Organic macaroni and cheese is pretty much always in my cupboard: it’s an easy, delicious treat I can cook up when we happen to be low on fresh food. Lately I have discovered that I really enjoy “embellishing” boxed macaroni and cheese. So when the folks from Horizon asked me to come up with an “adventurous” recipe featuring one of their products, I was excited to do so.

This recipe for Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Peas is really tasty and cooks up quickly. It’s perfect for kids with more “advanced” palettes (my teenage son is a big fan) as well as adults. Since the peas are frozen and the pancetta and jarred roasted red peppers both keep for quite a while in the refrigerator, this is a great recipe to file away for those days when you feel like you have nothing in the house to cook. Drizzling the finished Mac and Cheese with a bit of truffle oil is optional, but highly recommended.

Recipe for Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Peas

Yield: serves 2-3

Ingredients:

*1 package Horizon Classic Mac or Organic Mac (I used the Pasta Shells with White Cheddar Cheese)
*1/4 cup milk
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 rounded tablespoons finely chopped pancetta (or bacon)
*1 cup frozen peas
*1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red pepper
*Freshly ground black pepper- optional
*Black or white truffle oil for drizzling on top of the finished Mac and Cheese- optional

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the Horizon Mac and Cheese package.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet over medium and cook the pancetta for several minutes, until starting to brown. Add the peas and the chopped roasted red pepper and cook for another minute or two, until the peas are cooked through.

3. Drain the pasta and add the cheese packet from the Mac and Cheese package, the milk, and the butter. Add the cooked pancetta, peas, and the roasted red pepper and stir to everything to combine.

4. Serve right away, topped with the freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of the truffle oil, if desired.

For more mac and cheese ideas, please check out the Horizon Mac and Cheese Pinterest Board!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I competed in my second powerlifting meet this past Sunday. My goals for this one were to get more experience lifting in front of judges, and to qualify for USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Nationals in October. My lifts went pretty much as I planned and I accomplished my goals. I also got a pretty gold medal (full disclosure: I was the only one in my weight class) so I am very pleased!

One thing I am learning about meets is they are very draining for me, both mentally and physically. I tried really hard to stay super calm in the weeks before this one, trusting that my training, nutrition, and rest have all been very solid, but the day of the meet was still pretty nerve-wracking and exhausting. When it was over, all I wanted to do was get home and curl up on my couch with some hot chocolate embellished with these chocolate marshmallows. So I did just that, and I’ll be taking it easy the rest of the week, as well.

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I’ve long wanted to try sweetening marshmallows with honey so when I saw this chocolate version in Brittany Angell’s new book Every Last Crumb, I knew I had to make them. I love how they turned out, and how they melt in hot drinks. I’ve enjoyed them in warm honey sweetened milk and coffee in addition to hot chocolate.

chocolate marshmallow fluff on whisk

marshmallows in pan

This chocolate marshmallow recipe is just one of more than 150 Paleo-inspired recipes found in Every Last Crumb. If you follow a Paleo-ish diet or have food sensitivities, I think you will love this book (though I don’t eat Paleo nor do I have food sensitivities and I am really enjoying it!). Every Last Crumb features grain-free recipes for numerous specialty breads such as bagels, croissants, and naan. But the book isn’t just about bread; Brittany shares lots of creative ideas for savory foods and treats, too.
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Recently I was thinking about how I haven’t been eating many salads lately. This is mostly due to not having access to my garden goodies this time of year, but it’s also because salads don’t generally appeal to me when it’s 15 degrees F. outside. Well here’s a beautiful, delicious salad that kicks all possible excuses to the curb, at least for me. I could eat this one day in and day out no matter what the calender or thermometer say.

Chopped Salad | Healthy Green Kitchen

This Chopped Salad is inspired by a new book called The Paleo Chef: Quick, Flavorful Paleo Meals for Eating Well. As you may know, I am pretty vocal about not following a Paleo (or any other) diet and I know nothing about the author. I recieved this book from the publisher and while I’ll be skipping over the author’s nutritional recommendations, the recipes look really tasty to me; it’s also beautifully photographed and I am a sucker for pretty cookbooks.
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Happy 2015! I hope the coming year brings you all good things.

This is my second year belonging to a winter farm share. One of the items I’ve happily learned to count on each month is frozen organic blueberries. With these berries, I usually make smoothies, scones, and muffins.

blueberries | healthy green kitchen

Recently I was flipping through the new book Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed. (Silvana is a friend of mine and she was sweet enough to give me a copy of her book.) The blueberry swirl muffins caught my eye: they feature both whole and swirled cooked blueberries, along with a lemon sugar topping, and looked positively delectable. So I gave them a try, and delectable they are!

blueberry swirl muffins | healthy green kitchenblueberry swirl muffins | healthy green kitchen
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I’ve owned a Blendtec blender for at least 10 years and I use it as much or more than any other piece of equipment in my kitchen. It’s perfect for grinding, wet and dry chopping, kneading, and of course blending ingredients for smoothies, shakes, batters, soups, sauces, and dressings.

Blendtec recently gave me the chance to upgrade my blender to the newest model and at first I wasn’t going to do it because my old machine worked fine. But now that I have the newest Blendtec model with the “Twister Jar” designed specifically for blending thicker recipes, I am pretty thrilled because this Blendtec works like a dream.

making pear smoothie | healthy green kitchen

I really only used my old Blendtec for smoothies, but I am having lots of fun experimenting with the new one. It’s great for making frozen desserts and nut butters. You can even use if for pizza and pasta dough.

For this Blendtec review post, I made two recipes. The first one is a Spiced Pear Smoothie I’ve been enjoying a great deal lately.

pear smoothie

The second is a Homemade Peanut Butter that tastes better than store bought.

peanut butter done on spatula_

peanut butter done

You can find both recipes below, and for more information about Blendtec, please check them out on social media!

Blendtec on Facebook
Blendtec on Instagram
Blendtec on Twitter
Blendtec on Youtube
Blendtec on Pinterest
Blendtec on Google+

And if you’re looking for a great deal on one of the Blendtec blenders, be sure to shop their website for refurbished models.
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