I have this pair of pants. They aren't my skinny pants. They aren't my fat pants. They are more like...measuring stick pants.
Do you know what I mean?
This is the pair of pants that fits me perfectly when I'm exactly the size that I should be. If they get too loose, then I eat a little more dessert (can't get too skinny or I won't have any clothes that fit!). If they get a little tight, I know it's time to start exercising.
And it's time to start exercising.
Because of my upcoming cast iron giveaway, I've been showcasing fried foods (my husband's picks). And, as a result, my measuring stick pants have been getting more and more snug by the day. So I've decided that today, I'm posting a cast iron recipe that's just as delicious but much more healthy. It would be even healthier if I used less bacon...but my pants aren't that tight.
The inspiration for this hot bacon pasta salad came from a Tasty Kitchen recipe posted by the Pioneer Woman herself - spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. The salad was delicious, so I decided to convert it into something more filling, more hearty, and slightly healthier (by using turkey bacon).
The cast of ingredients includes turkey bacon (you could also use regular), a small package of sliced mushrooms, a package of baby spinach, red wine vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
Ooops...don't forget the pasta!
Cook the pasta according to package directions. In the meanwhile, slice up your bacon into smaller strips.
Toss these into a large skillet and season very, very liberally with pepper. Cook until they get as crispy as you like. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it to a separate bowl.
Toss your mushroom slices in the skillet, and cook and stir until they get nice and tender.
Then throw in your package of spinach. Stir it around for about a minute, or until the spinach has wilted.
Once your spinach has wilted, add the bacon back to the skillet and turn off the heat.
Mix together 3 tablespoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a dash of salt. Because my mushrooms had soaked up most of my bacon grease, I also added a small amount of olive oil to the dress, although I'm not sure that it was really necessary.
Toss the cooked pasta in with the spinach, mushrooms, and bacon...
Then pour in the dressing.
And toss your pasta salad to mix everything all together.
And there you have it...a fast, easy, hearty, delicious, and relatively healthy skillet meal!
Don't forget to enter to win a cast iron skillet! Drawing will be held on Friday evening.
Hot Bacon Pasta Salad
16 oz. package of pasta
1 lb. bacon or turkey bacon
1 small package (2 cups) sliced mushrooms
10 oz. package baby spinach
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Dice up bacon and place in a large skillet, seasoning liberally with pepper. Cook until crispy; remove to another bowl. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Add spinach leaves; cook and stir until wilted. Toss in cooked pasta. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt and pour over the pasta. Stir everything together and serve hot. Serves 8.
Nutrition: 320 cal, 13g fat, 3g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 91mg cholesterol, 736mg sodium, 35g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 16g protein, 67% vit. A, 18% vit. C, 7% calcium, 22% iron.