Monday, February 20, 2012

Bacon Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese

This started as a remake of a dish served in a local restaurant. Many of the ingredients are the same (pasta, ground beef, & bacon), but the overall dish is quite different, and definitely healthier - if you can say that about something that contains red meat, bacon and cheese.  Regardless, this is a quick and filling weeknight dish for my hungry athletes, and it’s a change from their usual fare.  All things in moderation!

For four servings
Note: Quantities of cheese, onions, & tomatoes depend on your taste & the appetites of those joining you. I need a lot!
  • 4 servings of cooked pasta (spiral, elbow, or other short noodles works well)
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound crisp cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
  • shredded cheese
  • green onions, sliced
  • tomatoes, diced

Cook ground beef on the stove top, adding your favorite seasonings. I use paprika, parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Cook bacon until crisp, and cut into small pieces. Dice tomatoes, slice onions, and shred cheese.
Spoon hot pasta onto plates or into shallow bowls.  Top with ground beef and a sprinkle of cheese.  Add bacon, tomatoes, onions, and more cheese on top and enjoy!

Easy Bruschetta.

My family loves bruschetta and I love the ease of this recipe! While many recipes call for blanching tomatoes as a first step, I prefer to use uncooked, diced fresh tomatoes for my bruschetta.  This is a simple recipe that can be adapted to your taste.  The better quality your balsamic vinegar, the better this will be!
  • 8 tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8-12 basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
  • salt & pepper
  • baguette, thinly sliced

Gently toss tomatoes and garlic.  Stir in oil & vinegar.  Toss basil and add salt & pepper to taste, if desired.  Spoon tomato mixture on baguette slices and enjoy!