Week 1, Recipes 4 & 5: Spaghetti w/Zucchini & Garlic, Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Spaghetti w/zucchini from Rachael Ray
  • 2 small to medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 4 turns of the pan
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano
Pile up 2 or 3 layers of paper towels on a work surface. Working on the paper towels, shred zucchinis using a box grater holding the zucchini at an angle.
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan Add chopped garlic to the oil. When garlic speaks by sizzling in oil, add shredded zucchini. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Saute shredded zucchini 7 to 10 minutes. Add hot, drained pasta to the pan. Toss spaghetti with zucchini and garlic oil. Add a couple of handfuls of grated cheese to the pan. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Results: YUMMY!!  You definitely need the paper towels because zucchini has a LOT of moisture.  Next time I'll use even more zucchini (3 or 4 instead of 2).  This is quick and easy & delicious!  I added sriracha to the leftovers and it rocked my world!  MMMM!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces
  • Large plastic food storage bags or waxed paper
  • 1 package, 10 ounces, frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 small mushroom caps, crimini or button
  • 2 cloves garlic, cracked
  • 1 small shallot, quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated or ground nutmeg
  • Toothpicks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
Place breasts in the center of a plastic food storage bag or 2 large sheets of waxed paper. Pound out the chicken from the center of the bag outward using a heavy-bottomed skillet or mallet. Be firm but controlled with your strokes.
Defrost spinach in the microwave. Transfer spinach to a kitchen towel. Twist towel around spinach and wring it out until very dry. Transfer to a medium-mixing bowl.
Place a nonstick skillet over moderate heat. When skillet is hot, add butter, mushrooms, garlic and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms, garlic and shallot to the food processor. Pulse to grind the mushrooms and transfer to the mixing bowl, adding the processed mushrooms to the spinach. Add ricotta and grated cheese to the bowl and the nutmeg. Stir to combine the stuffing. Return your skillet to the stove over medium high heat.

Place a mound of stuffing on each breast and wrap and roll breast over the stuffing. Secure breasts with toothpicks. Add 3 tablespoons oil to the pan, 3 turns of the pan. Add breasts to the pan and brown on all sides, cooking chicken 10 to 12 minutes. The meat will cook quickly because it is thin. Remove breasts; add butter to the pan and flour. Cook butter and flour for a minute, whisk in wine and reduce another minute. Whisk in broth and return breasts to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Remove toothpicks. Serve breasts whole or, remove from pan, slice on an angle and fan out on dinner plates. Top stuffed chicken breasts or sliced stuffed breasts with generous spoonfuls of the sauce.

Results: SO IMPRESSIVE!  And delicious!  I wasn't able to get the chicken breasts as thin as she usually does so I had to kind of fold the chicken breasts around the filling and pin it together.  I also browned it on the stove, then put it in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes to make sure the chicken was cooked through.  I used fresh mushrooms and spinach.  First I sauteed the mushrooms with garlic & shallots, then added the spinach in a little at a time.  I also just chopped everything with my knife rather than using a food processor.  Rashan & I loved this one!  For the leftover stuffing (since I made 3 instead of 4), I made scrambles later in the week.  MMMM!