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What's Cookin' Good Lookin' Cooking Challenge - Week 2

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

This week I decided to go with this recipe for Bacon and Pea Mac and Cheese.
But, my SO hates peas. He is supposed to be traveling for work but so far his first scheduled trip isn't until the end of next week. So, I used a bag of frozen broccoli pieces instead of the peas. I also used 6 slices center-cut bacon (I cooked up a TON before Super Bowl), which has less fat and is lower in calories than regular bacon, and I also diced up 2 chicken breasts, seasoned with lemon pepper and sauteed them with some pam prior to adding to the pasta. The chicken was 10.5oz. I originally planned to use whole grain penne or rotini, but realized I didn't have any in the pantry, so I used this fancy rigatoni that I got at Home Goods. Turns out, it's actually less calories per 2oz than Barilla is. For cheese I had about 3/4 cup (around 3oz) of cheddar, and did the rest with mozzarella.

I liked this recipe pretty well, it actually cooks up very quickly, especially as written. Mine took a bit longer because of the chicken. But, I always like finding new ways to use greek yogurt, and in this case you use it along with some reserved pasta water to make a creamy cheesy sauce. I did find it a bit bland, but I think that was because of my cheese choices. I think this would be great with a more aggressive cheese like Gruyere. J (my SO) suggested that this would be good with tuna as well, sort of like a tuna noodle casserole.

Overall, with my additions/changes, this meal totaled 541 calories, so not bad at all considering how creamy and cheesy it is. Plus, I love meals you can eat altogether in one bowl.

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