It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realized my recipes as of late are dishes that put a new spin on what I consider comfort food.
To kick off my weekend, on Friday night I made a one pot BBQ cheesy pasta. The primary change I made to the recipe is that instead of using a mac and cheese dinner box, I used veggie elbow pasta and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It was really easy to whip together, and making it in one pot makes the prep and clean-up process so much easier.
I didn’t get a photo of it the night I made it since that’s when I launched my technology free weekend, but I don’t know that a photo would have done it justice anyway. The leftovers, while not as creamy as the initial batch, were still delicious.
Last night I tried a crock pot Italian zucchini meatloaf. I made a couple modifications based on previous meatloaf recipes I’ve tried — primarily adding in mushrooms and also onions. And I only used 1.5 pounds of ground beef instead of 2 so I could save the other half pound for my recipe the following night. I’d actually been hoping to use ground turkey instead, but
What was great about this recipe is that I was able to use the extra zucchini as a side dish. Truth be told, I barely noticed the zucchini in the meatloaf (although I actually chopped mine up instead of doing the slices that the recipe called for). The Italian approach was unique and I think having mushrooms in it enhanced that flavor a bit. Thinking back on it, it almost tasted like big Italian meatballs.
I brought the crock pot out again tonight (because who doesn’t want something comforting after dealing with another 6 inches of snow?). This time I decided to try a crock pot pizza, though it’s a bit unique in that it doesn’t really have a crust. It was almost like preparing a lasagna with the various layers. My toppings were pretty similar to what was recommended in the recipe — artichokes, turkey pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms.
What was also nice is I was able to throw some of those toppings into my salad. It’s the first time I think I’ve used artichoke hearts into a salad, but I’m definitely a fan. The meal was just the right combination.
The crock pot pizza really hit the spot. I’m half tempted to try it with a layer of pasta at the bottom, if only to soak up a bit more of the sauce. It would make it a less carb-friendly recipe, but that wasn’t my initial pull toward the recipe anyway. Comfort food in a crock pot — you really can’t go wrong!