Happy Friday!! This week went by really quick. I think it’s due to the fact that Monday was Labor Day and the majority of us didn’t have work on Monday. I wish every week was like this. I really like looking forward to the weekend. Not that I have anything planned to do this weekend. Just to know that I can take some time and relax and get some errands and things done that I have been wanting to do all week and just didn’t have time.
Yesterday our area got hit really bad by the torrential rainstorm. It was a million times worse than the hurricane! It was taking people 4 or 5 hours to get to work because of how bad the traffic was on the Turnpike. They even had an entire exit on the Turnpike closed due to flooding. It was really bad! Many people are without homes due to the flooding. I feel so bad. I especially feel bad for a co-worker of mine’s sister. I used to work with her mom too until she retired last summer. Anyway, her sister completely lost everything in her house and her entire house. I feel just so awful! They didn’t evacuate anyone in her area in time. I don’t think anyone knew how bad this storm really was going to be. So my thoughts and prayers go out to anyone affected by this storm! Stay strong!
On my way home from work, I picked up Melissa and we had plans to go to the Farmer’s Market but obviously that didn’t happen due to the storm. So we went to the supermarket. I guess, the next best thing. I had to get a few items that I needed for dinner that I was making last night. Melissa and I hung out for a while and just had a really good time talking. Of course I visited with Oliver too! Love him and his new short stylin’ haircut! :)
After hanging out for a while, I ventured home and started on dinner for Mike and I. I watch Hungry Girl’s tv show on the Food Network every week. Let me start off by saying that I am a not a big fan of hers. I don’t like that she uses a lot of fake and artificial ingredients. Every once in a while I’ll see a good idea from her emails or her tv show that I want to try. Her last episode that aired last weekend was one of those moments. Everything in the recipe were items that I would normally eat anyway and I thought they sounded good together. So I gave it a try.
Hungry Girl’s BLT Mac ‘n Cheese (original recipe)(*spinach plays the part of lettuce in the blt aspect of this dish)
Makes 4 Servings
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta (***I used Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta since I had it in my pantry)
2 – 3 yellow summer/crookneck squash (enough to yield 4 cups once cut up)
3 cups chopped spinach leaves
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup precooked real crumbled bacon (**I used Butterball Turkey Bacon)
Optional: salt and black pepper, to taste
In a large pot on the stove, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar in size to the penne pasta, each about 2 inches long and half an 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 tomatoes 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, tomatoes are hot, and any excess liquid has cooked off, 2 – 4 minutes. If needed, drain excess liquid. Set aside.
Break cheese wedges and cheese slices into pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add sour cream and lightly stir to coat. 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, bacon, and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it up!
I have to say that I REALLY enjoyed this recipe! Not only was it made from normal food products that I would eat all the time despite the turkey bacon. I don’t really eat that too often but I prefer that over regular bacon. It was quick and easy to make! The cheese sauce was absolutely delicious! I felt like I was eating a Philadelphia Cooking Creme recipe except the cooking creme part was healthy homemade sauce. I liked the cheese sauce a lot! I seriously cannot wait to add this recipe to a rotation! I liked that I didn’t feel weighed down from the pasta. It had a good mixture of vegetables and pasta.
Like I said before, I am not a big fan of Hungry Girl but I do like when she posts recipes like these that contain real products that I would use on a daily basis. I am not a fan of most of the things that she preaches about. I watch her show and read her emails merely for the recipes that I myself would consider enjoying or preparing.
After dinner, Mike and I got ready to watch Big Brother! I can’t believe the season finale is already next week! I’m getting nervous about the final two! I really want Rachel to win! I am keeping my fingers crossed that she wins she season and goes head to head with Adam. I cannot stand Porsche!
Alright, well while I’m waiting for the free Friday breakfast to be delivered, let me ask some questions.
What is your opinion of Hungry Girl? Do you like her? Would you make any of her recipes? What are you up to this weekend?
Have a good Friday! :)