3 cups chicken broth
1 pound chicken breast (2 cups when cooked and shredded)
1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) dried orzo
1/2 cup reserved pasta water or chicken broth
1 onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups of your favorite cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons dried mustard
3 tablespoons salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a pan with a lid. The pan should be big enough to cook all the chicken breast in a single layer. Once the broth is boiling, add chicken and reduce to a simmer. Add more broth if necessary so the chicken is three-quarters submerged.
Cover pan and cook for 4 minutes. Flip chicken over, re-cover, and cook for another 4 minutes. Continue cooking for 4 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Set chicken on a clean plate to cool and discard broth. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the orzo. Cook for 6 minutes. The orzo should be mostly cooked but still a bit crunchy in the middle. Before draining, scoop out a half-cup of the cooking water and set aside.
In the pan used to poach the chicken, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and cook the onion until translucent. Add the spinach and stir until it has wilted.
Combine cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, dried mustard and salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken, orzo, onion mixture and reserved pasta water. Stir until combined.
Pour into casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle on reserved 1/2 cup of cheese and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until the edges have begun to brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.
Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated for up to one week.
Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 331 calories; 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 35 percent calories from fat); 24 g carbohydrates; 68 mg cholesterol; 1,244 mg sodium; 28 g protein; 2 g fiber.