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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. www.jasonandshawnda.com/
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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