I sort of have this philosophy that eating healthfully makes you want to continue to do so. The adverse is also true. I had a chat with a work pal Thursday about how the holidays are difficult because your body gets accustomed to having a “sliver of pie here” or “some chocolate covered pretzels there” and before you know it you are starting to crave fatty calorie laden foods. With my 2011 weight loss and fitness goals in front of me, that simply would not do! That is why I spent my morning at the supermarket spending the majority of my visit with my new BFF, produce.
I spent a lot of time at the store looking at different items, comparing nutritional content, and figuring out “Points Plus” values. I also wrote recipes in my head as I scoped out the different ingredients. One of my goals (which I will be posting soon) for 2011 is to try one new recipe a week. My Rachael Ray cookbooks will certainly be earning their keep this year!! After a long morning of shopping I had purchased all of the goodies I needed to do a complete overhaul of our kitchen. My poor little bug could barely carry it all home!
I bought tons of produce, lean meats, whole grains, and other “whole” or “clean” foods. Besides a few convenience items such as organic toaster waffles and dried fruit I completely stayed clear of processed foods, desserts, or “junk food” of any kind. Some of my favorite grocery store finds today were…
With all of this great new food in the house I was inspired to prepare my first new dish of 2011. Tonight I decided to make Tilapia with Balsamic Browned Butter and Creamy Farfalle with Bacon, Tomato and Peas. As you might have guessed this a recipe from my culinary hero Rachael Ray and you can find the original HERE. However, I modified the recipe a touch to bump down the calorie/fat content.
First, I start with a totally clear cooking space and my ingredients out and ready. This is a fairly quick paced recipe and you will need everything right at your fingertips.
- Bring water up to boil and set a deep skillet to medium heat. To that skillet add 6 slices of chopped bacon. I chose center cut because it is the leanest cut of natural bacon you can buy.
- After the bacon begins to crisp up add in 1 medium onion, white mushrooms (to taste), salt and pepper, and a bay leaf. I like the dried leaves from Penzeys.
- Allow this to cook for approximately 5 minutes. Then add in a large can of crushed tomatoes (or whole and crush yourself). Bring the sauce up to a bubble, adjust spices, and let it simmer for 15 minutes
- Next stir in 1 cup of peas and ½ cup cheese. I substituted 2% mozzarella cheese instead of the mascarpone that is called for due to calorie/fat content
- As you stir in the cheese prepare your wheat bow-tie pasta per the box instructions and set aside
- As the pasta cooks and sauce simmers, prepare the tilapia with salt and pepper on each side and lightly flour it. Then place the fillets in a large pan with 2tbl olive oil per 4 filets and allow them to cook 4 minutes on each side
- When the fish is finished remove it from the pan and add in 2 -3 tablespoons of light butter and ¼ cup balsamic vinegar per 4 filets. Allow this to reduce by ½ and remove from the heat
- To complete the meal combine the pasta with the sauce and take a small serving, drizzle a tiny bit of the balsamic sauce over your fish and enjoy!