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Hungry Girl Today: 04.28.11
The BLT sandwich is an easy-to-make classic -- we took on the original YEARS ago. But if you want to branch out from the traditional on-toast combo of bacon, lettuce, and tomato, check these out. New recipes dead ahead!
BLT-rific Mac 'n Cheese
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 1 cup): 227 calories, 4.5g fat, 588mg sodium, 32.5g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 14g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*
Playing the part of lettuce here is... SPINACH! It's more nutrient-packed and can take the heat. Go, spinach!
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
2 - 3 yellow summer/crookneck squash (enough to yield 4 cups once cut up)
3 cups chopped spinach
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup precooked real crumbled bacon
Optional: salt and black pepper, to taste
In a large pot on the stove, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar in size to the penne pasta, each about 2 inches long and half an inch thick.
Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.
Add spinach and tomatoes to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomatoes are hot, and any excess liquid has cooked off, 2 - 4 minutes. If needed, drain excess liquid. Set aside.
Break cheese wedges and cheese slices into pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add sour cream and lightly stir to coat. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.
Add cheese mixture, bacon, and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it up!
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Better-Than-a-BLT Hash Browns
PER SERVING (1/2 of recipe, about 1 cup): 215 calories, 5g fat, 367mg sodium, 36g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 2g sugars, 8.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*
Once upon a time, a strip of bacon got lost in a hash-brown forest and befriended a jolly tomato and some leafy greens... and a delicious dish was born. The end. (Don't you LOVE happy endings?)
3 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 cups chopped spinach leaves
2 cups russet potato shreds (about one 12-oz. potato's worth), thoroughly patted dry
2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, patted dry, roughly chopped
Dash black pepper
Optional topping: fat-free sour cream
Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Remove bacon from skillet and, once cool enough to handle, chop or crumble and set aside.
Remove skillet from heat. If needed, clean and dry. Re-spray skillet with nonstick spray, and return to medium heat on the stove. Add onion and, stirring occasionally, cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
Add spinach to the skillet and, stirring often, continue to cook until spinach has wilted and excess moisture has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add cooked bacon, potato shreds, tomatoes, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Mix thoroughly. Evenly spread out the mixture in the skillet, and gently press down with a spatula.
Without stirring, cook until potatoes have browned, 5 - 7 minutes. (Use a spatula to check under the edges for browning.)
Working in sections, flip mixture over in the skillet with the spatula so the other side can brown. Cook for another 3 - 4 minutes, until thoroughly cooked and browned.
If you like, top with fat-free sour cream. Enjoy!
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
BLT Wonton Crunchies
PER SERVING (2 filled wontons): 93 calories, 3g fat, 435mg sodium, 12g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 3.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*
These creamy, crispy bites have all the flavor you want from a BLT, but WAY fewer calories. YAY... and YUM!
12 small square wonton wrappers (often stocked with the tofu in the refrigerated section of the supermarket)
6 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
3 tbsp. Hellmann's/Best Foods Dijonnaise
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Dash salt, or more to taste
Dash black pepper, or more to taste
1 cup seeded and finely chopped plum tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes' worth)
2 cups finely chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. Place each wonton wrapper into a cup of the muffin pan, and press it into the bottom and sides. Lightly spray wrappers with nonstick spray.
Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes, until the bottoms of the wrappers begin to brown. Set aside to cool.
Prepare bacon on the stove in a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray or on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave. (Refer to package instructions for exact temperature and time.) Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine mayo, Dijonnaise, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce, and gently stir until uniform.
Evenly distribute mixture among the cooled wonton shells, about 3 tablespoons per shell. Serve immediately!
MAKES 6 SERVINGS
HG Tip! Wanna cut down your chopping time? Buy bagged shredded lettuce, and then just give it a rough chop. Yay!
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It's National BLT Sandwich Month! Need MORE BLT-inspired recipes to celebrate with?! Check out the BTA (Bacon, Tomato, Avocado) Egg Mug and BLTA Club in Hungry Girl 300 Under 300!
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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark. For more info on the new PointsPlus® program, visit weightwatchers.com.
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