Well, it’s a Meatless Monday on Tuesday. Oh well. I tried to get this post up yesterday but I was working so hard this weekend on stuff for the craft fair that I didn’t have time to prep and schedule it. And once Monday hit I realized how much I have to do this week that I threw this post together in a record 30 minutes! (If you only knew how many hours I slave over each and every post! j/k…but I do take a long time to write posts because I’m Type A like that.)
This post is a Hungry Girl recipe. Do you know her? Omg, she’s amazing. Aaron discovered her recently and told me that I would really like her so we watch her show together and he was sooo right! She’s awesome! My favorite thing she does is secret grocery store finds where she shares awesome products she discovers at the grocery store. She found this magic stuff called Baconaise-bacon flavored mayo. Holla! And guess what?!?! It’s vegetarian!! I’m on the hunt now and once I find it, I’ll be and sure to let you know how it turned out.
I was in awe of this recipe. Why? Because she made the sauce in the microwave. THE MICROWAVE!!! That’s right, it deserves three ‘!!!.’ I may fool a lot of you, making you think I’m a stupendous cook because I post recipes on my blog but oh my friends if you only knew. The microwave is my bff. I only eat real meals because I’m married to Aaron. He’s the cook in this house. So when I saw she made the sauce in the microwave, I had to make this sans bacon
Hungry Girl’s BLT-rific Mac ‘n Cheese
Chop some squash.
Chop some spinach
Chop up a whole tomato. Since my husband has tomato phobia I only chopped half.
Throw those bad boys in a skillet…
And let them saute.
Cook your pasta and throw it in as well.
Now it’s time for the magic. This is seriously so incredibly easy that I’m trying to figure out ways to use the sauce in other quick dishes. Anything with these cheese wedges is golden in my book.
I could down these puppies like a jello shot. I’m assuming that’s what people do with jello shots…I’ve never tried them. It just sounded cool.
Two tablespoons of sour cream. If I can find that baconaise stuff she was talking about I’ll probably add a tablespoon of that as well to give it some of that fake bacon flav-uh.
Sliced cheese. It doesn’t get any easier than sliced cheese!
Thirty seconds. And forgive the streaky microwave. Don’t judge. At least you know it’s been wiped off. It’s hard to keep shiny kitchen appliances looking clean.
Take it out and stir.
Thirty MORE seconds then stir again.
Throw the sauce in with the other goodies and mix.
Bam. You have a delicious, easy meal!
What I love about this recipe (besides the microwave) is that it’s not completely reliant on the pasta as filling. A majority of the filling part is the squash. So you’re getting a hearty helping of veggies to even out the pasta ratio. AND it’s healthy…a measly 227 calories per 1 cup!! Yowza!
I will be honest and say that I loved this but Aaron wasn’t a fan. He at half then heated up a leftover pork chop. Oh well. I tried to convince him to get bacon for him and Morning Star farms “bacon” for me but he wasn’t so sure he would like this pasta even with it since he didn’t think it sounded great in the first place. So when I make this again it will be just for me.
Here’s the original Hungry Girl recipe to print out and use: BLT-rific Mac ‘n Cheese
- 3 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon
- 4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
- 2 large yellow summer squash
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
- 4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
- 2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
- 2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
- Optional: salt and black pepper
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.
In a large pot, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.
While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar to the size of penne, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.
Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.
Add spinach and tomato to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomato is soft, and most of the excess liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Drain any remaining excess liquid. Set aside.
Place cheese wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to break them up. Add sour cream and cheese slices, breaking cheese slices into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.
Add cheese mixture and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. Top with bacon. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve it up!
MAKES 4 SERVINGS