Monday, April 1, 2013

Spinach Dumplings in Marinara Sauce

Longing for a rich, Italian meal without all the carbs that come with spaghetti?  This meatless dish is satisfying and extremely quick and easy to prepare.  For convenience, it utilizes frozen chopped spinach that has been thawed and is full of nutrients, including vitamins A and K, folate, calcium, and potassium. This hearty meal will fill you up and make you think you've eaten spaghetti and meatballs.  Add a side salad and a small glass of red wine to complete this heart-healthy Italian feast!

Spinach Dumplings in Marinara Sauce
Makes 2 servings

8 oz. chopped spinach, defrosted
½ cup whole wheat  seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons fat free ricotta cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped (or ½ TB dried)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg white
½ cup broth or water
2 ¼ cups marinara sauce of your choice (18 oz.)

1.  Squeeze excess water from spinach.   In a medium bowl, mix together the spinach, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, spices, chives, and egg white.  With your hands, form into 16 balls, about 1” in diameter.

2.  Place dumplings  into a non-stick skillet and add the broth or water.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam over medium-low heat  for about 5 minutes, gently turn over dumplings and continue steaming for another 2 minutes (if needed add a bit of water).  Remove lid and allow liquid to evaporate.

3.  Add marinara sauce and simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, turning dumplings and stirring sauce every 5 minutes.  Continue simmering until sauce has thickened.  Serve immediately, sprinkled lightly with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutritional Information per serving: 359 calories, 42.9 g carbohydrate (17.5 g sugars, 7.7 g dietary fiber), 14.3 g total  fat, 3.6 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 2771 mg sodium, 413.2 mg calcium, 17.9 g protein.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, ©2013

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