One thing I really love about the 21 Day Fix diet is that you can be creative and eat the things you love. I grew up in an Italian family who loves to cook and eat together. Baked ziti was always a staple. I love making meals like this that allow me to stick to my plan, but also taste delicious and my family doesn’t even notice it’s my “diet food”.
When I saw that the 21 Day Fix counted ricotta cheese a protein, I was like OMG – quick!!! Get the store immediately so I can make baked ziti!!! I do have the containers, but when I’m cooking I like to just look up the measurements and use measuring cups.
For this recipe, tomato sauce counts as purple and I used 1 cup. Whole grain pasta counts as yellow and I used 1/2 cup. Ricotta counts as red and I used 2/3 cup. This is a bit much if you don’t really love Ricotta like I do, so feel free to back it off to 1/3 cup and only count it for 1/2 a red container. Lean ground beef counts as red and I used 2/3 cup. You could also use ground turkey, chicken, beef, bison, or venison here. And shredded mozzarella counts as blue and I used 1/4 cup. I also used all organic ingredients. All of these together is one serving and would count as 1 purple, 1 yellow, 2 red and 1 blue.
You have the option of scooping these ingredients into individual bowls (or Tupperware containers for lunch the next day) or into a larger baking dish and diving up the portions. I like doing it both ways.
Try this out and let me know what you think!
1 lb lean ground beef (or other ground meat – very lean, >95%)
Whole grain pasta – about 1/2 lb
Container of light ricotta cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese (about a bag)
1. Brown ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried thyme. Set aside to cool off.
2. Boil pasta according to instructions on the box. Set aside to cool.
3. Measure your portions into a bowl or larger baking dish. If using a baking dish, duplicate the measurements by 2 or 3. If baking, mix all ingredients together and top with a little mozzarella.
Whole grain pasta – 1/3 cup (yellow)
Light Ricotta cheese – 2/3 cup (red)
Lean ground beef – 2/3 cup (red)
Shredded mozzarella cheese – 1/4 cup (blue)
4. Microwave your individual bowl to desired temperature (I like 30-45 seconds). Or if baking, bake at 375 for 20 minutes.