Tag Archives: pancetta

Twiced Baked Classic

Ever eat twice baked potatoes? I ate them rarely when I was younger, but whenever I see pictures on foodgawker of them, I immediately get a craving.

But, since I’m all about making classic meals healthier, I decided to make a twice baked sweet potato. It’s packed with flavor and goodness. They’re super easy to make AND versatile: eat it as a lunch or a delicious side dish.

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This recipe can also be doubled, tripled, etc. Figure 1 sweet potato per person if it’s the main course for lunch, or if it’s a side, figure 1/2-1 sweet potato per person.

Without further ado, here’s healthy, comforting, twice baked potatoes.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
(Serves 2-4)

2 large sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1/2 c. chopped pancetta or bacon
2 leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 c. shredded Gruyere cheese, or a lowfat Italian cheese blend
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork, about 8 times. Pop into the microwave for about 6-10 minutes on high power until the potatoes are soft (NOT mushy!) to touch. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a pan over medium-high heat, cook pancetta or bacon until it just starts to brown. Add in leeks and garlic. Cook until the leeks are soft. Take off the heat.

When the potatoes are done slice them in half and scoop out most of the inside of the sweet potato, leaving about 1/4-1/2″ border. Place on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.

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Put the scooped sweet potato into a bowl. Add in the yogurt, 1/2 of the cheese, and the pancetta-leek-garlic mixture. Stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop the mixture into the sweet potato shells evenly. Top with the rest of the cheese.

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Bake about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Serve and enjoy 🙂

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Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza

YUM!

Seriously, this pizza is amazing. I found the recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh and Fast cookbook. It’s absolutely delicious and super easy to make. I added some mushrooms to it because 1) I love them and 2) I had some sitting in my fridge!

It’s perfect for lunch, dinner or slice it into smaller pieces for a great appetizer.

For the pizza dough, feel free to use either store bought whole wheat or regular pizza dough, or make your own batch and freeze for when you need it. And to make the clean up easier, I’ve started by putting my dough on the parchment paper that I’ve cut to put on my baking sheet and laying a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Then, roll away! That way, I don’t have to get the kitchen covered in flour. Then, I just transfer the parchment paper with the rolled out dough onto the baking sheet. If you prefer the flouring method, by all means go for it!

I took some help from the store by buying pre-chopped pancetta from Trader Joe’s – if you can’t find pancetta, bacon would work well here too. I also bought sliced portobello mushrooms to save on time.

When picking out asparagus spears, the thinner the better (they’re more tender). You want them to be nice and bright, stay away from brown, wet-looking spears!

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Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza
(Serves 2-4)

1 ball of whole wheat or regular pizza dough
10 spears of asparagus, 1″ of the end trimmed off
1/2 c. diced pancetta or bacon
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced (greens & whites!)
8 oz. creminis, sliced
1/2 c. shredded Italian cheeses (a blend or use mozzarella)
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to shape your baking sheet. Place your room temperature dough on the parchment sheet.

In a small frying pan, cook the bacon or pancetta until brown over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, slice your scallions and asparagus. Cut the scallions to about 1/4″ thick. Cut the asparagus into 2″ pieces, cutting on the bias (diagonal).

To roll out the dough, place a piece of plastic wrap similar in size to the parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll out to about 1/4″ thick. Changing directions as you roll each time to really spread it out! Once you’re done, place your dough with the parchment paper onto your baking sheet (the parchment paper keeps it from sticking).

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of pancetta grease onto your pizza dough, discard the rest, and sprinkle the pancetta or bacon pieces on top. Leave a one inch border. Then, sprinkle the scallions evenly. Next, the mozzarella cheese and goat cheese, then the asparagus and mushrooms.

Pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned to your liking. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Slice into desired servings and enjoy!

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Healthier Carbonara

Apparently night shift also doesn’t allow me to write posts either!

This recipe I got from my new-ish Williams Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast cookbook. As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it out. I love carbonara, but the thought of it usually clogs my arteries immediately.

This version is much healthier and absolutely delicious! It comes together quickly, which is also a bonus.

I took some help from the grocery store by buying precut and washed kale, and prediced pancetta. Oh how I love Trader Joe’s!

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Spaghetti Carbonara with Kale
(Serves 4-6)

6 oz. pancetta, chopped
2 large shallots or a medium onion, minced
1/2 c. dry white wine or chicken broth
16 oz. pkg of dried spaghetti, whole wheat or another favorite
4 c. chopped kale (1-2 bunches)
3 eggs
3/4 c. parmesan/romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 tablespoons-ish of salt. Drop in your pasta and cook to al dente.

Meanwhile, place a large nonstick frying pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and saute until it begins to brown about 3-5 minutes. Add the shallot or onion and cook until the onion starts to become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine or chicken stock and let it boil, stirring up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan for about 1 minute. Add kale and cook until tender about 5-8 minutes.

In a small bowl, add the eggs and beat with a fork. Mix in cheese and about 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Remove 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta. Take the pancetta/kale pan off the heat. Add the pasta. Slowly whisk 1/3 cup of the pasta water into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the pasta and stir until it coats the pasta and makes a creamy sauce, not runny! If it’s runny put the pan back on the warm burner and stir until it just comes together. Cooking it over heat will cause the egg to curdle.

Serve immediately and top with additional cheese, if desired.

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