Are you ready for another great recipe? Well here it is! CHICKEN STUFFED MANICOTTI!
One of our San Diego No Excuse Moms Calista Mejia who I met earlier this year is sharing this yummy recipe with us. 🙂
But first, let’s get to know our fellow NEM Calista and her adorable family…
- How many children do you have and their ages?
- One little love-bug, she is 5 ½ …though she practically BEGS for a little sister!
- How did you get involved with NEM?
- I first heard about Maria back when her strong, yet controversial “What’s your excuse” image was posted online back in 2013…I was immediately inspired, as that’s about the same time I began my fitness journey. I requested to become a member of the NEM Facebook page shortly thereafter and loved seeing these extraordinary mothers, balancing their health & wellness along with all of their family & other responsibilities in life. I became more engaged with NEM just this year, when Maria posted about her upcoming book & the 12-week challenge in mid-January. I was also fortunate enough to assist & meet other NEMs at Maria’s booth at the LA Fit Expo in February as well.
- When do you find time to workout?
- I don’t “find” time…I make it. Plain and simple. Just like, I don’t “find” time to eat breakfast, lunch & dinner each day…I make the time because it’s at the top of my priority list.
- What is your favorite workout?
- I honestly don’t know how I can pick just one favorite. I consider myself a ‘fitness enthusiast’ – so to me, the more variety, the better. I feel like there is always more to learn, to try, to experience… and I don’t want to ever get bored or burnt out with exercise. I love weight training, yoga, hiking, running (especially along the beach here in sunny San Diego!), pilates, & outdoor bootcamps.
- How do you stay motivated?
Motivation, that’s a tough one for many of us. Even for those who have implemented fitness into their routine & live a healthy lifestyle. There are good/easier days than others…but mainly my motivation comes from inside (intrinsically), as it should…whereas some have ‘extrinsic’ motivation (doing it for someone else, or just to look good in an outfit…outside reasons). I truly enjoy exercise.
…and now for Calista’s awesome recipe!
- 14 pieces manicotti pasta tubes
- Tomato sauce of your choice (I used Delallo Roasted Garlic)
- 12.5 oz can of premium white chicken in water – drained (I use Trader Joes)
- ½ cup “riced” cauliflower
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach – chopped
- ½ cup artichoke hearts – chopped
- 6 oz container of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt (I use the Fage brand)
- ½ cup, ricotta cheese – low fat
- 4 oz lite shredded mozzarella cheese (I use Trader Joes, pre-shredded)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375.
- Boil manicotti tubes for 5-6 min, do not overcook or they could break! Once done, set aside to cool.
- You could definitely use cooked chicken then chop it up…I just try to save some time and it’s quick and easy to use the canned sometimes.
- To ‘rice’ cauliflower, I cut off a few florets from the head and put into a mini food processor. Pulse a few times to get a ‘rice-like’ consistency and then measure out ½ cup.
- Frozen spinach would work for this as well…just thaw & drain out moisture first…measure out to your liking – maybe about a cup.
In a 9×13 baking dish, pour in your tomato sauce – just enough to cover the bottom.
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients for the filling. Once combined, scoop the mixture into a large plastic zip lock bag, squeeze out all the air & zip shut. Snip off the end about an inch or so from a bottom corner of the bag.
Hold a manicotti tube securely in hand to prevent it from breaking, then slowly begin to pipe the filling inside – it’s best to fill from both ends to make sure each tube gets filled all the way without air pockets. Don’t overfill, to ensure you have enough for all 14 tubes. If you have extra filling afterwards, go back & add a small amount to each. Place all into baking dish. If you choose, you can pour some additional tomato sauce on the tubes – I chose not to so I could measure out my own amount of sauce afterwards.
Cover lightly with foil & bake in oven for 15 minutes.
Plate & spoon tomato sauce on each one, then garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional) and a pinch of julienned basil (optional).
Serves 3 (4 tubes each) or 4 (3 tubes each, with 2 leftover).
**Nutritional Info per Manicotti Tube (based on the products used):
- 125 calories
- 2g fat
- 231mg sodium
- 15g carbs
- 11g protien
Well NEMs, I hope you enjoy this recipe! Don’t forget that if you have a recipe you’d like to share on our website, please email me at: Meeshie@NoExcuseMom.com 😉