Green Bean Spaghetti Carbonara

Yes, I’m still alive over here! Tired, but alive, and even cooking a little bit 🙂 Tonight’s dinner is a minorly (is that a word!?) tweaked recipe from Rachel Ray’s magazine. It was easy and delish, but not exactly low cal (oh well!). Bacon is one of our favorite foods in this house and I loved that there were green beans in the dish to help salvage the nutritional value 🙂 I’ll make this one again!

Green Bean Spaghetti Carbonara

Source: Adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine
Yield: 6 servings

1 lb. spaghetti
1 lb. green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1) Cook pasta according to package directions, adding beans halfway through cooking time; drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.

2) Brown bacon in large skillet over medium heat; add onion and sautee until soft; deglaze with reserved cooking water. (or if you’re like me and forget to reserve it, regular tap water will be ok!)

3) Whisk eggs with cheese. Off heat, add pasta, beans, eggs and cheese to skillet and toss; season with salt and pepper.

(49) Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus

As I mentioned before, I have zero sense of taste/smell right now. I wish I could give an accurate review of this recipe, but I can’t! So I’m recording this for posterity sake and going to have to revisit this one at a later date! If anybody makes this, please let me know what you think! (sorry for such a worthless opener!)

Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus

Source: Cooking Light, MAY 1997
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

2 1/2 cups (1-inch) diagonally sliced trimmed asparagus
6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
2 bacon slices
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped chives (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add asparagus. Cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; set aside.

Combine 2 tablespoons cheese, milk, egg substitute, 2 tablespoons chives, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well; set aside.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion and garlic to bacon drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in asparagus and bacon.

Combine pasta, milk mixture, and asparagus in a large bowl; toss well. Divide evenly among 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle with pepper; top with chives, if desired.

CALORIES 321 (17% from fat); FAT 6.2g (sat 2.8g,mono 2g,poly 0.8g); IRON 3.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 10mg; CALCIUM 188mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50.8g; SODIUM 437mg; PROTEIN 15.8g; FIBER 3.8g

(11) Bacon-Cheddar Corn Muffins

This recipe had mixed reviews on the Cooking Light website. I wanted to try the muffins, however, and form my own opinion. This is a 3 star recipe. It was fine. We’ll eat them, but they’re not great. I would not serve these to company. I needed a really strong bacon flavor and didn’t get that at all. What you get is a standard corn muffin. Nothing wrong with that, just not what I signed up for!!

Bacon-Cheddar Corn Muffins

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, July 2007

Use extrasharp cheese for the most intense flavor. These muffins are great for breakfast or with soup; split and toast leftovers.

Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese
4 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Coat liners with cooking spray; set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Combine milk and juice in a medium bowl; let stand 2 minutes (milk will curdle). Add butter and egg; stir well to combine. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in cheese and bacon. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 17 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

CALORIES 142 (30% from fat); FAT 4.8g (sat 2.6g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 30mg; CALCIUM 88mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.1g; SODIUM 342mg; PROTEIN 5.2g; FIBER 0.6g

(2) Crisp Mashed Potato Cakes

Back in the saddle again, kind of…. I tell you, I would like to claim mommy brain sometimes. If you have kids, you know what I mean. I was cooking, talking to my husband, singing songs with the baby, fixing her food, etc etc. So I wasn’t 100% focused on cooking. I totally failed to cook the green onions. OOPS. I realized it as I was putting the tray in the oven. We don’t mind raw green onions, so it was fine.

These were DELISH. Let me make a few suggestions. First, don’t make them too big. Secondly, don’t be tempted to over cheese them. I know, I know, I wanted to just PILE the cheese in, but that would equal disaster. Also a good shortcut – I used my favorite refrigerated mashed potatoes (please note that nobody is paying me anything for saying this!! I just love these!):

The recipe suggests that you flip them. I flipped one and was like “no freaking way”. So I didn’t flip any of the others. That’s FINE. They needed browning, so I gave them a minute or two under the broiler before I brought them out. I hope you’ll try these. They are delish and something different for a side dish!

Crisp Mashed Potato Cakes

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 potato cake)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2007.

Cheddar cheese, bacon, and a panko coating make these a satisfying side dish.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups mashed potatoes, chilled
2 tablespoons shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 center-cut bacon slice, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add green onions to pan, and cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Place mashed potatoes in a medium bowl. Stir in onions, cheese, salt, pepper, and bacon. Divide potato mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place panko in a shallow dish. Dredge patties in panko. Place patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; bake an additional 12 minutes or until golden.

CALORIES 122 (16% from fat); FAT 2.2g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g); IRON 0.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; CALCIUM 40mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22g; SODIUM 290mg; PROTEIN 3.6g; FIBER 2g

(108) Bacon and Brown Sugar-Braised Collard Greens

I might live in Florida, but I was raised in Virginia – Southern Virginia, to be exact. I grew up eating collards and Smithfield ham and biscuits and corn pudding and all those other yummy southern dishes *drool*. I don’t normally make collards following a recipe, but I had pulled this one out to try.

I made a few changes – I added 3 cups of water when the collards started cooking. I also added 2 more cups of water at the 1 hour mark. I cooked them 2 hours on a really low simmer. They were fine at 1 hr, but in my opinion, collards are one of those things you can’t cook too much!!

PS: They were spicy, so if you dont like the heat, cut the red pepper down to 1/4 tsp or less!

Bacon and Brown Sugar-Braised Collard Greens

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Source: Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

Cooking collard greens in a lightly sweetened braising liquid curbs their bitter bite. This Southern-inspired side dish is great with grilled pork chops and corn bread.

2 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (16-ounce) package prewashed torn collard greens

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion and garlic to drippings in pan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in crumbled bacon, 2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Gradually add greens. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender.

Calories 60 (42% from fat); Fat 2.8g (sat 0.9g,mono 1.2g,poly 0.4g); Iron 0.2mg; Cholesterol 4mg; Calcium 90mg; Carbohydrate 7.2g; Sodium 208mg; Protein 2.3g; Fiber 2.4g

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