicotti.  If you’re preparing for a larger group simply double all ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 7 pieces Manicotti, cooked according to instructions (Usually 6-8 minutes)

  • 1 cup part skim Ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (If you are really pressed for time pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred)

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 1 can Italian style crushed tomatoes (I used Ro-Tel mild diced tomatoes with green chilies)

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

  • 6-8 basil leaves (Optional)


Instructions:


  1. Season and cook your chicken thoroughly.  Chicken breast would be the easiest to work with for this dish, unless you have purchased a rotisserie chicken from your local grocer to cut down time.  The simplest way to shred chicken is to use two forks and pull it apart.  

  2. In a medium bowl, combine cooked shredded chicken, Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, oregano, salt and pepper together and stir until well mixed.

  3. Stuff each cooked Manicotti with about ¼ cupful of the chicken and cheese mixture carefully so that the Manicotti doesn’t tear.

  4. Add the crushed tomatoes in saucepan over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves and stir frequently, until it starts to bubble. Simmer until heated through.

  5. Spray baking dish with cooking spray and place the stuffed Manicotti in it. Pour about 1 cup (or more) prepared sauce over the Manicotti. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place basil leaves.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with: A salad or your favorite veggies and garlic bread.


 Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

 Ingredients:

· 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)
· 6-8 medium skin on red potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
· 1/3 c olive oil
· 1 1/2 tsp salt
· 1 tsp black pepper
· 1 Tbsp paprika
· 2 Tbsp garlic powder
· 2 Tbsp hot sauce (more if you like it HOT)
· broccoli (optional)

 Topping:

· 2 cup fiesta blend cheese
· 1 cup crumbled bacon (Substitute option: turkey bacon)
· 1 cup diced green onion 

How to Make:

1). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
2).In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish (If you are pressed for time par boil the cubed potatoes for 5-10 minutes before performing step 1.) 
3).Bake the potatoes and chicken for 55-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through, crispy, and browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon (about half a pound).                          4).Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Top the cooked potatoes with the cheese, bacon, and green onions. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve With: extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing or sour cream!



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