Friday, May 3, 2013

Lightened-Up Cheesy Pastitsio

KK and I saw Cirque du Soleil – Totem last night at Citi Field.  I didn't get any great pictures during the show because they were strictly enforcing the "no photography" rule, but I got a great picture of Citi Field before the show!

Back to Cirque du Soleil - KK’s parents gave me the tickets as a birthday gift.  They picked tickets for a show in May instead of March to make sure it worked for my schedule.  It was a great belated-birthday treat.  One of my friends from work saw Totem this weekend, and he said it was fantastic.  I could not agree more with his reviews! The was 2.5 hours, but the show was so engaging that the time flew by! Totem's theme was the evolution of mankind, so there were lots of amphibian frogs, apes, scientists and, of course, acrobats! KK's favorite act was two women juggling fabric swatches with their hands and feet, and my favorite was the fixed trapeze duo.  We also both enjoyed the group of five acrobats riding unicycles and tossing/juggling tin bowls around the stage.  I've always left Cirque du Soleil shows grinning so, if the show tour passes through your town, it's something you should definitely experience!

Now, onto what you're really here to read about - the food! I love Kelly's recipes from Eat Yourself Skinny.  One of her aims as a blogger is to make being healthy fun.  And who can resist a lightened-up cheesy dish like this one?! This recipe originally called for ground beef, but that’s not really my thing, so KK defrosted some ground turkey which is much more to my liking.  Make sure to season the turkey (or beef) while sauteing it because there aren't many additional spice elements in the recipe.  It'll be no surprise to regular readers that I also added crushed red pepper for a bit of spice!  Next time I cook this dish, I might increase the amount of diced tomatoes and will try adding bell peppers.

KK and I both enjoyed this meal on Tuesday, and I know we're both looking forward to the leftovers this weekend!

Lightened-Up Cheesy Pastitsio
Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6


8 oz. uncooked pasta, such as rotini or penne
Cooking spray
1 lb. ground turkey
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free milk
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz. fat-free cream cheese
3/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat pan with cooking spray.  Add turkey to pan, season with salt and pepper.  Saute until browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove turkey from pan and drain fat.

3. Preheat broiler.

4. Wipe pan clean with paper towels and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to pan.  Saute onion and stir occasionally until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add turkey, and stir in milk, tomatoes and cream cheese.  Stir until smooth; bring to a simmer and cook until heated, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in pasta.

5. Coat a 9x13-inch broiler-safe baking dish with cooking spray.  Transfer pasta mixture into the dish,and sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top.  Broil 4 minutes or until cheese golden.  Top with parsley.  Serve immediately!

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