Being Mrs. Pierce

Life as a wife, hiker, wanna-be chef, book-lover, traveler, and now, mom

Slow Cooker Pasta, Bacon & Roasted Pepper Frittata January 18, 2015

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 8:24 PM
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Have you ever chosen a recipe that you strongly suspected would be a dud, but you went ahead and made it anyway? That was me and the Pasta, Bacon & Roasted Pepper Frittata recipe from the WeightWatchers One Pot Cookbook. I have had a strange fascination with this recipe from my first perusal of the cookbook. A frittata…in a slow cooker? Weird.

 

Yet I could neither forget about it nor fully commit to making it. Each time I stumbled upon the frittata recipe in my cookbook, I’d remember how much I did/didn’t want to try it. So when I settled on slow cooker recipes for my January cooking challenge, I knew right away that January–for better or worse–would not end without me making this frittata.

 

I had planned to make the recipe last weekend, but instead John and I bought a house. Well, made an offer on a house (which was accepted). The purchase won’t be final until next month. So…this weekend I once again planned to cook the frittata, this time for our Sunday lunch.

 

The ingredients were easy to prepare, as I chopped, measured, and grated while the spaghetti cooked on the stove. Soon the frittata was ready to go in my 5.5-quart oval slow cooker:
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I let it cook for 2 hours on high, as directed:
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I quickly ascertained that two hours may have been too long, as the edges had not just browned but blackened and turned rather crisp. It took a knife to pry the edges of the frittata from the ceramic insert.

 

The spaghetti made for an interesting-looking dish, for sure. When cutting the frittata into four pieces, a honeycomb effect was visible where the spaghetti strands had been cut crosswise. My husband, John, appeared slightly scared when presented with his lunch.

 

Upon tasting the frittata, my first thought was, “chicken spaghetti.” It lacked the smooth creaminess of chicken spaghetti, but the pasta taste in the frittata was very strong due to the sheer amount of it. Four cups is a lot of spaghetti. I rather liked the frittata through my first few bites, but my enthusiasm waned as I ate through my serving. By the end, it just tasted too dry to really enjoy. John thought more cheese, less spaghetti, and slightly less cooking time might yield better results. He gave the frittata 2 stars. I agreed on his recipe suggestions, but I granted the frittata 2.5 stars. I liked it somewhat better than last week’s disappointing turkey chili.

 

There are just two weeks left to see if I can top the delicious Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, my tastiest slow cooker recipe this month.

 

Pasta, Bacon, & Roasted Pepper Frittata

 

2¼ cups fat-free egg substitute
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
5 slices Canadian bacon, halved and cut crosswise into matchsticks
½ cup coarsely chopped roasted red pepper
4 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

1. Whisk together the egg substitute, Parmesan, and black pepper in large bowl. Stir in peas, bacon, and roasted pepper. Add spaghetti, stirring to combine.

2. Generously spray ceramic insert of 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick spray. Pour in egg mixture, making sure pasta is submerged. Sprinkle mozzarella over egg mixture, leaving 1-inch border all around to prevent frittata from sticking. Cover and cook until knife inserted into center of frittata comes out clean, about 2 hours on high.

3. Remove lid and lift out ceramic insert; let stand 15 minutes. With rubber spatula, loosen edges of frittata. Cut into 4 pieces. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings. Per serving, 6 PointsPlus.

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Sweet and Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding (New Recipe #83) October 27, 2013

Filed under: Cooking — skpierce12 @ 7:07 PM
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The words “bread pudding” are dangerous ones. Not dangerous in the sense of my physical safety. Dangerous in the sense of my waistline. Hearing or seeing bread pudding is all but guaranteed to whittle my willpower into oblivion. My husband has learned that if a restaurant has bread pudding listed on the dessert menu, we are probably going to order it.  Bread pudding is my ultimate guilty pleasure.

 

So while perusing The Hungry Girl’s 300 Under 300 cookbook, my eyes–of course–lingered on the title of this breakfast recipe: Sweet and Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding Bowl. Bread pudding for breakfast? Sign me up.

 

Despite my love of bread pudding, my expectations for this recipe were not the highest. After all, the ingredients list screams, “Diet food! Diet food!” Yet I just had to give it a try.

 

I used a MorningStar Farms veggie breakfast patty for the “savory.” The first time I made this, I tried to crumble the patty with the back of a fork, which was mildly successful. Since then, I have cut it up with a fork and knife.

 

The bread pudding bowl tastes much like its name implies – it is both sweet and savory. It does taste a bit like “diet food,” but I still give it 3 stars. I’ve made it multiple times since first trying the recipe out in August. I’ve found that it’s a great way to use up leftover egg substitute from other recipes. Mostly, though, it’s a way for me to enjoy “bread pudding” with none of the guilt.

 

Sweet and Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding Bowl

1 frozen meatless or turkey sausage patty with about 80 calories
2 slices light bread, lightly toasted
½ cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon, or more for topping
¼ cup sugar-free pancake syrup, divided
½ tsp powdered sugar

1. Prepare patty on the stove or microwave according to package instructions. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.

2. Spray a microwave-safe bowl with nonstick spray. Tear toasted bread into bite-sized pieces and place in the bowl. Add crumbled sausage and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine egg substitute, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 2 TB pancake syrup. Mix well. Pour mixture over the bread pieces and crumbled sausage. If needed, gently stir to ensure bread in thoroughly soaked.

4. Microwave for 2 minutes and 15 seconds, or until bread pudding is set. (It will puff up once set.)

5. Top with remaining 2 TB syrup, powdered sugar, and, if desired, an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Yield: 1 serving. Per serving, 6 PointsPlus.