Baked – Potato Nachos

A couple of weeks ago my brother was over and I was trying to think of something easy and filling to make. I know both him AND my hubby LOVE potatoes and bacon. Then again, there are few that DON’T love that combination. Am I right?! So I cut up a few potatoes and just kept adding stuff I had in my fridge to the pan and VOILA! DINNER!

You want to know something weird though? My kids don’t love potatoes. The only type of potatoes they like are french fries. It’s a no to mashed potatoes, tater tots, hash browns, etc. Aren’t they weird. Who doesn’t love potatoes in all shapes, sizes and forms? MY CHILDREN. It’s like I don’t know who they are! They have some serious training to undergo. We’ve gotta work on them. Hopefully by Thanksgiving their MAJOR problem and pickiness of potatoes will be transformed. I will let you know. ūüôā

So…. here is the HIT OF THE NIGHT with the adults. The kids had sandwiches. So THERE.

1473791121850.jpg

Ingredients:

  1. 6-10 slices of precooked bacon (I used black label hormel pre-cooked. You can also “pre-cook your own in the oven and then freeze what you don’t use and pull out as needed! Great trick for bacon cravings!!)
  2. 4-5 Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed and diced into bite size pieces (You can also buy the “pre chopped” homestyle fries from the frozen section of the grocery store for an easy option.
  3. 4 chicken tenderloins cooked (I sauteed with 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper) and diced. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken. That would be EASY and TASTY!
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 2-3 TB olive oil
  6. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 2 sweet mini red bell peppers diced
  8. 2 tsp chili powder
  9. 1 tsp garlic powder
  10. 1/2 tsp cumin
  11. 1 avocado (for topping)
  12. Greek yogurt (for topping)
  13. Salsa (also for topping)
  14. 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend shredded cheeses
  15. 3 green onions, sliced thin
  16. OPTIONAL: sprinkle with red chili flakes

 

 

Directions:

Bacon: Microwave the pre-cooked bacon on a plate with paper towel as directed on packaging. You can also cook raw bacon in the oven as directed. I just go for easy and quick bacon on nights like this!

Potatoes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub and diced the potatoes into bite size pieces. ( like the peel to still be on the potatoes. You can peel if you’d like to). Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder on the pan and stir around a bit. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, stir well and bake an additional 15 – 20¬†minutes or until soft.¬†Stir again and if needed bake another 10-15 min.

(If you need to saute chicken because you do not have leftover rotisserie chicken, do it NOW while potatoes are baking. Then set aside and rest once cooked. Dice right before you put onto the potatoes.)

Chop the bacon into small pieces. Remove the potatoes from the oven, stir again and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese, peppers, chicken, and chopped bacon. Return the tray to the oven and bake an additional 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Top with sliced green onions, avocado and greek yogurt (or sour cream) just before serving. Enjoy!

1473790932174.jpg

And now, for the song of the day:

Advertisements

Low Carb Chicken Nacho Bake

wp-1454463007513.jpg

It’s January… we are all still working on our New Year’s Resolutions I’m sure. I am continuing mine! The hubby and I are planning an anniversary cruise in the fall, and I do NOT want to be embarrassed when I put on that bathing suit. So… toning up, working out, and CLEAN eating is to be had! A lot of gluten free, low carb (except weekends), less eating out etc etc etc. You know the drill.

This recipe… mmmmmm!!!!!!!!!! DE-LISH! It’s filling, and takes care of that craving for nachos, and junk food… while being filling and full of protein and good fats! It’s a little bit on the “cheat” side with the bacon… but don’t skip it! It adds that perfect flavor!

wp-1454463014812.jpg

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 frozen chicken breasts (I used Trader Joes… my FAVORITE!)
  • 1¬Ĺ cups cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1¬†teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon cumin
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • OPTIONAL red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 half small onion diced
  • 1 TB olive¬†oil
  • 1 TB butter (for extra flavor, but NOT necessary)
  • 1 large jalapeno,
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

wp-1454463034724.jpg

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preparation: Heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. If you haven’t, microwave/cook your bacon and cut/crumble into pieces
  3. Combine and mix together salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle and rub spice mixture over chicken pieces. Drizzle on olive¬†oil on top of seasoned chicken and rub pieces together to evenly distribute oil. Melt the TB of butter in a large OVEN SAFE skillet on medium/medium high. Once melted, BROWN¬†the chicken on both sides to really get those spices into the chicken. (DON’T cook through, just cook until brown on both sides… 2-3 minutes per side)
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and turn off the stove top. Cut the chicken into bite size (about 1″x 1″) pieces and return to the pan.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (BUT NOT THE AVOCADO!! That’s put on after it comes out of the oven!!) on top of the chicken in the skillet and place into the oven. Make sure that the salsa is poured over everything in the skillet to give it a bit of liquid to cook in. (MAKE SURE YOUR PAN IS OVEN SAFE!! You can also bake it in a baking sheet… I just didn’t want to dirty 2 dishes.)
  6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until hot, bubbly and delicious smelling (and the chicken pieces are cooked through).
  7. Remove from oven sprinkle avocado over top and serve immediately.
    *Optional: Serve with sour cream and chips!

And that’s it!!!

ENJOY!

 

And now, again, instead of a quote, I’m going to share ANOTHER of my new favorite songs to sing and dance to in my kitchen… also by Jordan Feliz:

Lettuce Wraps- with Chicken, Avocado and Bacon!

So, I was in a little accident a couple of weeks ago (thankfully NOONE was hurt!), and my car was totaled. Pretty sure it was because I had an older van that wasn’t worth a lot… so when it came to repairing it, the parts just cost way more than the van was worth. Oh well! So… we are blessed to have an awesome insurance company and ended up being able to shop for a “new” to us van! I will tell you one thing though, shopping for a vehicle is hysterical with children. They are VERY opinionated. We went and saw this one van and the moment we got into it, my daughter said, LOUDLY, “Mom, I do NOT like this van at ALL. It stinks and is dirty”. Lol! Well, I don’t think the car salesman was surprised when we didn’t come back to purchase said vehicle. Ha! The one we DID end up purchasing, she kept whispering to me “can we keep it mommy? REALLY, can we keep it?”. I took that as a good sign! ūüôā ¬†Kids are just too funny! My son, 3, just kept climbing all over everything and pushing all of the buttons. Hopefully he didn’t cause issues in the vehicles that we did NOT buy!

So… having that done, BACK TO COOKING!

I made these a couple weeks back… and they are DELISH!

wpid-1440613938966.jpg

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Bacon and Avocado!

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken tenders or one chicken breast; seasoned, cooked and diced
  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2¬†avocado, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • 4 iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced sweet mini peppers – about 2

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1/2 Avocado diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tb vinegar (I used flavored vinegar) like rice or white balsamic
  • 2 TB honey
  • dash of hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 TB olive oil

If this dressing is too thick, just add more of whichever liquid you prefer. You can also add some lemon juice.

wpid-1440614048102.jpg

Directions:

Prepare the creamy dressing in a blender or, like me, in my Nutri-Bullet. Set aside for topping lettuce wraps.

To prepare the lettuce wraps, divide the diced chicken among the four lettuce leaves, then top with avocado, tomatoes, bacon, shredded cheese, diced peppers and creamy avocado dressing.

To eat, simply pick up the wrap, tuck in all sides and ENJOY!

wpid-1440613985524.jpg

And now, for the quote of the day from a Carrie Underwood song:

As bad as it was as bad as it hurt I thank God i didn't get what I thought that I deserved sometimes life leads you down a different road when you're holding onto someone that you gotta let go someday you'll see the reason why sometimes yeah sometimes there's good in goodbye

Sauteed Summer Veggies and Bacon over Cheese Grits

Leftovers… seems to be the theme this week! I guess that’s not a bad thing, right?! Who wants to throw out the leftover bits of food in their fridge? Not me! I like to try to use it here and there before it goes bad! I freeze a lot of leftovers so I have time to use it. Sometimes on the weekend I copy what my mom used to do. I remember, when growing up, we used to have 1 day a week where all of the leftovers would come out of the fridge or freezer, be heated up, and that was our lunch or dinner. We didn’t want to waste good food! So these past few recipes have been me using up food from previous recipes this month. Works well!

This one I actually made for lunch! And I was able to whip it up really quick since I used leftovers!!

wpid-1433187233156.jpg

 

 

Ingredients:

3/4 to 1 cup of leftover (or fresh!) cheesy corn grits (or leftover polenta!)
1 small zucchini
1 large carrot
1 piece of bacon
handful of chopped baby spinach
1-2 TB unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
optional topping of parmesan cheese
1 TB chopped onion (I used some leftover onion I had storing in my freezer)

 

wpid-1433187162886.jpg

 

Directions:

Start out by chopping your carrots, and zucchini. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add your zucchini and carrots first. After they start to cook, add the onions and bacon and let the onions caramelize. While this is cooking, heat up your grits, either by cooking from scratch, or if you have leftovers ¬†you add 2-3 TB of water (because the grits absorbs all of the liquid when it’s stored in the fridge) and microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is smooth and creamy again. Place the grits into a small bowl or onto a small plate and set aside. At the last minute, when the veggies are slightly browned, but still have a bit of a crunch, toss the chopped spinach into the pan and let just slightly wilt. Pour the veggies over the grits and add parmesan cheese if so desired and serve (or eat!) immediately! Enjoy!

wpid-1433187294467.jpg

This dish is bright, colorful, crunchy, creamy and filling! Give this quick dish a try today!

And now, for the quote of the day:

#inspirational #quotes

Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon over Lemony Zucchini Noodles

Yesterday I did… yard work! Gasp! I know! Those of you who know me would be absolutely SHOCKED!! The last time I did “yard work” I ended up rushing to the local urgent care and getting 10 stitches in one of my fingers. I played it safe this time… I just purchased ferns for my front porch and transferred them (with some help from my brother and hubby) into hanging baskets. Then I filled my “\Window Box” or porch flower boxes with dirt and pretty little flowers that by daughter picked out. My husband was laughing at how little the flowers were for the flower boxes and said that noone is going to know that any flowers are in the box! I am HOPING that they will grow and hang over a bit. My daughter picked them out and was SO excited about it. I figured, who really cares… you know? I’m ok if they never really show to those people walking by my house… I know they are in there! ūüôā

So after a hard day (hehehe) doing yard work and I needed to take my ol’ hound dog ūüôā on a bit of a jog. So, my sweet husband took care of the kids and I went for a little jog. Well, my hound dog decided to cut me off mid-jog to smell something on the other side of the path and I rolled my ankle over a tree root and fell pretty hard! Silly dog. It took me a second, but I got back up, finished the, now walk, and got back home to fix some dinner. I feel old this morning though. I only have 2 tiny bruises from this fall, but I feel sore all over. I’m so old.

So, after all of this, I decided to do something carb free and quick. I THINK this took me 30 min or under from start to finish. The most time consuming part of this was making the zucchini noodles. It wasn’t that bad, it’s just that I had to figure out how I wanted to make them. My cheese grater worked the best. I didn’t have a fancy Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Honestly it probably would have been WAY easier, but I wanted to try this recipe with what I already had without buying anything. You can also try a Mandoline. I have one, but I really decided I would use my Cheese Grater¬†because most people already have one of those.

So, here’s the recipe:

wpid-1428585999389.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (fresh, not frozen if possible)
  • 2¬†tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion – 1/2 small onion (I prefer sweet yellow)
  • 4 pieces of¬†nitrite and nitrate free bacon (I used pre-cooked Trader Joes Bacon)
  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 TB homemade pesto (optional) for garnish
  • Shaved parmesan as garnish
  • For the lemon sauce:
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

wpid-1428585862148.jpg

wpid-1428585917891.jpg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Toss the cauliflower in a medium bowl with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay the cauliflower out on the prepared baking tray and roast for 25 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork and lightly browned.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, grate the zucchini using the cheese grater (or your “spiralizer” if you have one!)
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with 1-2 TB olive oil. Lay in the bacon slices and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  5. After bacon is removed (don’t overcook it, it’ll add a burnt flavor the rest of the dish!)add in your minced garlic, and¬†onions.¬†Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant and then add in the zucchini noodles. Sprinkle the lemon zest and pour the lemon juice over top of the mixture and stir.
  6. Cook, tossing frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until zucchini noodles are slightly soft, or “al dente”. Add in the butter and stir until melted. Add in the cauliflower and crumble the bacon back in¬†over the skillet, with your fingers. Give a toss and then remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt mixture. Toss to combine thoroughly and divide into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle a bit of pesto (optional) over top for garnish and a bit of extra flavor.

Tip: you NEVER cook pesto. You heat the meal and then add the pesto. Only add the pesto to the amount of food you want to eat. Save the remainder of the pesto with a bit of oil over the top in an airtight Jelly Jar in the refrigerator and the food separately. When you reheat the meal, add the pesto AFTER. If you cook the pesto, it changes color and flavor.

wpid-1428586189919.jpg

This meal was really good! It actually satisfied my craving for pasta, and I didn’t have any!! The zucchini was a little crunchy, but still “noodle-like”. This one was easy and tasty! Give it a try!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Lemony Bacon Avocado Pasta

Do you ever look in your fridge and see all these separate components and wonder how in the world you’re going to make dinner out of them?? This is one of those. Bacon? Avocado? Lemon? Parmesan? Spinach? Basil? Peppers? Doesn’t that just SOUND like a winning combination?

When I’m having a cruddy day, I always crave pasta. Today was actually a pretty GOOD day. But, really, when does a good day stop you from wanting pasta with bacon? I mean, really.

I’m actually quite picky about my bacon though. As my previous post states, my son has a lot of food allergies and sensitivities. I found out that he is QUITE sensitive to a lot of preservatives. It can range from a rash to hives! So, when we buy bacon, we buy uncured and nitrite/nitrate free. Strangely, a LOT of ham and bacon has that in it. I CAN find it, but it’s hard and expensive. Trader Joes does have a good option that isn’t too expensive. Our favorite is this:¬†TraderJoesFullyCookedAppleSmokedUncuredBacon-Package

When I cook it in the microwave, or in a pan on the stove top, it ALWAYS comes out yummy and crispy. Unless, of course, I’m at my sister’s house who has a monster of a microwave that burns it after 30 seconds and I always forget how powerful her’s is. HA! So… watch your wattage. I am NOT going to tell you how long to cook it for, because it seems my microwave may be weaker than other peoples… lol.

So, here’s another craving for you…

baconavocadopasta

You’re welcome world. That’s right. This dish has Bacon. Avocado. Cheese. Pasta.

And… it’s delicious. ūüôā

My recipe is inspired by: http://damndelicious.net/2014/06/28/bacon-avocado-pasta/

I changed a few things, so the recipe below is my own, but if you’d like to see the original, check out the link above.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces tri-color rotini pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • 4 slices¬†nitrite and nitrate free bacon, chopped
  • 1¬†avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded¬†Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

baconavocadopata22

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and onion cook until bacon is brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, bacon, avocado, peppers, onion, spinach and basil. Stir in Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve hot or cold, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

bppart3

ENJOY!

And now, for the quote of the day:

The-Reason1

Cheddar Bacon Corn Chowder… best mix of ingredients ever huh??

IMG_20141008_080844

Who doesn’t like bacon, cheese, corn and potatoes??? Like, really?! This one is a bit spicy too!! DELISH! I was sweating by the time I was finished enjoying this bowl of cheesy goodness…. meanwhile my husband was looking at me like I was crazy and telling me it was just a tiny bit of heat… just goes to show the difference in spiciness tolerance! Ha!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 4¬†slices (about 1/4 pound) bacon, diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp¬†garlic, minced
  • 2¬†tablespoons all-purpose white whole wheat flour
  • 2¬†cups¬†vegetable broth
  • 2 cups milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 4 large red potatoes, cleaned and¬†diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry’s seasoning (Low Sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp Emeril’s Bayou Blast seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 TB shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more/less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • optional garnish: extra shredded cheddar cheese, thinly-sliced green onions, reserved bacon bits, sour cream
  • ***** Optional! Add 1/2 cup of dark beer for a bit of extra yummy flavor! ******

IMG_20141008_080811

Directions

Heat a large stock pot over high heat. Add the corn kernels and let them dry-roast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until their edges begin to brown and caramelize. Transfer the corn to a plate to set aside.

In the same stock pot, fry the bacon pieces over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the pan, and discard the rest.

Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the flour until combined, then cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add in the vegetable broth, milk, potatoes, lawrys, Bayou Blast, and sage and cayenne, and stir to combine. Continue heating until the mixture reaches a simmer but not a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the corn, cheese and most of the bacon bits, reserving a few to save as a garnish if desired. Stir to combine.

Taste test the broth, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. (I recommended the amounts that I used, but your seasoning preferences may vary.)

Serve warm, with additional garnishes if desired.

Creamy Cheesy Goodness!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

retro travel girl fashion vintage portrait outdoors

Sausage and Potato Soup (OR Copy-Cat Zuppa Toscana!)

IMG_20141005_202919

So, we really like soup during the winter. One of my husbands favorites is to go to Olive Garden and have the “Soup, Salad, and breadsticks” for lunches or dinners. The problem is, you can’t do it too often because of 1-calories, 2-cost… you gotta tip too! So, I’ve been looking up recipes for some of the dishes… and soups were my first stop! Soups seem to be pretty easy for me to try and recreate. And… so far, are turning out AWESOME!

This is my take on the Copy-Cat Zuppa Toscana. The only change I could recommend, is to possibly use kale instead of spinach, especially if you are going to freeze and reheat, it will hold up MUCH better than baby spinach!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices cooked nitrite/nitrate free bacon, diced
  • 1/2 lb. all natural (no nitrites/nitrates!) Italian Sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3¬†cups low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2¬†cups baby spinach (roughly chopped w/out stems)
  • 1 cup half&half
  • shaved parmesan as a garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

IMG_20141005_202856

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. (I cook my bacon in the microwave… if you don’t, cook it in this skillet first)
  • Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Bring to a LOW simmer and add the spices (cayenne, oregano, sage, salt and pepper to taste)
  • Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half&half¬†until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parmesan.

ENJOY!!! It’s a good one! This one had the saltiness and spice of the bacon and sausage combined with the creaminess of the half&half and the crunch of that baby spinach… mmmm!!!! If you put kale in as a substitute, that would add such a good texture as well! AMAZING! Saving this one for sure!

And now, for the quote of the day:

24eaeada7023f1e6ba51113d1da6363c

Polenta Pizza

polentapizza

Ok, this recipe is GOOD… the taste is just… sooo good! There’s just some kinks I still have to work out.

I have learned this by making it 2X already, and not quite getting it right, but it tastes good enough that I seriously wouldn’t mind making it 1x per month just to work it out!

The issue is the polenta. The first time I tried to make it, I used corn FLOUR… oops! This time, I used Pre-cooked polenta. I learned, as I was putting away the leftovers, that if I had let the pizza set for a bit and cool down, the “crust” would have set and it wouldn’t have been a pile of Italian mush…. tasty mush though! Ha!

So, I’ll post any changes, but if you make this… LET IT COOL to help set the crust.

Ingredients

1 TB olive oil, plus a bit more for the pan
1 roll of pre-cooked polenta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
 kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 ounces part skim, low moisture FRESH mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10 leaves of basil sliced into thin pieces
1/2 cup black olives sliced
cherry tomatoes cut into half
1/2 to 3/4 cup of marinara sauce
2 strips of cooked bacon, and crumbled into small pieces
polentapizzaandsalad

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425¬į F. Oil a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.
  2. Crumble the polenta into the bottom of the cake pan and mix with the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the polenta over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, and remove.
  4. Add sauce into the crust.
  5. Place the toppings onto the pizza, ending with the sliced mozzarella and basil.
  6. Bake until the polenta is crisp around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes.
  7. Let sit and cool for 15-20 minutes until crust sets.

Seriously… this is a good one!

Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

God-Doesnt-Want-Something-From-Us

Spaghetti Carbonara with Shrimp and Grape Tomatoes

SpaghettiShrimpCarbonara

THIS is a new FAVORITE!!! I gotta say, this is one my hubby said “I WOULD ORDER THIS IN A RESTAURANT!!!”

This is an Italian Staple. I have seen so many different adaptations and recipes for this! I did my own adaptation of this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/jamie-olivers-pasta-carbonara-351138

I did change more than 3 things, so it’s MY recipe… but I can’t guarantee that noone else made my version because Carbonara is so popular! But… oh man… SO GOOD!

Warning***** I CANNOT tell you that this was under 500 calories… bacon fat was used… FYI. BUT IT WAS YUMMY!!! ūüėČ

Ingredients:

This is for 3 -4 (small) servings

1 Lg. handful THIN spaghetti pasta
1 egg
1 cup white wine (or if you prefer, chicken broth)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
4 slices smoked streaky bacon (I use antibiotic, nitrite and nitrate free), roughly sliced
1 cup fresh chopped mint and parsley
1/2 small container of grape tomatoes (about 20)
1/4 chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup hot pasta water (don’t dump all of it!!!)
8 pieces of fresh, wild caught, shrimp
sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese

DSC_0609 DSC_0610 DSC_0612

1

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti, and cook according to the packet instructions. Cook 2 pieces of the bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet lined with foil at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. When you remove from the oven, put bacon on paper towel, and leave bacon fat on tin foil.
2
Whisk the egg in a bowl with the wine, salt and pepper. and then put the shrimp onto the pan with the leftover bacon fat, turn over until coated in fat. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. (for LARGE shrimp frozen)
3
Put the remaining 2 pieces of bacon into a second pan and cook until crispy and golden. Then, add garlic and onion, and 1/4 of the wine. Once onions start to look translucent, add the tomatoes.
4
When the tomatoes start to sear, add a bit more of wine, put lid on, and cook until the tomatoes burst.
5
When cooked, drain pasta in a colander, saving a little of the cooking water.
6
Add the pasta to the bacon mixture in the skillet¬†and stir in most of the mint and parsley, finely sliced – if the pan isn’t big enough, mix it all together in a large warmed bowl.
7
Now add the the hot pasta water to the egg and wine (or broth)¬†mixture. Once beaten, add to the pasta mixture. What’s important here is that you add it while the pasta is still hot. This way, the residual heat of the pasta will cook the eggs, but not so that they resemble scrambled eggs. Then add in the shrimp. (I cut up the shrimp into approx. 1 inch pieces and tossed in)
8
The pasta will actually cook the egg enough to give you a silky smooth sauce.
9
Toss together and loosen with a little of the reserved cooking water if necessary.
10
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the Parmesan and the rest of the mint and parsley leaves, and serve as soon as possible.

Read more: <a href=”http://www.food.com/recipe/jamie-olivers-pasta-carbonara-351138?oc=linkback”>http://www.food.com/recipe/jamie-olivers-pasta-carbonara-351138?oc=linkback</a&gt;

ENJOY!!!!!!!