Pin-tresting

Apples and cheese are a classic fondue pairing. So on Pintrest, it really doesn’t surprise me that there are so many apple-cheddar pies. Some put the cheese in the crust, others in the pie, and others on top. And it didn’t just stop at cheddar and pie. There was Brie, and gallettes, and hand pies, soups, and dips.

You all know my experimentality and how much I adore playing in the kitchen. Needless to say, Pintrest got my gears turning… Some food combos just taste odd together, like this grapefruit protein shake I made one time (not a good post, Pintrest)… But lets face it… bacon goes with EVERYTHING!

Apple-Cheddar-Bacon Pie

serves 8

  • 11 slices thin slice turkey bacon (2 slice for 35 calories)
  • 3 apples (enough to yield 4 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (about 2 1/2 in diameter), finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely choppedWP_008337
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • salt and pepper, to top

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-in pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and weave 8 slices of turkey bacon. Line the last three slices of bacon around the walls of the pie pan to create the crust. I found that making a little tear in the middle of those three slices helps keep the bacon from rolling down the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 min.

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In the meantime, core and thinly slice the apples. Then, cut your slices in half and measure 4 cups. Combine the apples, celery, and onion in a large skillet on medium heat with 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle with thyme, sage, garlic, Splendas, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vanilla, and lemon juice. Toss the mixture. Whisk the cornstarch with cold water until dissolved and pour over apple mix. Recover with the lid until bacon crust finishes baking.

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Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop 3/4 cup shredded cheddar. Set aside. Next, process the cereal until extremely fine. Add the remaining 3/4 cup cheddar to the processor, and blend until evenly distributed.

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Stir just the processed cheese into the apple mix, and transfer mix to the baked bacon, spreading the cheesy blend evenly over crust. Return to the 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Lastly, add the unsweetened applesauce to the processor of cheese and Fiber One crumbs and blend until a crumble is created. Get messy, and use your hands to crumble on top of the warm pie. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and return to the oven for a final 25 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, while you make the optional sauce.

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What really is the icing on the pie is this sweetened thyme yogurt sauce!

Thyme Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar free syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Blend and dollop!

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Rather than sticking with the sweet/tart, salty feel, I wanted something a little more savory. I was really impressed that the bacon crust stayed perfectly together when the pie was sliced. I was  even more impressed by the the afterthought of dressing up some yogurt. Thank goodness for that afterthought, too, because it tied all the sweet and savory flavors if the pie together.

Nutrition: (1/8 of pie and 1/2 Tbsp sauce)

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 391mg, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 10g

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I would imagine that this could also be served with an over-easy egg, where the yolk would act as the yogurt sauce.

I’ve sort of rediscovered my love for apples recently so you may see another apple pie riff sooner that you think.

It’s Bacon… Brunch!

Today’s brunch features yesterday’s chicken soup, and a recipe I found on Wholefoods.com, that I immediately knew I needed to make!

I woke up nice and early to get the soup back on the stove and  and the bread in the oven, only to find Frank had used the last of the grated Parm! He was a good sport, though, and quickly ran out to the store to pick some up.

Bacon Bread

altered from Wholefoods

makes 24 thin slices

  • 8 slices turkey bacon, choppedWP_004611
  • 1 3/4 cup organic 100% whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby kale
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat grated Parmesean cheese
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/3 cup flax milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 9-x5-inch loaf pan, heavily, with non stick cooking spray; set aside. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a medium bowl, and add flour, greens, cheese, baking powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Add flour mixture and fold together just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.

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Set aside to cool and settle until warm. Flip the loaf from the pan and carefully slice.

Nutrition: (per slice, 1/24 recipe)

Calories: 54, Fat: 1.3g, Sat. Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 4.6mg, Sodium: 140.2mg, Carbs: 7.7g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 0.2g, Protein: 2.8g

The soup and bread combo was a hit and almost everyone had seconds! I was lucky to have both my little brothers over for brunch, today, and they went to town on the bread. Wholefoods recommended serving the tea bread with fig jam, I figured the apple butter in the refrigerator would suffice.

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The next time, I’d like to try a little liquid smoke or something to add a little flavor to the turkey bacon…

Following brunch, dad and I squeezed in a catch before the Eagles/Redskins game! Go EAGLES!!! We won!

Around dinner time, I got smacked with a hanckering! Ever since dad and I split “The Julian” from Fresh Thymes, I’ve been thinking about sauerkraut. And with Frank making black beans and rice the other night, I wanted beans. I would up creating an odd quesadilla that hit the spot!

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I threw fat free refried beans, sauerkraut, fat free shredded cheddar cheese, and salsa on a sun-dried tomato wrap! I topped it with chili powder and hot sauce!