Tagged: spinach

Bacon … and that’s all you need to know!

Why hello, friends.

I’m so pleased to share with you that yesterday our little baby boy Quincy turned 4!!!!

Eeeeeee!!!

I remember when Q was just a little pup who always threw up in the car without fail, was absolutely terrified of his crate, and was way too scared to jump up on the bed by himself. Now, 4 years later,  he’s just a little snuggle muffin who takes every opportunity he can to jump up on the bed – particularly when I’m making it – loves car rides except that he sits backwards like a weirdo, and is STILL absolutely terrified of the crate. Ha. *sigh* Time goes by so fast. I’m sure it will go even faster once this little munchkin arrives.

In honor of  my Quincy’s birthday, every year, I make him bacon.

Why?

Because he’s a puppy and puppies love bacon. Duh!

Who DOESN’T love bacon?

Check out Quincy’s “You makin’ me bacon?!” face. Don’t you just want to snuggle him?!

quincy loves bacon

Now of course, that whole pan of bacon wasn’t just for puppy. What kind of Mom would I be if I let him eat ALL of that bacon all by himself?! No, no no. Quincy got a little puppy sized plateful. The rest was utilized in what is one of the most delicious and simple (though absolutely not even close to the healthiest) recipes I have ever come up with.  I came up with it a while back when my pantry was looking pretty bare but I wanted something delicious.

The ingredients required are pretty minimal, you’re likely to have them all on hand already. I’d say this dish is nice paired with a lite salad…but who am I kidding…I just eat two bowlfuls of this instead. Life’s about balance, remember. Just don’t eat this every day and you’ll be fine…I promise!

Spicy Bacon Rigatoni

  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • Anywhere between 6 and 12 slices of bacon (depends on how healthy you want to be, really)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped (gotta try and get those veggies in where ya can, right)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just shy of al dente – about 1 minute shy – as it will finish cooking in the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

While the pasta is cooking, chop your bacon into bite sized pieces and cook them in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.

Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the pan.  Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Let saute until fragrant and the onions and garlic begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the wine (or chicken stock) and let reduce for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and garlic powder. Stir well to combine and cook until the spinach is wilted. Reduce the heat to low.

Drain the pasta and add it immediately to the sauce. Add the Parmesan and a splash of the reserved pasta water and toss well to combine.  If the pasta seems a bit dry or stiff, add some more of the pasta water to reach your desired consistency. Remove from heat and add the bacon and basil and toss until just combined.

Serve immediately topped with more Parmesan in gigantic bowls so that you can eat as much as possible of this in one sitting because it’s so effing delicious.

Behold spicy, garlicy, cheesy, bacony perfection.

spicy bacon rigatoni

 

 

WIAW #5

I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet (like me!) because I’d love to squeeze some yoga in before bed tonight…but I couldn’t miss out on ANOTHER What I Ate Wednesday!!!! Jenn, at Peas and Crayons, hosts this awesome linkup every week!! So pop by her blog and tell her I sent ya. 🙂 Anywho – here’s what I ate TODAY!!!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup Plain, Nonfat Chobani Yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon French Vanilla Designer Whey Protein, 1 tablespoon Homemade Honey Almond Butter, and 1/4 cup Homemade Coconut Almond Granola. Black Tea with Skim Milk and 1 Splenda.
Snack #1: 1/2 Grapefruit.
Lunch: 2 Egg White Omelet with Cherry Tomatoes, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese. 1 Wegman’s brand White Whole Wheat English Muffin with 2 teaspoons Smart Balance Lite. Looooots of water.
Snack #2: Green Tea and 1 Hershey’s Special Dark Square.
Snack #3: 12 Baby Carrots and 2 tablespoons Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
PreWorkout Snack: Blueberry Muffin Larabar (SO EXCITED I FINALLY FOUND THEM!!)
Dinner: Quick Tilapia Tacos [Tilapia cooked with some chili powder and lime zest, 2 corn tortillas, Wegman’s Southwest Chopped Salad Kit (which, btw, if you haven’t tried it…is AMAZINGGGGGG) mixed with yellow bell peppers, red onion, avocado, and black beans.]

wiaw5

 Well…Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!!!!!

 

 

Pass the Beans… or Pass on the Beans??

So I have a question for you…
DO YOU or DON’T YOU like beans???

For a very long time I HATED beans. Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, baked beans. The whole lot. I remember back in the days of watching my brother play pee-wee football, I’d stand bundled up in the freezing New Jersey winter drinking hot chocolate for warmth and I completely refuuuused to eat the chili from the snack stand – regardless of the warmth it would have provided me – because I knew there where beans in it.

I’m pretty sure my aversion to them early in life was based on the fact that my parents didn’t like them… so I just assumed I wouldn’t like them either. Most of my food aversions early in life were because of the same reason…like Brussels sprouts (which now I love)!

I wish I could say I remembered exactly when I decided I liked beans. I am pretty sure after a few years of shivering, I finally tried that snack stand chili, and my life was changed forever!!

I am genuinely fascinated by the number of people I know who still don’t eat beans. I feel like 95% of the bean haters I know have never actually even tried one!!

Beans aren’t called “the magical fruit” (as my father likes to call them) for nothing, ya know. To my knowledge, beans are typically most associated with fiber, which I think we all know at this point is good for your health (not JUST because they help you poop! grow up!). The soluble fiber in beans aids in lowering bad cholesterol and regular consumption increases heart health. Beans are also super low in fat and high in protein – on average there are about 7 grams of protein in 1/2 cup of beans. Beans also contain loads of antioxidants and the complex carbohydrates in them keep you fuller and happier for longer. I don’t know about you, but I love to be full and happy!!

The best part about beans, though, in my opinion is that THEY ARE SO FLIPPIN’ CHEAP!!!! Dry or canned, beans are one of the cheapest sources of protein ever….and I love it.

This is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes using one of my favorite beans – cannellini beans! This recipe is quick, easy, and has an awesome balance of whole grains, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Balsamic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach and White Beans

serves 2 -4 (depending on your appetite)

  • 1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cannelini beans
  • 2 whole, roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the chicken to the skillet with garlic and onions and cook until no longer pink – about 8 to 10 minutes more.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and stir well to combine. Let cook for about 2 minutes until the vinegar begins to thicken.

Add the cooked pasta, beans, peppers, and spinach to the chicken mixture and toss well until the spinach wilts and everything is combined. Add pasta water as necessary if the mixture seems to dry.

Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese, with a big glass of wine!

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So tell me, are you or aren’t you on the bean wagon??

Hello 2013

Well hey there. Long time no blog. Life happens, ya know. Mine’s been pretty swell lately, thanks for asking. Since my last post…ya know… over a year ago…lots has happened!

Quick Summary: Planned my wedding, married my best friend, had the best wedding ever (please don’t try and argue that with me 🙂 ),  honeymooned in New England, got promoted, got healthier, became obsessed with Zumba and Yoga, Quincy turned 3, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So there you have it, my last year in a nutshell. But here I am, back again, ready to share some food and recipes with you!!!

Over the last year, my husband (heh – still not over getting to say that and it’s been 3 months!) and I have become much more involved in living a healthy lifestyle. When we get home from work, it’s usually about 5:45 and I like to try and leave for the gym by 6:45 for whatever class I have that night. That means I have 1 hour to throw together a meal that won’t weight us down and will keep us going through our workouts, clean up, change, and get out the door. Tonight’s dinner was sooooo easy it came together – literally – in 10 minutes. You are going to LOVE this recipe if you’re as on the go as we are.

BBQ Chicken Tortilla Pizzas

This recipe serves 2 people 1 1/2 “pizzas” each or one hungry person 2 pizzas and one less hungry person 1 pizza

  • 3 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce (whatever you use!)
  • 1/2 bag prewashed baby spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • Scallions, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place tortillas directly on the oven rack for about 2 minutes until they start to brown. (Don’t be alarmed if they puff up, you can poke holes in the bubbles in a minute!)

Saute spinach, garlic, and chili flakes in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until wilted. Set aside.

Place warm tortillas on a baking sheet. Release any air bubbles with a knife.

Spread 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce on each tortilla. Top each tortilla with 1/3 of the chicken, spinach, bell pepper, and cheese.

Place baking sheet in the oven for about 6-8 minutes until the cheese is melted, edges are brown, and the chicken is warm.

Serve immediately topped with scallions if desired.

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Recipe. Take Two!

So waaaaaaaaaay back in February I posted a recipe that was exceptionally similar to this one. (Here.)

This new one is totally better. Heh.

It’s super simple to make, hearty enough to fill up your big eaters and still light enough to not feel guilty about.

Good Golly, I love food. 🙂

Also, just in case you haven’t gotten around to it yet, don’t forget to vote for my Panini Party for this round of Project Food Blog!!!  🙂

Pasta with Sausage, White Beans and Spinach

  • 1 box whole wheat pasta
  • 1 lb turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can white (canellini) beans
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cook turkey sausage on medium-high heat until golden brown and no pink is remaining, making sure to break up the sausage with a spoon while cooking. Add spinach, beans and chicken stock. Reduce heat and let simmer.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to package directions. Drain pasta.

Place pot back on heat and add olive oil and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the wine and cook two minutes more.

Add pasta back to pot and toss together to combine. Add the sausage mixture to the pot. Stir well and serve.

That post was a quickie, don’t ya think?
It’s all a part of my grand scheme.
Leaves you wanting more doesn’t it???
Hehehehehehehe.

I’m usually silly, but this time I think it’s the wine talking.

Goodnight, Everybody! <3