So we’ve been doing the low-carb thing for a couple weeks now. It’s recipes like these that keep me keepin’ on. I love so many things about eating limited carbs, except for the obvious lack of pasta. BUT, to the defense of this diet/lifestyle, there’s no shortage of cheese (hello, lover), meats, eggs, and veg – also many of my favorite foods. I actually feel a lot more energetic and “lighter” eating this way, so it’s all good.
Oh, and by the way, this dish is AMAZING. Tender (but still with a little bite) spaghetti squash with perfect meatballs, tomato sauce, and melted cheese? How bad could that be. It’s the first time spaghetti squash hasn’t pissed me off – that’s saying a lot since I’ve given it a lot of chances subbing for pasta. I used Mario Batali’s tomato sauce recipe which is my go-to recipe for quick-cooking tomato sauce. I also used my favorite meatball recipe for the meatballs (I subbed almond meal for the bread crumbs), but use whichever is your favorite. Same goes with the sauce. For this dish, instead of frying the meatballs, I just dropped them in the tomato sauce to cook for about 35-40 minutes. I did this, along with cutting and de-seeding the spaghetti squash, ahead of time on the weekend, so come weeknight, it was a very easy dinner to put together. Perfection.
It’s the age old question. What to do with a ton of leftover pulled pork. I’ve been pretty inventive with this dilemma in the past (pulled pork sweet potato waffle cheese fries, pork stuffed peppers, porky cornbread). This time, I craved pizza (shocking). The crispy multigrain crust (Hannaford has a yummy one…so does Whole Foods) holds up really well to the pulled pork and the jalapenos puts it over the top with a fresh punch.
This is a super easy way to make stuffed/rolled chicken of any kind – in this case, I used ham and thin slices of swiss cheese. These are coated in a crispy panko coating and baked until crispy on the outside and moist and cooked through on the inside. Also, and this really is an unnecessary addition and a bit of an indulgence, since I try to avoid super processed foods, but I ALWAYS heat up Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup thinned out with a little water or chicken broth to use as a sauce. It’s delicious and mandatory for me, mostly because that’s what my mama does.
This is my go-to french onion soup recipe. I’ve made it countless times but have never been able to get a decent picture. Melted cheese in a bowl, while in theory is AWESOME, isn’t the most appetizing thing to look at on a website. This french onion soup has a nice sharpness due to the sherry vinegar and guinness, which I just love. The original recipe calls for irish cheddar, but I add in a little gruyere for it’s melty-ness.
Mac and cheese inspired by Panera. Actually, it’s inspired by Pinterest since I’ve never even had Panera’s mac and cheese. When I do indulge in mac and cheese, I tend to prefer it to come from my kitchen and to be of the baked variety. I am a sucker for those crispy ever-so-slightly burnt edges. That said, I’ve been (always am…) craving Panera’s lethally delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup, so I decided to meld the two. So, while I can’t say that I know this to be an exact replica of Panera’s popular mac & cheese, it was yummy, easy, and decadent, and the original recipe is said to come from Panera itselft. AND, it included one of my very favorite, and very under-rated cheeses, the American Cheese, white, thinly sliced from the deli. Yum.
So you’re probably thinking, “this thing is covered in cheese, how is it ‘lighter’?” Well, friends, this thing is usually sans veggies, deep-fried AND covered in cheese. This is actually a vegetarian meal you can feel pretty good about. Yes, there’s cheese. But cheese makes the world go ’round. And it’s covering loads of corn and veg. Now, I will warn you, poblano peppers can be a little inconsistent in their heat levels. I’ve had them when they’re very spicy or very mild – tonight we sure got some spicy ones! But just dollop some greek yogurt or sour cream on top and all is mellowed out.
I had some brussels sprouts to use up and adding it to a pizza seemed like the natural thing to do. With some bacon of course. I took the basic premise from one of my favorite fall meals – roasted brussels and pancetta over creamy polenta and decided to make pizza out of it. YUM. In addition, I wanted to use up some of the 12,000 string cheeses I bought a costco a while back so I stuffed the crust with cheese. Win.
I have an aunt who has successfully been on weight watchers for like 20 years. She has these old school recipe books that I can’t even reference on the internet (imagine??). She made a copy of this recipe for me a while back and I’m a big fan. The one part that I find wee bit hilarious is that while this recipe boasts about being 2 ww points (with the old points system), there is itty bitty fine print that says that doesn’t include the biscuit. Ummm, huh? Either way – make these next time you want a snack!
*Content and photos updated July 2012.*
This was one of those clean out the refrigerator types of meals. Make this when you’re too lazy, poor, or uninspired to order takeout — We both agree that it was WAY better than what we expected, and way better than take-out, too. Next time I may try with a mixture of eggs and egg whites to make it a smidge healthier. Literally add whatever’s in the fridge and go to town.
This clever lasagna uses thinly sliced zucchini and eggplant in place of traditional lasagna noodles, and to be honest, I could barely tell the difference. I made a quick marinara, but store-bought could easily be used to make this a bit faster. Also, you really need a mandoline for this recipe to get nice, uniform, thin slices on the veg. Invest in one – I love mine and use it all the time!
I made corned beef for the first time this weekend in honor of both St. Patrick’s Day and of my Irish boyfriend. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the end result (Italian girl), but, to be fair, I think it’s because I overcooked it and it was a little dry. But, I was SO happy when the leftovers turned out to be fantastic in this sandwich. More than fantastic — comfort food at its crispy, buttery finest.
This recipe was inspired by two things: a pizza seen on a newly discovered (to me) blog, Healthy Food For Living, and my favorite pasta dishes at a restaurant that I love outside of Boston called Tre Monte. I love the flavors of broccoli rabe and sausage together, and I learned tonight that it doesn’t have to involve pasta for it to be awesome. Enter the weeknight pizza. A rich pesto made out of blanched broccoli rabe, pistachio nuts, pecorino and ricotta cheeses, spread atop whole wheat pizza dough and covered in browned chicken sausage and shredded cheese. I learned from Lauren at Healthy Food for Living that the frozen whole wheat pizza at whole foods is the bomb. It really is. I may never make pizza dough myself ever again. Hooray for that!
When I saw this recipe I immediately thought of my mom as she looooves popovers. Since my lovely mother is on an extended one-month vacation in Puerto Rico right now (jealous…), I decided to make these to hopefully make her a little jealous in return
(I’d rather be in puerto rico, but these popovers are addictively delicious)
This breakfast was sooooo good — perfect for a day when I’m home sick with a little bit of a cold. The only good thing about feeling crappy and being home is that I get to make a slightly more involved breakfast than I would on a normal weekday. Since I bought a package of about 2,000 tortillas as Costco last week, I’ve been trying to come up with ways to use ‘em up. Now, I’ve certainly made egg quesadillas before, and I’m usually less than impressed. I think it’s because they seem too wet or something — probably from the scrambled eggs. The over-easy egg is definitely the way to go! Throw in some cheese, bacon, and black beans — YUM. Combine this with the fact that Feds circa 1988 is on TV right now (one of my favorite movies ever!), I’m a happy, albeit sick, girl.
Ok, so, I’m a total hypocrite. I politely turned down some beautiful imported foie gras on Christmas Eve due to “philosophical objections”….meanwhile I had this veal burger on my menu plan for a week. I’m not exactly ‘pro-veal’, but I eat it a few times a year. Also, have I mentioned how much I love cows? I do. Life is hard. BUT, this burger is SO GOOD, and dare I say, worth the guilt. The acorn squash drizzled with honey was amazing on this burger, which tastes like a giant, tender meatball covered in cheese.