All my turkey dreams have come true. For the first time we brined the bird, and the method delivered everything it promised – crispy skin, juicy meat, sublime seasoning… The rest of the menu I kept the same – mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, roasted carrots, turnips and beets, cranberry streusel and apple pie!

Today I am craving something easy, something comforting, something healthy and something that still feeds LOTS of people. So I’m feeding them manicotti! In this yummy dish no one ever misses the meat, and using uncooked shells makes assembly fast and uncomplicated. Thank heavens!

So we will have our Black Friday fun. Some of us left the house at 4:30 AM to go shopping. Some of us will sleep all day. Some of us will goad others of us to start the holiday lights. I personally will work on indoor decorations, nibble on leftovers, “guard” the remaining pie and greet them all with dinner when the time comes. And today it will not be fancy, but it will be delicious!

Gather Up:
2 cups shredded white cheese, mix of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, or your choice
1 ¼ cups fat-free cottage cheese
4 cups chopped spinach, or 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ teaspoons oregano
Small pinch nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 8-ounce package manicotti shells
1 26-ounce jar organic pasta sauce
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine 1 ½ cups of the cheese, the cottage cheese, the spinach, parmesan cheese, oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Using a small spoon, fill each uncooked manicotti shell.

Pour half of the pasta sauce into the baking dish. Arrange the shells in a single layer.

Top with the remaining sauce.

Pour 1 cup water into the dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 50 minutes until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Cooking Light magazine, a long time ago…
“Fall Leaves” from DGMiller777