Monday, May 28, 2012

Cheesy Pastitsio

You like cheese, don't you?” I remember hearing Dr. Phil ask a very heavy woman this question on his show way back when I used to watch his show with my mom. That particular episode was on the obesity epidemic, and he had interviewed several people struggling with their weight. I remember thinking it was harsh to target one food like it was the root of this woman's problems.

If you love cheese as much as I do, rest assured you don't have to cut it out of your diet to maintain a healthy weight, especially if you use lower fat cheese, like the kind I use here. Just stay away from the fat free stuff, it doesn't melt well and honestly, it just ain’t natural for cheese to have no fat at all.

This pasta is reminiscent of alfredo, but has lots of yummy veggies tucked in the creaminess. The protein balances out the carbs wonderfully too! 
This recipe offers a hefty serving of 1 1/3 cup for just 355 calories and about 9.5 grams of fat. So go ahead, bask in all of that cheesy goodness guilt free!

Cheesy Pastitsio
Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny!

Serves 6
Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups

Calories: 360
Fat: 9.5 g
Carbs: 39 g
Fiber: 4.8 g
Protein: 30 g
Old WW Points: 6.9 pts
New Points: 8 pts

  • 8 oz. Uncooked Ronzini Smart Taste Pasta
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, (I like the kind with Italian seasoning) drained
  • 6 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Cut up your veggies and shred your cheese to prep.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat pan with cooking spray. Add meat to pan and saute for about 5 minutes or until browned, breaking up large pieces with a spatula. Remove meat from pan and drain.

Wipe pan clean with paper towel before adding 1/2 tablespoon of oil to pan. Swirl to coat and then add onion, sauteing for about 4 minutes.

Add garlic and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add meat and sprinkle with salt. 

 Stir in milk, tomatoes and cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook 2 or 3 minutes more or until well heated. Stir in pasta to coat. 

Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9 or 11 x 17 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top and broil 4 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with parsley and dig in!

I served it with roasted asparagus and these rosemary rolls. Hope you enjoy! 

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