Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four Cheese Spinach Stuffed Shells & What My Family is "Made of" #GayLeaFoods #MadeFrom

As we become parents, we also become teachers. We mold the next generation and let me tell you, it isn't always easy. In today's society, everyday is a struggle to keep the next generation honest, humble, empathetic and hard working. That's how I want to mold my children. I'd like them to think of others, to work hard and be proud of where they come from and who they are. Growing up, my parents instilled in me a good work ethic, pride for my family and taught us to follow the golden rule- treat others how you would like to be treated. That is still how I live today, and Hubby and I try very hard to instil these same values into our children. We remind them everyday that it's OK to fail, as long as they gave it their all, that life isn't always fair, or easy and that a little common courtesy goes a long way.

When I look into products I use in my home and feed my family, the same values play a big role in my purchases. Would I rather buy from a big name chain that only focuses on the bottom line, or from a company that prides itself to bring their customers the best product they can. That's why I always reach for Gay Lea products. They focus on quality and know that it takes hard work, commitment and dedication to achieve these goals. Our friends at Gay Lea have launched a brand new campaign, to help share their "story" of passion, pride and commitment to bringing consumers the best quality products possible. You may have seen these adds in magazines, around the web, or on billboards. Today, I'd like to share Gay Lea's story with you

Our story began in 1958, when a group of Ontario
farmers came together with a common vision — to create
a dairy co-operative. And with that, Gay Lea Foods was
born. The farmers believed they could build a better future
for themselves and their communities by supporting one
another, by working collaboratively and living according
to their co-operative principles. While it’s true we’ve
grown along the way, embracing innovative new
products, and responding to evolving tastes, we haven’t
really changed. After all, our values are born on the farm.

Today, we remain a dairy owned by dairy farmers, and
they are at the very root of our organization. We embrace
and act with co-operative-inspired values – they inform
everything we do. From farmers to production facilities to
distribution, every member, employee and partner shares
a keen understanding that there is no shortcut to quality. It
takes commitment, passion and collaboration.

Those are the things we’re made of, and we believe it’s
time we share our story. We’re not only proud of what
makes us different, but we know that today’s consumer,
more than ever, wants real products they can trust.

Our values and our products, just like the milk and our
farmers, are born on the farm.

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.” 

Four Cheese Spinach Stuffed Shells
printable version

24 large shell pasta
1- 16 oz container ricotta cheese
1 C Gay Lea Nordica 2% cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
2 C shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh spinach
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of coarse sea salt
1- 26 oz jar marinara sauce
1/2 C 35% heavy cream

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in pasta shells and cook until just al dente. Drain and let cool.

In a sauce pot, combine the marinara sauce and 1/2 C heavy cream. Heat over low heat until ready to use.

Remove stems from spinach and submerge into a sink of cold water. Swish spinach around and carefully scoop spinach from the water, making sure to not scoop up the grit at the bottom. Place in a collander to drain.

In a large sautee pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once oil begins to ripple, add in minced garlic and spinach. Toss to coat and season with a pinch of coarse sea salt. Let spinach cook down, stirring occasionally, until wilted; about 5 minutes. Transfer spinach to a plate to cool. Once cool place spinach into a clean tea towel and squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, Parmesan, eggs, garlic powder, basil, 1/4 tsp salt and fresh ground pepper, until smooth. Stir in mozzarella and spinach.

Pour 1/2 C of sauce into the bottom of a very large casserole dish (or two smaller casserole dishes). Using a spoon, stuff each partly cooked pasta shell generously with filling and place into the casserole dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 C mozzarella. Bake covered, in preheated 375 degree oven, for 50 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is being shared at these AWESOME linky parties

Meal Planning Monday
You're Gonna Love it
Totally Talented Tuesday
Time to Sparkle
Create LINK Inspire
Clever Chicks
Two Cup Tuesday
Share Your Stuff Tuesdays
Tasty Tuesday
Wonderfully Creative Wednesday
What's Cookin' Wednesday
Cast Party Wednesday


Christine McN said...

YUUUUM! Those are my favourite! How did you know? :)

Kathe said...

I haven't made stuffed shells in forever and your recipe looks awesome! Thank you for sharing it at the party this week! I will be featuring this post on my Facebook page and have pinned it on the You're Gonna Love It Tuesday board on Pinterest too :-)

Gloria @ Simply Gloria said...

I'm going to have to check out the Gay Lea products... love great quality! These stuffed shells look beyond amazing!

April's Homemaking said...

Thank you for sharing your recipe at Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up last week. I hope you join us again this week. :) http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up-3.html