A Slightly Healthier Way to Eat Bacon
Bacon is an ingredient that's all the rage right now and it’s easy to see why. It’s smokey, salty, and fatty and as a result, it tastes of sin. Not only is it forbidden in two of the three Abrahamic religions and vegetarianism and veganism, but as we all know, bacon is chock-full of cholesterol and salt and is therefore a health hazard. However, there is a way to enjoy bacon without putting yourself at risk.
The trick is to use only a little bacon and surround with healthier ingredients.
This pasta dish does EXACTLY that, smothering the bacon with spinach, garlic, and cherry tomatoes and tossing it with whole wheat noodles for a nice dose of fiber. The bacon is strong enough to hold its own against the other ingredients, and the result is something delicious you don’t have to feel bad about!
(Of course, if you can’t eat bacon, feel free to omit it and use olive oil and butter as your cooking fats. It will taste just fine 😉 )
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Medium-Easy
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
3 Strips of Low Sodium Bacon, thinly chopped
1 ¼ Cups Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed – about half of a 300g pack
1 Cup of Chopped Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
2 Scallions aka Green Onions, finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Pinch of Hot Pepper flakes, Optional
1 Tablespoon of prepared Pesto
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ of a 375g box of Whole Wheat Pasta
1 Knife and Cutting Board
Measuring Cups and Spoons
1 Frying Pan
1 Wooden Spoon
1 Pair of Tongs
Fill a pot with water and get your pasta started, boiling and stirring occasionally with your tongs until it’s your level of doneness. When it’s ready, drain off most but not all of the water.
While the pasta is boiling, in a pan on medium high heat, dump the bacon and a cup of water.
Stir the bacon occasionally with a wooden spoon until the water has evaporated, the meat has released its wonderful fat, and is crisp around the edges.
Scoop the bacon into a regular bowl and set aside.
Pour off half the fat in the pan and discard or put in an airtight container for future use.
Raise the heat to high and add the spinach, stirring it around until heated slightly.
Add the tomatoes and green onions and stir for another three minutes.
Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes (if using) and stir all together until you smell the cooked garlic.
Add the pesto and stir again.
Add the bacon back into the pan and stir again.
Taste and adjust for salt if needed. Season generously with fresh pepper.
Add the pasta to your pan and toss everything together with your trusty tongs until well combined.
Serve with a little parmesan cheese and enjoy!
-Samantha R. Gold
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