This whole eating meat again thing gets better and better each day. I’m taking it slowly – I think filet mignon will be the last thing I try, as I baby step into a carnivorous lifestyle (after my nearly 5 year hiatus.) Today’s baby step: cook with bacon.
Of course, I couldn’t just jump right into pork bacon. The next best thing? Turkey bacon! This leaner meat has a great smoky flavor just like regular bacon and feels lighter in your tummy and is of course – in the long run – easier on the hips. Pork bacon is very high in saturated fats, which raise your blood cholesterol levels and risk of cardiovascular disease.
WAIT! Before you run to the shelves to pick up turkey bacon, keep in mind that reading labels is essential when food shopping. Many turkey bacons lure customers in with packaging that shouts “low fat” and “low calorie,” but if you check the labels – it is often super high in sodium content and other suspicious additives. Just make sure that the turkey bacon you’re buying is low in sodium (around 180mg) and doesn’t contain nitrites or nitrates (additive used to preserve/cure meats). Heck, if you can’t find one that meats (hehe- get it? meats!) these requirements, just chug a giant Vitamin Water afterwards.
See? Eating healthy is about making smart decisions, eating in moderation, eating clean and most importantly, listening to your body. Hungry? Eat. Not hungry? Don’t eat. About to run a marathon? Enjoy a bagel and peanut butter and stuff some raisins or Gu into your pockets! About to go watch a marathon of a movie like Harry Potter? Grab a water and shove some carrots in your purse/pocket to last you the few hours.
Now let’s get to the recipe. This dish is simple, quick and extremely flavorful and low in carbs and calories. That’s a win-win in my book. If you’re vegetarian, skip the turkey bacon and chicken broth and swap with some cannellini beans and veggie broth. My bacon cooked just enough to become a bit tough to add a great texture to the pasta dish. The aromatics of this one are to die for….
Spinach, Mushroom and Turkey Bacon Zucchini Pasta
Serving size: 1
Time to prepare: < 5 minutes
Time to cook: 10-15 minutes
- 2 zucchinis, Blade A
- 4 pieces of turkey bacon
- 4 cups of spinach leaves
- 1 cup of sliced baby portabello mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- olive oil cooking spray
- grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Once heated, add in strips of bacon. You may have to do this in batches if your bacon doesn’t fit. Let cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until bacon is cooked, but not leathery. Set aside.
Add olive oil to the same skillet and then garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then add in the shallots. Cook shallots for 1 minute and then add in the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes and then add in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.
Cook mushrooms for another minute and then add in the zucchini pasta, spinach and remaining chicken broth. Toss to combine thoroughly and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes or until spinach is completely wilted and zucchini pasta has softened. Add in turkey bacon and cook for about 30 seconds to warm.
Divide onto plates and enjoy, garnished with a little Parmesan cheese!