Posts tagged: pasta

A Tale of Two Pastas

By Katie, 7:06 am

Prepare yourself. I am about to write something completely outrageous, scandalous, blasphemous even!

I am not a huge fan of pasta. 8-O

There. I said it. I adore most carbohydrates – all kinds of bread and cereal products are welcome in my tummy – but when it comes to pasta, I can take it or leave it. I mean, I don’t dislike it. I just don’t love it.

That said, I probably make a pasta-based dish for dinner at least every other week, if not more often. Why? 1. The Hubs, like the majority of the population, adores it. 2. It’s quick. 3. With just a few simple additions I can easily turn it into a one-dish meal, no sides required.

Recently I’ve made two blog-worthy pasta dishes – both great upgrades from your standard spaghetti, but also simple and fast. I figured most of you probably enjoy the stuff more than I do, so why not pass on the goodness to those who can truly appreciate it? ;-)

First up, one for the sun-dried tomato lovers in the crowd.

Not bad looking, huh? ;-) The inspiration for this dish came from Simply Life’s recipe for Pasta with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. The only real change I made was using water in place of the white wine because I didn’t have any on hand. To make 4 servings I used 8 oz. of dry pasta (a mix of whole wheat penne and rotini, just b/c it’s what I had), 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 can of artichokes, and 1/4 cup of grated Parm.

And for those of you looking for something on the greener side…

This would be Broccoli-Avocado Pasta, recipe courtesy of Cate’s World Kitchen. You can’t tell from the photo, but this pasta is coated with a garlic-lime sauce that has a pleasant kick of heat. It takes your spaghetti noodles to a place they ordinarily don’t go.

The only changes I made to the recipe Cate posted were to use additional broth in place of the white wine (again because I didn’t have any, but I think it would have made the sauce even better), and to omit the zucchini so Dave wouldn’t turn up his nose. :-)

** Note that both of these meals were eaten out of a bowl. For some reason I find pasta significantly more appealing when consumed from a bowl instead of a plate. Bowls just seem more…comforting, maybe? Anyone else?

So the next time you’re craving penne, rotini, spaghetti, or whatever pasta shape happens to be your favorite, I urge you to consider trying one of these combinations. Because if the non-pasta-lover over here enjoyed them, then they must be pretty good, right? ;-)

Are you a pasta lover? What’s your favorite pasta-based dish?

Pasta with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

By Katie, 10:05 am

Now is the time for fresh, local asparagus, so those lovely spears are making their way into my meals and into my mouth as often as possible. That’s the thing about eating locally and seasonally – you end up glutting yourself with a certain fruit or vegetable until you’re absolutely sick of it, which is the exact moment it’s gone. By the time it’s back you’re longing for it once again.  :-)

I started jumping for joy when I came across this recipe for Pasta with Asparagus and Goat Cheese for many reasons, one of which was that it calls for chicken sausage. I am obsessed with Trader Joe’s many varieties of pre-cooked chicken sausage. When someone who is not familiar with the store asks me what I recommend from there, I always say chicken sausage.

(You could of course omit this if you’re a vegetarian; the recipe would still be rockin’!)

Pasta with Asparagus and Goat Cheese
Adapted from Pink Parsley
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 large bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
sea salt and black pepper
2 links pre-cooked chicken sausage (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic variety)
4 oz. whole wheat pasta
2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tbsp fresh chives

1. Preheat oven to 450º.

2. Toss asparagus with a splash of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Cut chicken sausage into 1-inch rounds. Roast asparagus and chicken sausage on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta.

4. Whisk together the goat cheese, Parmesan, butter, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add a touch of salt and pepper, and stir until smooth.

5. Toss the pasta with the cheese mixture, asparagus, and chicken sausage. Add the rest of the pasta water, a little bit at a time, until the pasta is coated with a thin sauce.

6. Divide into two bowls and garnish with chives. Enjoy!

Have you been enjoying any local asparagus?

AND

If you are near a Trader Joe’s, have you ever tried the chicken sausage?

Thai-Inspired Dinner! And Other Eats

By Katie, 7:59 pm

I must say, I am not the biggest fan of coconut. Which might surprise you, since I’ve blogged several recipes containing the ingredient. The truth is that it’s not really my thing, but Dave happens to love it! And since I cook plenty of dinners based on my personal preferences, it’s only fair to make some that are more catered to his taste buds. :-)

Take, for instance, this Thai-inspired Coconut Soup.

If you’re like Dave and love coconut, then you’ll appreciate this light soup! It’s based off of this Healthy Eats 5-Ingredient Coconut Soup with Noodles and Mushrooms recipe. My soup actually had 6 ingredients because I added snap peas; I also used shiitake mushrooms, which I highly recommend.

If I were to make this again I would definitely add lemongrass to give it an even greater Thai-inspired flavor!

Another (somewhat) noteworthy dinner:

Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar, doctored up with some broccoli and canned Alaskan salmon. For some reason I don’t mind eating dinner from a box quite so much when I add a little somethin’ somethin’ of my own. ;-)

Let’s check out some other times of the day, shall we?

Breakfasts

Nothing too thrilling – plain bite-sized Shredded Wheat (TJ’s brand) with banana in almond milk.

I also wanted to show you this awesome bowl of oatmeal.

This is actually Dave’s concoction, not mine. I have to say, he is quite talented when it comes to interesting oatmeal bowls!

In his mix:

  • steel cut oats cooked in milk
  • cinnamon
  • dried blueberries
  • chopped dates
  • shredded unsweetened coconut

Lunches

This sammie was awesome!

Whole wheat bread, Applegate Farms roasted turkey breast, lettuce, asparagus, pickles, and spicy brown mustard.

I want to say that the asparagus made this sandwich, but then I would be lying…the rockstar was definitely the PICKLES! For some reason I always forget to add pickles to my sammies, and then I randomly remember and am in heaven!

There are also some mega-salad action.

In the bowl:

  • red and green leaf lettuce
  • cucumber
  • grape tomatoes
  • artichoke hearts
  • some tiny radishes from Dave’s back porch garden
  • mung bean sprouts
  • a chopped medjool date for sweetness
  • big dollop of hummus

Plus a side of some locally-made plain yogurt topped with a pinch of Post Great Grains cereal.

And finally, on a rushed day, a frozen Amy’s meal.

Snackage

Not surprisingly, I’ve eaten a couple of bars.

The usual suspect. ;-)

A whopping THREE ingredients!

Fruit leather thingys.

Greek yogurt topped with a crumbled Vita Muffin. (Love this!)

Maple-roasted butternut squash cubes (yes, I eat squash as a snack! :-D )

And half of a cantaloupe filled with cottage cheese. Delicious!

Those are all of the food photos I’ve taken of late…time to start snapping some more! ;-)

If you cook for your significant other, do you ever make meals that you don’t like too much because he/she does?

AND

For those days when convenience is king, do you have a favorite brand of frozen meal that you turn to?

Red Pepper Love Note

By Katie, 2:47 pm

Bizarre title, no? It actually makes perfect sense! ;-)

First and foremost, I appreciate all of your supportive and insightful comments regarding my thoughts on photographing food and intuitive eating. I really loved reading the reasons why you do or do not photograph all of your food; I learned a lot!

Second, I wanted to share with you that the Creative Writing Group I attended last night was really great! It was a good sized group – about 10 people or so – from all different walks of life: a retired person, a stay-at-home mom, a few college students, etc. Some have experience with publishing, others don’t. Some write poetry, some write personal narratives like I do, and others are hard at work on their novels. I got a lot of great feedback on an essay I shared, and everyone was warm and friendly and helpful! I’ll definitely be going back! :-)

When I got home at 9:00 p.m. I was more than ready for dinner! But who knew I was going to be getting such a lovely dinner?!?! I walked in to find some beautiful roses on the table.

And was then presented with a wonderful, satisfying meal, prepared by my favorite guy in the world. (No, not Hamilton!!! ;-) )

See the red pepper love note? Now that is some creative plating right there! ;-)

The meal consisted of whole wheat spaghetti with spinach, garlic, olive oil, grilled chicken, grilled red peppers, and tomatoes. Delicious!

Plus some grilled green and white asparagus. I’d never had white asparagus before! It was milder than green, so it would be great for those who don’t like a strong asparagus taste.

And a slice of homemade whole wheat bread.

It was a lovely meal! Dave, you’re awesome. :-D

Who does most of the cooking in your household? If it’s you, and if you have a significant other, does he/she ever surprise you with a meal?

P.S. Here’s a great giveaway for Gnu Bars! (Although I may not want you to enter because I really want to win them! ;-) )

A [POM] Wonderful Day!

By Katie, 9:33 pm

Hello, all! Hope you had a good day getting back to the grind! :-)

Two quick pieces of housekeeping business. First, I apologize if you tried to visit the site earlier today and were unsuccessful. My server was down for a bit, but all is well now!

Second, I’ve decided to stop naming these posts “What I Ate” because I’m finding it a bit…boring. For you and for me. My original purpose in calling them “What I Ate” was so they could be easily separated from my various other types of posts; I figured some people would want to skip over them, while others would want to read only them and nothing else. That may be the case, but the posts should still be easy to identify. (I’ll continue to categorize them as “What I Ate.”)

Onward to the day’s eats!

Breakfast

For breakfast I tried out the new Bagel Thins that have been all the rage lately.

Toasted whole wheat Bagel Thin with an egg white puff and Laughing Cow cheese.

My verdict: just ok. :-| I mean, I guess they’re pretty good if what you really want is a bagel substitute. But I love bagels, and generally don’t want a substitute! If you’re having a craving for a dense, chewy bagel, I wouldn’t expect these to fill it. Now perhaps my assessment would be different if I tried the Everything variety, which I’ve heard is better than the Whole Wheat.

On the side, four kiwi halves.

I definitely ate the skin on these, which I’ve never done before…that’s not going to hurt me, right?

Mid-Morning Snack

The kind folks at POM Wonderful recently sent me a case of their 100% Pomegranate Juice to sample and review for the blog. I knew pomegranates were both delicious and healthy, but I didn’t realize just how healthy until I took the time to look into it. Did you know that pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than some of the well-known antioxidant superstars, like red wine and green tea? I didn’t either!

I’m actually not a huge juice drinker because most of them aren’t just juice – they’re also added sugars, preservatives, and filler juices. But POM Wonderful juice actually doesn’t have any of that! I enjoyed some on its own last night (watered down a bit, because it’s pretty strong), but today I decided to try using it in other interesting ways.

Like in a smoothie!!! But first, my workout. After breakfast I headed to the Y where I did 3 miles of hill intervals on the treadmill. I actually think my 10-mile race is pretty flat, but I’m still incorporating hill intervals because 1) I need to get over my hatred of inclines and 2) I know hill workouts will just make me even stronger and faster on a flat course. I also did some upper body strength training (shoulders, biceps, triceps, upper back, and chest) and some core work.

Came home and pulled out the blender!

This smoothie was incredibly basic, but it totally hit the spot. It contained:

  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s European-style)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

Refreshing! :-D

Lunch

Lunch today focused on vegetables. And quite purposefully. At the Women’s Retreat this past weekend, I am certain that more cookies than vegetables passed through my lips. They were all delicious, and I don’t regret a single one of them! But my body definitely needed a good dose of vitamins and nutrients today.

Big beautiful salad containing:

  • mixed dark leafy greens
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • red onion
  • shredded carrots
  • crumbled feta
  • dressing of white balsamic vinegar and a touch of EVOO

I also enjoyed some amazing bread!

When I arrived home from the Retreat, I discovered that Dave had spent his rainy Saturday afternoon making homemade bread…yes, that’s correct. Have I mentioned that I’m 100% certain this man is my soulmate? ;-)

He followed the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe for light wheat bread, which consists of just five simple ingredients: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, water, and salt. I was shocked by how amazing this bread tasted with just those ingredients! 8-O

I topped it with some strawberry jam.

It was exactly the meal my body was craving!

Afternoon Snacks

While I was out and about this afternoon, I munched on a Clif Mountain Mix Mojo Bar. Look at how beautiful it looks, balancing on my leg. :lol:

And later, a dried Japanese persimmon (another surprise from the husband!) and a piece of candy a medjool date. Eaten from a K for Katie plate! :-D

Dinner

Dinner was delicious, and it involved more POM Wonderful pomegranate juice!

That would be Scallops with Soba Noodles, Stir-Fry Veggies, and POM-Soy-Ginger Sauce. A mouthful to say, a wonderful mouthful to eat! :-)

Dave and I both ♥ scallops, so we splurged this week and got some. I pan-seared them in a little bit of ginger oil, trying really hard to get the nice brown crust without overcooking them. I was pretty successful I think.

I also boiled some soba (buckwheat) noodles, then added a bag of stir-fry veggies. I tossed the noodles and the veggies with a lovely sauce made from POM juice, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, soy sauce, ground ginger, and sea salt. (I have exact measurements if anyone is interested! I thought it was perfect; Dave thought it would have been perfect with a touch less balsamic.)

Even though this dish looks pretty sophisticated, the best way to describe it is in rather unsophisticated terms: MAJORLY YUMMY! :-)

Evening Snack

Dinner was filling and satisfying, so I just opted for a small bit of sweetness.

Three dark chocolate candies from a local candy shop called Rheb’s. One was butter cream, another was peanut butter, and another was something gross that I spit out. :-? You win some, you lose some, I guess!

I’m also munching on some red grapes as I finish up this post. Then hopefully getting a good night’s rest before my 7 miler in the morning! :-D

Have you tried POM Wonderful pomegranate juice yet? If so, what do you think of it?

AND

Do you find that after a weekend with too few veggies in sight, your body craves them? Or do you have to force yourself to eat back those vitamins and nutrients?

P.S. Be sure to check back tomorrow when I’ll be hosting my first GIVEAWAY!!! 8-)

What I Ate – 2/4/2010

By Katie, 9:27 pm

It’s almost Friday…THANK GOODNESS! I don’t know about you, but this week has been an absolute ROLLER COASTER for me. I’ll be so relieved when it’s the weekend!

Here’s the quick re-cap of my meals and snacks. :-)

Breakfast

I feel like I ate dessert for breakfast this morning, which isn’t a bad thing! ;-) I enjoyed a lovely bowl of Sweet Potato Pie Oats.

My “dessert” contained:

  • 1/3 cup oats, cooked in 2/3 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • lots of cinnamon
  • about 1/4 cup sweet potato puree
  • spoonful of PB & Co‘s Mighty Maple peanut butter (peanut butter mixed with maple syrup – yum!)
  • chopped pecans (Allie would be proud!)

That’s pie in a bowl, right there! ;-)

Mid-Morning Snack

Post-breakfast I headed straight to the Y for my workout. I have been blessed with a stomach of steel – as long as the meal isn’t super heavy, I can exercise right after eating no problem. It’s quite convenient! I ran 4 miles steady on the treadmill, plus a quarter mile warm-up and cool-down. While running I saw the news about the earthquake that hit Taiwan this morning, and I got a bit worried because my brother’s girlfriend is currently there visiting her father. But I’ve received word that’s she’s just fine, thank goodness.

After exercising I came home and had one of my favorite snacks.

Half of a whole wheat English muffin topped with an egg white “puff,” if you will, along with some salsa. (I make the egg “puffs” in the microwave – super quick!)

Lunch

I spent the rest of the morning writing a paper for school, which is now complete! Such a great feeling. :-)

I rewarded myself for a job well-done with…pasta!

Whole wheat spaghetti noodles, stir-fry veggie mix, a Quorn chik’n cutlet, and peanut sauce. The sauce was nothing fancy – just natural creamy peanut butter thinned with some nonfat milk. (In the past I’ve also made quick peanut sauces using PB2.)

I went back for more sauce half-way through the bowl. ;-)

(You can’t tell from the photo, but this was a bowl of cold pasta…I love cold noodles!)

Afternoon Snacks

After lunch I worked on some job applications, then got a much needed haircut. Before: way too long, flat, kind of scraggly…blah.

After: much better!

Came home and got my snackage on. :lol:

Two Wasa wholegrain crispbreads topped with cheddar cheese and apricot preserves.

And some juicy orange slices.

Dinner

I’m still having fun finding ways to use all of the tilapia fillets in my freezer. Tonight I checked out the “tilapia” tag on Cara’s Cravings for inspiration. I wanted something quick, and her tilapia tacos seemed perfect!

I ended up steaming my fish fillets because I’d never done that before, and I was in the mood to use my food steamer. :-)

The tacos consisted of tilapia, taco seasoning, Trader Joe’s Peach Salsa, diced avocado, and cilantro – two in soft tortillas and one with CRUNCH! Consumed over a riveting discussion of what the best taco fillings are. My top two are fish and beans, the Hub’s are fish and pork.

Evening Snack

So this was pretty cool! 8-)

That would be banana “soft-serve” ice cream! Except that it’s not really ice cream at all!

Last night I was lamenting the fact that I do not own a food processor, when Dave gently reminded me that my blender came with a small food processor attachment. I instantly knew that I’d be whipping this up the next day!

All I did was throw a frozen banana in the processor and let it run for about 4 minutes, stopping every minute or so to scrape down the sides. The result was a smooth and fluffy banana whose texture very closely resembled that of soft serve. (Gena from Choosing Raw explains the process in more detail if you’re interested.) Topped with some dark chocolate chips for a perfect little dessert! I’m just sad that I only had one frozen banana to use. :-( Next time I will definitely make a bigger quantity!

(Just an FYI: As I’m sitting here writing this post I’m actually feeling a twinge of hunger, so once I hit “Publish” I’ll probably grab a small piece of fruit or some yogurt.)

How do you handle eating before exercise? Do you have a “stomach of steel” like me, or do you have to be careful about timing your meals/snacks around your workouts?

AND

What’s your favorite taco filling? Like I said, fish is definitely my top choice!

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese

By Katie, 5:59 pm

A healthy-but-still-delicious version of Mac ‘n’ Cheese? Yes, please! :-)

One that incorporates the creamy sweetness of Butternut squash? Even better! :-D

This dish has all of the necessary components of a classic Mac ‘n’ Cheese: creamy texture, cheesy flavor, the comforting feel of baked pasta, and the somewhat disturbing bright orange/yellow color. ;-)

And yet it is, without a doubt, GOOD FOR YOU!

It’s simple to make too! First you cook your butternut squash (either by roasting or steaming it), then puree it using your preferred method (blender, food processor, potato masher, fork, whatever!). Then you make a simple sauce by mixing the squash with a little bit of butter or oil (I used Earth Balance), flour, water, and some salt to taste.

Then you add your cheese – a little bit of shredded mozzarella and a little bit of cream cheese. You will be SHOCKED by how cheesy this tastes for how little cheese you actually use! 8-O

Then you just stir together your cheesy squash mixture, some frozen peas, and cooked whole wheat pasta. Bake for 25 minutes, and you’re ready to dig in!

So creamy and cheesy!!!

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Adapted from Branny Boils Over

Serves 4

Ingredients
1.5 cups whole wheat penne pasta (dry – about 150 grams)
1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup butternut squash puree
1 cup frozen peas (could also substitute frozen chopped broccoli)
1 tbsp butter or oil (I used Earth Balance)
1 tbsp flour
3/4 cup water
salt to taste

1. Peel butternut squash. Roast or steam until very tender, then puree. (I used a blender, but you could use a food processor, potato masher, or just a fork!)

2. Cook the whole wheat penne until al dente. Reserve.

3. Meanwhile, melt your choice of butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water and salt to taste, and stir until a pale sauce forms. Add pureed squash and stir well.

4. Add shredded mozzarella and cream cheese; heat until cheese is melted.

5. Add the cooked pasta and the frozen peas to the cheese/squash mixture. Stir well, then spread into an 8 x 8″ baking dish.

6. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy! :-)

What’s your favorite kind of Mac ‘n’ Cheese? The baked, homemade kind? From a box?

Turkey Bolognese

By Katie, 8:08 pm

I was inspired to make this Turkey Bolognese sauce for two reasons:

  1. My husband Dave praises me endlessly every time I make a more “hearty” dinner. He says it just “feels right” with the cold weather and all. And what can I say, I’m a sucker for the compliments!  :-)
  2. Saying that I made a bolognese sounds kind of impressive, no? ;-)

So maybe those aren’t the most honorable reasons for making a dish, but I think in the end all that matters is that it made for a delicious dinner!

The next time you’re in the mood for a substantial – but still healthy – pasta dish, try this recipe! Here’s how I made my Turkey Bolognese sauce.

First I sautéed onion, garlic, and carrots in a bit of olive oil. Then I added lean ground turkey, breaking up the meat until it was no longer pink.

Once the turkey was browned, I added some dry red wine, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce to the pan. Then I seasoned it generously with oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper.

Then I busied myself with laundry, dishes, and other such tasks while the sauce simmered away for 1.5 hours. You want it to get nice and thick.

This sauce made a delicious topper for whole wheat spaghetti.

Turkey Bolognese
Serves 3-4, depending on how much sauce you like on your pasta
Adapted from Healthy Food For Living

Ingredients
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3/4 lb. lean ground turkey
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and chopped carrot and sauté for another 5 minutes.

2. Raise the heat to medium high. Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Pour the wine into the skillet to deglaze, then add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.

3. Add the seasonings, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the bolognese is thick and reduced, about 1.5 hours. Add additional seasonings to taste throughout the cooking process.

4. Serve over your favorite pasta and/or with thick, crusty bread.

Bison Rotini

By Katie, 2:44 pm

One of the great joys in the life of a budding cook and foodie is successfully experimenting with a new ingredient. I experienced that joy last night as I “yummed” my way through what I am calling Bison Rotini. :-)

Dave and I generally don’t eat a lot of red meat, but for quite some time we’ve been curious about bison meat and have been wanting to try it. At first I assumed that – in terms of nutrition – bison was comparable to beef. MISTAKE! I have since learned that buffalo meat is extremely nutrient-rich but low in fat; basically, you get the benefits of red meat (such as protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12) for significantly less fat and fewer calories than beef.

I found this handy little comparison chart quite interesting:

(Source)

On to the food!

Well, actually, before we get to the main attraction, I’ve been dying to show you THIS:

It’s a teak cutting board that we found at a cute little home furnishings store in the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore. It’s made by a company called PROTEAK, which uses renewable forestry and sustainable practices to produce absolutely beautiful products like this one.

Another small pleasure for the novice chef? (Or any chef, for that matter!) New kitchen tools! :-)

Ok, back to the BISON!

We purchased the ground bison at our farmers’ market from the Gunpowder Bison and Trading Company, which is located in Monkton, MD. (LOVE that we can get local bison meat!) The bison are locally raised on the Gunpowder ranch, and are hormone and antibiotic free.

Dave suggested we try a very simple recipe so that we would really be able to taste the flavor of the bison. I ended up adapting this Poverty Meal recipe from Recipe Zaar. However, the name “Poverty Meal” doesn’t sit well with me, plus it’s completely inaccurate when you substitute $6/lb. ground bison for the ground beef! So I am naming my version Bison Rotini.

(Note that the nutritional data also changes significantly when you substitute lean ground bison.)

Basically I just sautéed some onion and garlic while I browned the ground bison.

Drained the bison (which was hardly necessary – there was so little fat!) and added it to the onion and garlic mixture along with stewed tomatoes, water, rotini pasta, and some salt and pepper.

Brought the mixture to a boil and then just simmered for about 15 minutes, until the rotini was tender. So simple!

For our veggie side, I roasted up some carrots and parsnips with EVOO, salt, pepper, and rosemary.

We topped the Bison Rotini with some grated Parmesan. Dinner is served! :-D

My verdict on bison? INCREDIBLE! I was worried it might taste a bit “gamey,” but that was not the case at all! It tasted pretty close to beef, perhaps with a somewhat sweeter flavor. And I love that I can get the iron and protein I need without all of the heaviness of beef.

Bison Rotini (adapted from the Poverty Meal from Recipe Zaar)

Serves 4-6

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. ground bison
2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can water
8 oz. whole wheat rotini pasta, dry
salt
pepper
grated Parmesan

  1. Saute the onions and the garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the ground bison and drain (hardly necessary!).
  3. Add ground bison, tomatoes, water, dry rotini, salt and pepper to the onion and garlic mixture. (I just eye-balled the salt and pepper, and probably went a little too light on the salt.)
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rotini is tender.
  5. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

A Few Tips for Cooking with Bison (via Gunpowder Bison and Trading Company)

  • Because bison is so low in fat, it can dry out easily.
  • When cooking bison steaks, avoid using a broiler, which can make the meat too tough.
  • When cooking roasts, low and slow is best.
  • When cooking ground bison or bison patties, be sure not to overcook. Remember that it will cook faster than ground beef, there will be little to no shrinkage, and there will be little to no need to drain excess grease from the pan.
  • Let your bison rest for 5 minutes after it’s finished cooking. Cutting into the meat immediately allows the juices to run out, making it less moist.

Have you ever cooked with bison? If so, please share your favorite bison recipes – I’d love to try them! If not, I highly encourage you to try it!



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