Friday is for Food: Meatless Manicotti

With all of the travel we did during the month of July I didn't get the chance to try out many new recipes. August has been much more laid back. I try to incorporate some meatless meals into our menu primarily for budget reasons. Meat is expensive sometimes! Not all of my meatless meal attempts turn out tasting very well. But this one surprised both Daniel and me. I only made half of the recipe and it fed us for two and a half meals (two dinners and a lunch).

Here is the whole recipe:

Manicotti Made Easy

2 cups of shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (divided)
1 (16 oz.) carton of low-fat cottage cheese
1 (10 oz.) package of spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry (I sauteed fresh spinach, fresh mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil instead because that's what I had. And I don't like frozen spinach for some reason)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I just used the cheap stuff from the store because it's what I had)
1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
14 manicotti shells
1 (26 oz.) jar of tomato basil pasta sauce (I just used the tomato sauce I had in my pantry)

Preheat oven to 375
Combine 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, and all ingredients through black pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of mixture into uncooked manicotti shells. Pour half of tomato sauce into 9 x 13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer. Top with remaining tomato sauce. Pour 1/2 cup of water into dish and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.