Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara and Slow-Cooker Brisket Tacos

I’ve been on a clean eating recipe kick lately, and so far it has been yum-tastic. When I first discovered Clean Eating Magazine a few years ago, I loved making the recipes. Then I hit a series of bad recipes that took away my confidence in them and I shelved all my issues for a long while.

Now I’ve rediscovered my love for them and I’ve been having fun making new dishes every week.

Spaghetti Carbonara – November/December 2010

This is not to be confused with their Quick & Healthy Pasta Carbonara, which is a different recipe entirely.

Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara

I chose this dish because we have fresh asparagus in the garden right now just begging to be eaten! It is a little early for asparagus, but our winter has been unseasonably warm and the first spears were ready for harvest mid-March.

This Spaghetti Carbonara was a cinch to pull together, and tasted indulgent! I haven’t made spaghetti carbonara in nearly a decade. I use to make it the traditional way with lots of bacon, after all it is traditionally an egg and bacon spaghetti. Although it has been awhile since I’ve had the “real thing”, I was very satisfied with this and did not miss the bacon at all (well maybe a little). The ham gives a nice saltiness, and the asparagus gave it a nice bit of crisp veggie goodness. Instead of using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, I used the bagged sun-dried tomatoes that are found in the produce section. I think that these taste fresher and I like that they come in a resealable bag that I can keep in the fridge.

This is a very simple dish, full of flavor, minimal cooking time and minimal kitchen clean-up. For extra protein, we enjoyed southwestern grilled chicken breasts alongside smaller portions of the pasta. There were leftovers for 2-3 more meals. I wondered how the leftovers would hold up (with the egg/parm sauce), and it did pretty well. It was slightly gummy in texture from sitting overnight and then being microwaved , but it was to be expected. It didn’t stop us from eating every last bite!

Clean Eating does not have this recipe on their website (boo!), but someone posted it here on TasteBook.

Next up is a fun taco recipe!

Slow-Cooker Brisket Tacos with Tangy Chimichurri Zucchini – April/May 2012

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Tacos

This is from the latest issue of CE, where they did a whole feature on tacos called Five Nights of Tacos. I could not find ancho or guajillo peppers at the two grocery stores I went to, so instead went with my backup plan and used the Rick Bayless Red Chile Barbacoa Sauce packet.

This has the same flavor profile as the CE recipe (roasted tomatoes, ancho and guajillo chiles are the main ingredients) but in a simple open and dump packet. It was also on sale, and ended up being cheaper than getting the ingredients and making it myself.

I browned the flat cut beef brisket and added it to the slow-cooker (or as some people like to call it, a crock pot) and cooked it for 8 hours on low. The CE recipe says 6 hours, but that seems short to me, and Mr. Bayless says to do 8 and I trust his advice. 😉

While I can’t give an accurate review for the meat since I didn’t follow the recipe, the meat made with Rick’s seasoning pouch was great! I’d suggest taking a cue from him and adding a little onion powder, paprika, chipotle, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar to up the flavor profile a bit.

I DID make the Tangy Chimichurri Zucchini part of the recipe and it is FANTASTIC! I love chimichurri, but never thought to add it to raw zucchini and use it as a taco topping. It is zingy and tangy and all around lip-smacking good. The raw zucchini adds a bit of crunch to the soft shredded beef and is a gorgeous bright green color.

It was so easy to whip up in my Vitamix, just puree 2 cups fresh cilantro, 1 cup fresh parsley, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1 garlic clove and 1 jalapeno (seeded). Pour this green goodness over thinly sliced zucchini and you have a delicious taco topping. CE states that this can be made up to 2 days in advance, which combined with the slow-cooked meat, you can have a dinner that comes together the instant you get home.

The only thing I didn’t care for was the Ezekiel corn tortillas that I bought because they were hard and chewy. I normally purchase El Milagro, but the store was out of them. Ezekiel, I love your bread and your english muffins, but your corn tortillas are not very good.

Clean Eating does not have this recipe on their website, but is in the current issue (April/May 2012).

From the same issue, I decided to make a sweet treat…

Meyer Lemon Bars – April/May 2012

And here is a bonus recipe, that was a fail for me.

Clean Eating Meyer Lemon Bars

In all fairness, I used regular lemons (no meyers to be found) and substituted Stevia in the Raw for the evaporated cane juice. The result was bitter and not palatable.

Sadly, it all went into the garbage.

Has anyone else tried this recipe? It was easy to make, and I’m wondering if I should try it again using regular sugar and real meyer lemons, but not sure if it would be worth it.

Have you made any of the other recipes in the April/May 2012 issue of Clean Eating Magazine? If so, what are your favorites so far?

Happy Cooking!

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Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara and Slow-Cooker Brisket Tacos

  1. Tacos look amazing!

  2. Katie M

    Just an FYI, ancho chiles are just the dried form of poblanos. My grocery carries poblanos year round in the produce aisle 🙂

  3. I made the Meyer Lemon Bars using Meyer Lemons and evaporated cane sugar. I served them at Book Club with some sliced strawberries. They were tart, but very delicious. I got quite a few compliments. I think Meyer Lemons make all the difference since they are not as tart as normal lemons.

  4. I made the tacos this evening- I used ancho chili powder and it turned out great. We used regular flour tortillas as my kids refuse the corn ones. It was a great recipe, I cut off too much fat from my meat, but it all came out ok!

  5. Kathleen

    I subscribe to Clean eating and looking for reviews for this recipe I found your site. The magazine recipe says to cook it on high for 6 hours but after a couple of hours it just looked way too hot to me, boiling already. So I’m taking your advice and turning it down to low! I hope they still come out ok.

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