Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken & Applewood Bacon


When choosing recipes for my menu, and hopefully for my blog I often spend hours searching through thousands of them.  I don’t really go into a week of planning with specifics in mind, I like to stay pretty open to whatever catches my eye.  Among the many that just don’t make the cut are some that I like to save for a later date for one reason or another… perhaps they are a bit too indulgent for my current eating habits, or would be great for a nice meal, or other times they just look so interesting to me that I can’t help but save them to reconsider later on.

Tonight’s recipe falls under the last category.  While the idea of fruits in savory dishes is most definitely not a “new” thing, it is somewhat foreign to me.  I guess it’s just hardwired into my brain that they are sweet… and thus best suited for desserts.  Of course this is not true, and through my experimentation I have come to realize this, but there are still plenty of fruit and savory combinations I have yet to try…. perhaps someday.  One that had been a long time on my list was strawberries and balsamic vinegar.  When I saw this recipe it just really stood out, and I knew I HAD to try it.  Not only do we love gourmet pizzas, and want to try the flavor combo, but it also has bacon!  Who could ask for more!?

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Let’s just say…. I was NOT disappointed.  In fact I could easily put this up there in my top favorite pizzas.  It has such a freshness to it from the strawberries and cilantro, balanced perfectly with the sweet, tangy and ever so slightly spicy sauce (which according to my husband tastes like BBQ sauce, but perhaps a fruity version) and salty crisp bacon.  Plus, it’s a gorgeous pizza with all the colors, and sure to impress.  I honestly would not change a thing about this recipe or even embellish it.  I plan on making this one over and over again.

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Though I wouldn’t change anything, there are a couple places that leave some room for versatility based on what you use.  For the crust I used a Stone Fire flatbread (multigrain) which I found in my local grocery store.  And for the strawberry jam I went with Santa Cruz Organics Strawberry Spread, which I feel is a little fresher/less sweet than some of the popular brands.  As I mentioned above the sriracha lends just a HINT of heat to this, and it was great as is, but I would also like to try it with a bit more and see what that does in terms of balance as well.  For the cheese I used an Italian Blend, pre-shredded.  Feel free to over-estimate your ingredients like I tend to do and really pile them on there… mine was kind of heaping when I got it all on there because my crust was already perhaps a bit smaller than a typical “ball of dough” would yield and I get a bit heavy handed.  As long as you have a crust that can stand up to it, I say the more the better!

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Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken & Applewood Bacon

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam or preserves
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • 1 ball pizza dough
  • 1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken breast (I used rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cup applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces, cooked
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion
  • 12 oz. shredded Italian blend cheese (I used closer to 6-8 oz because my crust was smaller)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced small

Directions :

  1. Place pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack of oven.  Preheat to 450 degrees (I was making other things at the same time and with a pre-baked crust I just left mine at 400 which worked great)
  2. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4-5 minutes or until reduced to half of original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy.  Add strawberry preserves and Sriracha and mix well.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Pat or roll out pizza dough on lightly floured surface to approximately a 14 inch circle.  Place a piece of parchment paper, slightly larger than your dough, on a pizza peel or upside down sheet pan (to help in transfer).  Sprinkle parchment paper lightly with cornmeal.  Fold dough in quarters and place on parchment paper, then unfold.  (Or if you are using ready made crust like me forget all that)
  4. Combine chicken with 2 T. of the balsamic-strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce.  Pour rest of sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover, leaving 1 inch border on edges.  Scatter chicken evenly over the sauce.
  5. Place about 3/4 of the cheese on top of dough and spread to cover sauce evenly.  Scatter bacon and sweet onion over cheese.  Scatter remaining cheese over this layer.
  6. Slide parchment paper with pizza on top onto stone or cookie sheet.  Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.  Watch carefully, at this temperature it is easy to burn the pizza. (I only had to bake mine the same amount of time at 400 with the pre-made crust)
  7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and fresh diced strawberries and serve!

Recipe from The Cafe

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Chipotle Lime Chicken Bacon Flatbread Tacos


That name sure is a mouthful, but nothing compared to the actual mouthful you get from these delicious gourmet tacos.  They are definitely a bit on the labor intensive side, but I consider truly good food to be a labor of love.  The great thing is you can easily make this in pieces ahead of time.  Myself, I spaced things out through the course of the day…. marinating my chicken and making the sauce when I got up.  Then midday I made my bacon… in the oven of course which I have talked about more than once on this blog.  When it came time to really get down to cooking I still had a few tasks to get through, but it wasn’t quite as chaotic as it probably would have been.  Let’s just say multitasking in life is a forte of mine I like to think, however multitasking in the kitchen…. not so much!  This is why I like to get everything ready BEFORE I start cooking. I LOVED these tacos…. if you can call them that.  As the blogger from whom I got this recipe mentioned, there is not really a good way to fold over such an overflowing mountain of goodness in a taco shell…. but I guess if you must you can just go lighter on everything to make it fit better.  I piled mine HIGH both for the picture aspect and because I knew I was only going to eat a couple so wanted to get my money’s worth!  I was thinking these would make a great taco bowl though if you want the best of both worlds.  You do want the thicker shell though.  The recipe calls for flatbread, but I was able to find very thick handmade taco shells at my local grocery store that worked perfectly and I imagine folded up a bit easier than flatbread would. There is an overwhelming amount of flavor packed into this taco.  You get the smokey heat of the chipotle, the acidity and brightness of the lime, the creaminess of the avocado and sour cream, the freshness of cilantro (my addition) and other toppings, and then who could forget the bacon….. mmm the bacon!  This is definitely not your average taco, but rather one to impress with….. my husband sure seemed to be! I took the suggestion of melting my cheese directly onto the chicken under the broiler for a minute and that worked perfectly, keeping the cheese from falling out… brilliant!  To keep all my goodies on top I also spread the chipotle sauce onto the tortilla first (which I heated beforehand until started to brown/firm up a bit) and that acted as my glue for the chicken.  The recipe does suggest lettuce as a topping, but I decided to just leave it out.  I honestly don’t think it is necessary at all.  For cheese I chose pepperjack.  The recipe doesn’t really say how much bacon to use… I cooked up about 9 slices and we used that for about 6 tacos, which allowed us a fairly generous amount on each.  It also doesn’t specify type of onion, but I suggest red/purple onion for this, it just goes so well with the flavor profile. _MG_0863-1 copy copy

Chipotle Lime Chicken Bacon Flatbread Tacos

Chicken Marinade:

  • 4 chicken breasts (I used about 1lb total)
  • 3 T. chipotle in adobo, smashed up or pureed
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 T. light oil (I used evoo)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Chipotle Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 T. chipotle in adobo, smashed or pureed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • pinch of salt

Guacamole:

  • 2 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T. onion, chopped (I used a bit more)
  • 1/4 C. tomatoes, chopped (I used roma, with seeds removed)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt to taste

Other Taco Components:

  • flatbread (note above, I used thick small tortillas, and we made 6 generously filled tacos)
  • cooked bacon
  • cheese
  • optional toppings : additional chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, avocado, etc.
  • Lime wedges

Directions :

  1. Combine the lime juice, chipotles, oil, and salt for the chicken and marinade the chicken and then grill it. When it’s done, chop it up small and toss it with more chipotles in adobo sauce if you want it spicy.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the chipotle cream sauce and set aside.
  3. For the guacamole, smash up one avocado and then add the lime, garlic, onion,  tomatoes, and salt and mix well. Chop up the remaining avocado and stir it in, smashing it up slightly.
  4. Assemble tacos for best results… heated flatbread/shell, chipotle sauce, chicken and cheese (melted together), guacamole, other toppings and bacon.  Serve with wedge of lime.

*Remember you can do multiple steps earlier in the day when you start your marinade cutting back on the workload later.  You do want to make the guacamole just before assembling however, because it will start to brown (though with that amount of lime juice not quite as quickly as without). Recipe from Yammie’s Noshery

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Green Apple & Bacon


For many years now I have heard people talk of putting cheese and apples together….. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, but I was definitely curious.  When I came across this sandwich I finally got up the courage to give this age-old combo a try.  Honestly I was nervous lol.  I had put it on the menu, bought the stuff, but because it was a busy week I kept pushing it out further and further and I was both anxious to try it, and worried that it wouldn’t be to my liking and we’d have to have a back-up plan.  Another thing that kept me from trying it earlier was my husband’s distaste for cooked apple anything.  Seeing the simplicity of the recipe, and figuring that bacon makes EVERYTHING better I went for it.

I was pleasantly surprised!  I actually found myself really enjoying the combination of flavors and textures in this simple sandwich.  The crisp and salty bacon, the gooey sharp cheese, and the slightly sweet/tart and juicy apple work really well with each other and you can’t go wrong with buttery toast.  Who knew!?  Oh yeah, most of the population lol.  Even my cooked apple hating husband enjoyed these.

I used the very large slices of sourdough from the middle of the loaf, so I just eyeballed the ingredients to cover the surface.  I think for two sandwiches I used about half the apple, and 3-4 slices of bacon per sandwich with 4 slices of cheese per sandwich.  I am just going to copy the recipe as listed below and you can make adjustments as needed like I did based on your bread size or preference.  I would definitely make these again, and maybe I will find other ways to try this flavor combo as well now that I am not afraid anymore lol.

Grilled Sandwich with Green Apple & Bacon

Makes : 1 sandwich

Ingredients :

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 T. butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 2 big slices medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thin slices tart green apples
  • 2 bacon slices, crisp cooked and drained

Directions :

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of the sourdough bread. If using mustard, spread mustard on the interior side of one of the buttered slices of bread.
  3. Place a cheese slice on the mustard, followed by apple slices and bacon. Add another cheese slice on top of that, and close the sandwich with the other piece of buttered bread.
  4. Grill the sandwich until crisp and browned on each side and until the cheese is melted (if your cheese is not melting, covering the sandwich with a lid can help, but turn down the heat so that the bread doesn’t over-brown). Remove the sandwich from the pan, slice on the bias, and serve promptly.

Recipe from Alaska From Scratch

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup


First a confession…. I have mentioned a few times now that I am not a lover of soups.  I have shared a select few with you on here that I do like, but generally I thought of myself as someone who just didn’t enjoy most soups.  Looking through the soups I have come to enjoy I feel like I can no longer accurately call my self a soup hater.  I still don’t really like brothy soups, and certain others, but I think at this point it’s safe to say I DO like soup, but am just choosey.

Creamy soups are among those that appeal to me.  So when I saw this one I knew I wanted to give it a try.  It looked quite creamy in the picture….. mine however was not so creamy.  Before I explain I want to say though that it did not take away from my enjoyment.  It was just creamy enough to still seem like a creamy soup, but I guess I had just imagined it thicker.  The reason it wasn’t I can only guess at… but I think it may have something to do with the fact that I eyeballed my chicken stock as well as the amount I pureed at the end.  I actually think that I may have pureed more than 1/3 of the chunks because I did want to make it creamier, which left me with fewer chunks than I would have liked.  Jeff said he thinks the soup could have used a couple more potatoes so I guess he agrees with me.  This just depends on how creamy, chunky you like your soup.

We did both agree that it was a great soup though when it came to flavor.  Jeff said it was way better than Campbell’s.  It really did taste like loaded baked potatoes.  I loved the salty pieces of bacon in contrast to the creamy cheesy soup, and the bite of the onion, with the tang of the sour cream.  Another confession… I made the entire package of bacon and we still could have used more for the leftovers.  What can I say…. we like our bacon!

Another change I made was to use half and half instead of the whole milk and cream.  I just replaced it as the 1 1/2 cups, but I divided it as suggested in the recipe.  The recipe just says to salt and pepper the soup to taste, and I used about 1 tsp. salt along with a good handful of turns on my pepper mill as suggested by the original poster.  As she pointed out, potatoes do require a good bit of salt to bring out the flavor.  Just remember that there will be a saltiness from the bacon as well… and some more than others.  So start with a little, taste it, and go from there.

This is a great comforting soup to warm you up on those chilly fall nights for sure!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Yield : 10-12 servings

Ingredients :

  • 8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or the entire thing if you are like me)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish
  • sliced scallions, for garnish

Directions :

  1. In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until all the fat has rendered. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and drain off all but 1/4 cup of the drippings.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then add the celery and onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and then add the cubed potatoes, stirring to combine. Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the chicken stock. (The chicken stock should just cover the potatoes, so depending on your pot, you may have to add more stock.) Bring the soup to a simmer then cover the pot and cook the soup for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  4. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Stir the roux constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s pale golden then whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened slightly. (It should be the consistency of gravy.) Whisk the milk mixture into the potato mixture and cook the soup for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat. Transfer 1/3 of the soup to a medium bowl. Using a hand blender, purée the soup that’s remaining in the pot until it’s smooth. (or a blender if you don’t have one.) Return the reserved 1/3 of the soup to the pot, stirring to combine.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and season the soup with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top each bowl of soup with the cooked bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and scallions.

Recipe from Just A Taste

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Egg ‘n’ Baked Potatoes


This particular recipe was one I found while searching for “clean eating” recipes.  I have done stuffed baked potatoes before, but never with an egg and the concept really intrigued me.  I imagined the rich creamy yolk oozing over the entire thing and it made my mouth water.  While it wasn’t quite as I had imagined since the yolk was only slightly runny at the suggested cook time,  I still really enjoyed these, and as always, the knowledge that you are eating clean and healthy always makes a dish more enjoyable.

I wasn’t able to find a nitrate-free turkey bacon, but I did find a regular version that was, so I just used that.  I don’t hate turkey bacon, but I much prefer the real thing anyway.  Other than a bit of time, this is a fairly easy dish to prepare.  The good news is that you can bake the potatoes, and scoop them out in advance which cuts off a large portion of the time when it actually comes time to make them.  The one issue I had was the moisture inside… there wasn’t an abundance, but in a couple it did run out onto the plate a bit.  I am not really certain if perhaps the egg wasn’t fully cooked inside the potato, or if most of the liquid came from the spinach.  Likely it was a bit of both.  Now obviously you don’t want runny whites, but I definitely did want runny yolk so I didn’t want to cook them any longer.  I think next time I would sort of wring out the spinach mixture a little before stuffing the potatoes and see if that makes a difference.

Overall, I did enjoy these, and I would make them again.

 

Egg ‘n’ Baked Potatoes

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 9oz each)
  • 2 slices all-natural turkey bacon (no nitrates or nitrites added)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 lightly packed cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp. each sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 T. chopped scallions or chives

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Prick potatoes with a fork 
and transfer to tray. Bake for 50 minutes, turning once, until tender. Set aside to cool for 
20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚F.
  2. Meanwhile, mist a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-low. 
Add bacon and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. When cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces.
  3. To skillet on medium-low, add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add spinach and sauté for 
3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until wilted. Remove from heat.
  4. If needed, cut a thin slice from long side of each potato so they sit flat on sheet. Cut an oval into the top of each potato and scoop out flesh using a spoon or a melon baller, leaving a shell about 1/3-inch thick. Reserve potato flesh for future use. 
(MAKE AHEAD: Potatoes can be baked, cooled and scooped up to 2 days in 
advance. Cover and refrigerate.)
  5. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Divide spinach mixture and bacon evenly among potatoes. Carefully crack 1 egg into each potato and top with cheese, dividing evenly. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, to desired doneness of egg. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and scallions and serve with potatoes.

Recipe from Clean Eating Magazine

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Published in: on September 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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Cheesy Spinach & Bacon Quesadillas


I started with a recipe tonight for these, but altered the already small ingredients list enough times that I think it is no longer the same recipe, so I will just share mine instead.  I was sort of concerned before making these that not only would there not be enough filling for each quesadilla (compared to past quesadillas we’ve made), but that we’d be hungry still after eating them as our dinner tonight.  It’s a fine line some nights to come up with a dish that is low enough in calories for my dietary needs while still being filling, but also high enough and filling for my husband as well who gets a lot more calories a day than me.  Quesadillas are a pretty light meal in general, but just looking at the ingredient amounts I was concerned these would be even more so.  It turns out that I was wrong, and these were more than satisfying.  I actually started to feel pretty satisfied after one to tell you the truth, but I managed to eat that second one somehow lol.

The flavor on these is awesome.  The little bit of heat from the tortillas, matched with the creamy smoked flavor of the cheese, and the sweet smokey bacon and fresh spinach is just perfect.  I think serving these with a bit of sour cream would be even better, but it’s definitely not necessary if you are hoping to keep the calories down.

I want to take just a moment to talk about the bacon…. if you have never cooked your bacon in the oven you don’t know what you’re missing!  Not only is there no splatter of oil to clean up and ruin your clothes or burn you, but each piece is perfectly done with ease, and stays nice and straight and looks amazing!  Thick cut bacon works best, but you can certainly do it with any bacon you have.  You just have to watch it closely because the time in which is crisps happens so quickly.  I am going to go ahead and say every oven is different, and so is every bacon so there is no cut and dry temperature/time combo that will work best, but I will list what I used tonight as a guideline to get you started and you’ll just have to try it for yourself to find out what works best in your oven.

Cheesy Spinach & Bacon Quesadillas

Serves : 2-4                            Time to make : 10 minutes (not including bacon preparation time)

Ingredients :

  • 4 Jalapeno Cheddar Tortillas (they are large and the brand is Mission)
  • 3 oz. nonfat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded gouda
  • 8 strips of thick cut bacon, crispy
  • 1 cup of fresh baby spinach (or basically a large handful)

Directions :

  1. First make your bacon… either in the skillet if you prefer, or in the oven as mentioned above.  To make it in the oven line a large cookie (with sides) with foil and place a rack on top.  The foil should come up the sides a bit to catch all your grease for easy cleanup.  Spray rack a bit with non-stick cooking spray.  Lay bacon on rack making sure not to overlap them for the best results.  Bake in a 350 degree oven (not preheated) for about 25-30 minutes or until done, paying close attention starting around 15 minutes and flipping them once or twice for even crisping.
  2. Once bacon is done, combine the cream cheese and gouda in a small microwave safe bowl and heat for about a minute until melted stirring about halfway through.  Watch closely so it doesn’t burn or anything, but it should be fine as long as you stirred it.  You’ll end up with a sort of sticky, ball of cheese rather than a truly melted sauce.
  3. Split the cheese among the four tortillas and spread on one half of each.  Next layer on the bacon.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add about a T. of water and throw in the spinach stirring gently.  Cook just until it has wilted down a bit, and then remove it.  Layer that into your quesadillas last before folding them over into half circles.
  5. Wipe out any moisture in your skillet left from the spinach and spray with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.  Heat over medium-high heat and then cook your quesadillas in there either one at a time, or if you are brave and have a large skillet go for two at a time but it will make it harder to flip them.  Again, watch closely because once they start to brown they will burn fast if you aren’t careful.  It will probably only take a minute or so for the first side to brown up and start to get crispy, then flip it and cook the other side.  Note: the other side will brown even faster so pay attention.
  6. Cut in half and serve warm.  Optional to serve with a bit of sour cream as well.

cheesyspinach&baconquesadilla

Day 129 : Cheesy Broccoli Pasta


Tonight’s recipe was supposed to be something else.  Instead of pasta, the cheesy broccoli sauce was supposed to be mixed with potatoes and stuffed back inside the baked potato shells.  Somehow  my potatoes did not turn out the way they should have and completely fell apart while I was digging them out.  There were also bad spots in some of them.  So I decided to continue with the sauce and just mix it in with some pasta.

It wasn’t bad, but I doubt it’s something I would make as stated again.  The idea was good though.  I just felt it needed a bit more flavor.  I have no idea how it would have tasted in the original recipe so I can’t really say if it was something that I just needed to adjust for the changes or not.  I would reserve some pasta water before draining just in case the cheese sauce was too thick to mix in well, but I managed ok tonight without.  It was certainly easy to make!

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

Serves : 4                  Time to make :  20 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 8 oz. pasta, cooked al dente (I used some organic multicolored shells)
  • 1/3 cup shredded low fat cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tsp. flour

Directions :

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile bring about 1/3 cup water to boil in a skillet.  Add broccoli, cover and cook for about 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in the same skillet and cook onion until soft.  Add the flour and stir.  Cook for about 30 minutes, being careful not to burn it.
  4. Add the milk, salt and pepper and whisk together, cooking for about another minute or two until thickened.
  5. Take off the heat, and add cheese, stirring until melted.
  6. Toss in the broccoli and crumbled bacon then mix in the pasta once drained.  If it’s a bit thick you can add some of the pasta water.

Published in: on May 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Day 83 : Springtime Pasta with Bacon


I watch a lot of food network in my house, and that means so do the kids… they really don’t have much choice lol.  Perrin is actually really into Iron Chef America, and always acts like we are “in kitchen stadium” when I am making dinner.  He loves that when he helps me I call him Iron Chef Perrin.  So anyway, in order to get him to try some new foods I mentioned that chef’s and especially Iron Chefs have to try the foods they make and somehow it worked!

In the last couple of days he has done almost a 180 and tried many new foods, and enjoyed them I might add.  Tonight he tried everything but the goat cheese since Jeff claims to be allergic and Perrin has so many food allergies of his own.  He loved the bacon and the only thing he didn’t care for was the onion which I expected lol.  I am so relieved that he is doing better w/ this issue and I only hope he keeps this new attitude!

Tonight’s dinner was very light and fresh tasting, just like the name implies.  I liked the different textures of the various veggies and the smokey/salty aspect of the bacon.  The lemony sauce really punched up the flavors and IMO the goat cheese was just the right ingredient to tie everything together with it’s tangy creaminess.  It’s too bad for Jeff that he opted out….. I don’t believe that he’s allergic.  He used feta in his which I am sure would be fine but not the same.

For the bacon I baked it which resulted in PERFECT pieces w/ just the right done-ness.  Everything else I prepped ahead of time so that I could just toss it all together and not be scrambling while the pasta cooked.  That worked well, minus the SPIDER that was hanging out on the radishes when I went to add them!  I’m sure my neighbors got an earful from that little surprise lol.  With an extra good rinse of the radishes everything turned out just fine though.  Since I had to leave the cheese off the main bowl of it, I put a bit in a separate dish for the pic.

It may not quite feel like spring all the time in my area, but this pasta was just the thing to put me in the mood.  It was so pretty and fresh and helped me to forget that  the weather is forecasting chances of snow again!

 

Springtime Pasta with Bacon

Serves : 4-6                  Time to make : 25 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 16 oz. orecchiette pasta
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh snow peas
  • 8 radishes, cut into wedges (I sliced mine)
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 thick cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Directions :

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add sweet peas, and snow peas during the last minute of cooking.  Drain.
  2. Toss pasta mixture with radishes and next 5 ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Sprinkle with bacon and goat cheese and serve.