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I’m sort of in Fall denial right now, or rather the weather itself is in denial. About a week ago we had beautiful cool Fall weather and then only a few days later it changed back to sweltering middle of summer weather and has stayed there. I know it’s Fall and the fact that it’s 85 degrees outside isn’t keeping me from craving and cooking warm and comforting Fall foods.

Tonight I decided to try making stuffed shells for the first time. I scanned the recipe on the back of the box of pasta shells but the recipe was for the entire box and was feeling way too lazy to figure out the measurements for the quarter of the box I was actually cooking. I just threw in what I thought would be good and left out the eggs, because well, putting in eggs just seemed weird and unnecessary.

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  • a large handful of chopped spinach
  • a few scoops of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • a few scoops of 2% cottage cheese
  • maybe a 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • some parmesan
  • and a few hefty shakes of basil, oregano, and italian seasonings

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The shells boiled for about 12 minutes, got drained, slightly cooled, and then stuffed with the spinach and cheese mix.

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Stuffed into a baking dish, covered in marinara, and baked at 350 for about 20 minutes.

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It would have been super easy to cook up some quick chicken breasts while the shells were baking but I completely forgot to thaw out the chicken breasts. Instead I took the easy way out and threw some frozen (already cooked) shrimp into the microwave. Culinary mastermind, I know.

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The end product was delicious! I’m guessing that adding the eggs might have made the filling a bit firmer but I really enjoyed the soft and creamy texture of it.

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On the side I had an arugala and mixed greens salad with tomatoes, peperoncini, and olives. When it comes to salads I’m usually one to just buy the cheapest bag of spinach or a huge head of romaine and call it a day. Today I decided to splurge on a “fancy” (aka much smaller and more pricier) bag of greens and it really made a huge difference. The greens were so flavorful on their own I didn’t feel the need to add any dressing outside of the toppings. I wish I could find arugala more often, this was the first time I’ve ever seen it in the grocery store.

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I’m off to the gym for a little treadmill action, I know if I don’t leave now I’ll sit here all night.

What is your favorite salad green?

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