What I Ate: Bacon & Pear Flatbread

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

This pizza-ish flatbread was inspired by a spur-of-the-moment trip to Sky to share some flatbreads. This is proof that pizza isn’t rocket science and you can make it yourself easily. I know dough can be a pain for some people so I’ve been making sure some of my pizzas use an alternative base. These were really quick and I rarely use other cheeses but the cheddar was a fun flavor for this one.

I used pita pocket-y things. They’re puffier than Mediterranean pitas and are a great quick pizza option. They are easier than dough annnnnd it is perfectly portion controlled.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pear Flatbread

Ingredients:

2 flatbread pita pockets
1 pear
2 slices of bacon
1 cup cheddar, shredded

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the bacon until crisp.
Top the pitas with cheese, chopped pear, and bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pear Flatbread

Bake 10-15 minutes, until cheese melts and pita gets gently toasted.
Top with chopped green onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pear Flatbread
These were great. They are how to make dinner quickly…like 30-minutes quick. The cheddar with the pear, with the bacon is so great.

Some of my other pizza-dough alternatives are:
French Bread Pizza
Bubble Up BBQ Pizza
Bruschetta Pizza on Naan

What I Ate: Pesto Chicken Panini

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Sandwiches are such a quick and easy dinner for me. I love paninis and and I’m continually surprised how versatile they are. This was going to be chicken breasts marinated and grilled in pesto then I decided to shred it. I figured that would definitely make this seem different than some of my other paninis annnnnd I wouldn’t have that whole take a bite and the whole chicken breast comes out.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken tenders (or 2 chicken breasts)
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1 tbs grated parmesan
1 tomato
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, or sliced provolone, or fresh mozzarella
4 slices of bread

Directions:
Cook the chicken in simmering water until fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini

Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and Parmesan, then add the pesto and shred with 2 forks pulling the chicken apart.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini
Heat a panini press/grill pan/large skillet to medium high heat.
Assemble the sandwiches with sliced tomato and pesto chicken mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini

Top the sandwiches with cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini
Grill until toasty and melty on each side…about 3-5 minutes per side.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Pesto Chicken Panini
I love the flavors in this. The tomato is key for keeping the chicken moist. The pesto is a great use for a partial jar. I would normally have used sliced cheese but I had leftover shredded mozzarella and no plan for it, so this worked well.

Paninis need bread that can hold up to what goes inside. I think this nutty one works great. I think the Pesto Chicken Panini is kind of a nod to a lazy-man’s pizza…which makes great panini fillings.

Some of my other fav paninis are: fig and prosciutto panini, bacon & gouda panini with peach compote, and turkey cranberry & brie panini.

What I Ate: Pork Lettuce Wraps

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

One of my fav crockpot dishes is a Chinese Pork, It has water chestnuts, and peppers, and bean sprouts,  and green onions.

Chinese Pork from the Crockpot - The Three Bite Rule

This most recent time I made it was a few months ago and I froze the leftovers so we wouldn’t get sick of it. While I was meal planning recently I thought of it and wondered how to use it differently. Lettuce wraps came to mind. They’re pretty easy to make with any filling, but this was cooked and sauced up already. Perfect!

The Three Bite Rule - Pork Lettuce Wraps

I let it defrost all day in the fridge and then heated it through to get ready for dinner. I nixed the peppers, spooning them out leaving it as pork, sauce, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts. It looks like I had more tomato sauce this time, than the first time.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Lettuce Wraps

I whipped up some sesame noodles to go with it.
The Three Bite Rule - Sesame Noodles
And micro’ed some edemame. This was a super quick dinner (10 min of prep) and it used some some random remnants….like the pork from the freezer and a partial box of wheat spaghetti.

The Three Bite Rule - Pork Lettuce Wraps
It wasn’t exactly an award winning dinner, but it was pretty balanced, suuuuuper cheap, and was a bit different than the usual quickie dinner options. It feels less like: leftovers, womp womp when I serve it a long time from the first debut, annnd when I serve it in a different way.  This is why I save everything. Fast dinners like this meant only added Boston bibb lettuce to the shopping list, everything else was on-hand. Plus it reminded me how great edemame in the pods are.

These would have been better with something else, like vinegar-y cabbage or raw bean sprouts on top but they totally fulfilled the what’s for dinner conundrum. Lettuce wraps are a great use for my random extra ground meat. I drop leftover ground chicken and ground pork into the freezer to be used for tacos or something. It’s not the greatest for burgers once it has been frozen but lettuce wraps could be a good use. Hmmm. Maybe I’m onto something there!

How do you recreate leftovers?

What I Ate: Quesadilla Huevos Rancheros

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I took a twist on one of Mr. J’s signature dishes, huevos rancheros. It was good, but I think I might like the regular method better. I whipped out the big griddle to do the quesadilla and egg at the same time.

The Three Bite Rule - Quesadilla Huevos Rancheros

Ingredients:

2 taco-sized tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheddar, monetary jack, or pepper jack cheese
1 egg
salsa & guacamole

Directions:

Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray. Bring heat to medium heat and lay one tortilla down and top with cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Quesadilla Huevos Rancheros Then lay the other tortilla on top.
Cook for about 3 minutes.
Spray top tortilla, and carefully flip the whole quesadilla.
In a separate pan, heat to medium and fry the egg.
Top quesadilla with a sprinkle of cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Quesadilla Huevos Rancheros
Serve with salsa, guacamole, and the egg.
The Three Bite Rule - Quesadilla Huevos Rancheros
I love the yolk with the tortilla and cheese. Seriously, the yolk is like nature’s sauce. I also could eat guac or avocado for breakfast daily. Have I told you lately how much I love savory breakfasts?
The Three Bite Rule - Quesadilla Huevos Rancheros
I probably will stick to the single layer/traditional way. I think the super crisp tortilla that is almost blistered into crispness is better.

Do you ever do that? Take a regular dish you love and amp it up, only to decide it was better as-is?

What I Ate: Chicken Parmesan Subs

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

These easy chicken parmesan subs have a few special touches that make them wayyy better than take-out. The secret is pesto on the bread. I do the same kind of thing for meatball subs. The roll also needs to be toasted…otherwise it will get soggy from the marinara in .2 seconds.

These rolls lived in the freezer until I needed a quick dinner. I like soft rolls for this (rather than ciabatta or sourdough rolls). I used breaded chicken tenders making this an even easier dinner.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub

Ingredients:

3 chicken tenders
2 sub rolls
3 tbs pesto
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tbs grated Parmesan
3 slices of provolone cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Cook chicken tenders until cooked through.
Spread pesto and a drizzle of olive oil onto the rolls.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub
Toast the rolls in the oven for 5 minutes.
Top with chicken and tomato sauce.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub
Cook for 10 minutes.
Top with Parmesan and provolone cheese and return to the oven until melted.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Parmesan Sub

Some of my other fav sandwiches for dinner are: 
chicken and pear sandwiches with arugula and sharp cheese
fig jam and prosciutto on strong ciabatta
sliced turkey, cranberry, and brie panini on nutty wheat bread
Italian grilled cheese with breaded eggplant
some panini tips

any quick dinner ‘wiches to recommend? 

What I Ate: Fig and Prosciutto Panini

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

This panini was more so a pressed sandwich. I realized I had some fig jam leftover from a fig and prosciutto pizza. I love fig jam on toast or in oatmeal but I wanted to use it another way. I hate specialty ingredients that have a one-time use. It has such a unique flavor and I don’t find it so strong that you can’t eat it all the time. I love it with prosciutto for the sweet/salty combo. This time I thought a panini would be a perfect use for it.

The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini

This fig & prosciutto panini is kind of a nod to a monte cristo like the raspberry preserves or a Thanksgiving gobbler with cranberry sauce. Paninis are the perfect week-night meal or cooking-for-one or as a use for leftovers.

Ingredients:

2 ciabatta rolls, or 4 slices of crusty bread
4-6 slices of prosciutto
4-6 slices of fontina cheese
3 tablespoons fig spread
handful of arugula (optional)

Directions:

Assemble the sandwich with a drizzle of olive oil onto the bread, then fig spread on one side. Lay arugula and cheese onto the other side.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
Preheat a grill pan or panini press or oven to medium-high heat.
Add arugula on top of the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
Close up the sandwich. Optional: brush with olive oil or butter.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
Cook for about 5 minutes, melting the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini

Ohh wow. So good. There are no words.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
This is so good and I think I could eat it weekly. The prosciutto is super salty but delicate and was great with a mild cheese (that melts well, like fontina). The arugula was leftover this week but I wanted the peppery-ness on here. The fig jam is sweet and sticky with such a great dominance on this sandwich. I seriously think this needs crusty and tough bread…nothing wimpy and soft will do for this.

I want this again. right. now.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini

suggested adaptations: 
fig & prosciutto panini – arugula + spinach/pickled red onions/roasted red peppers = a twist on the veggies
fig & prosciutto panini – half the bread + assembled on crustini toasts = an appetizer format
fig & prosciutto panini – fig jam + roasted figs/dried figs, sliced = similar flavors with different textures
fig & prosciutto panini + pan fried prosciutto – panini cooking = crispy prosciutto sandwich with fig

What I Ate: BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I found roasted pork at Trader Joe’s and grabbed it tossing it into the freezer. I hadn’t made a plan for it, but figured it’d come in handy.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos
It is fully cooked, which saves you about 6 hours of slow cooking pork shoulder.

I heated it with a smokey BBQ sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos

I served it in flour tortillas with sliced tomatoes, sliced avocado, black beans, corn, and BBQ ranch drizzle.
The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos
Seriously so good. Keep these goodies on hand, or use leftovers in a new way. I’ve made pulled pork tacos before that had a slaw topping. This time the BBQ ranch and avocado made the tacos seem summery and super flavorful.

 

What I Ate: Pizza Grilled Cheese

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I love grilled cheeses packed with all sorts of crazy stuff in ‘em. Enter: pizza stuffed grilled cheese. I had a few extra ingredients to a basic grilled cheese with some marinara for dipping. It was a super fast dinner without any leftovers clogging up the fridge. I appreciated the use of some ingredients getting put to good use.

The Three Bite Rule - Pizza Grilled Cheese
Pizza fillings:
american cheese
mozzarella cheese
chopped basil
sliced pepperoni

So good. Many of these items were lasagna leftovers (post coming soon!). Saving even small bits of something comes in handy, especially for instances such as this! This was super comforting with great flavor.

suggested adaptations:
grilled cheese + tomato slices + basil leaves/pesto spread = caprese grilled cheese
grilled cheese + ricotta schmered in there + tomato sauce spread inside = lasagna grilled cheese
grilled cheese + pepperjack + avocado slices + salsa to dip = nacho grilled cheese
seriously, the possibilities are endless.

Some other grilled cheeses I’ve loved:
Grilled cheese with balsamic onions
Grilled cheese with bacon and peach compote
Grilled cheese with breaded eggplant and pesto

What I Ate: Apple Cider Oatmeal

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I was thinking about what could make my oatmeal better. I wanted to amp up the flavor big time. I opened up the fridge and what to my wander eyes did appear, but some apple cider! Normally I stir in some pumpkin butter from a never. ending. jar. This time I figured a different liquid could add some spice to my oatmeal.

Then I’m enjoying my apple cidery oatmeal and browsing through some blogs when I have a total deja vu moment! That very same morning I see that How Sweet It Is wrote about Baked Eggnog Oatmeal. No way! Yes way! It looked amazing. It made me want to put on jammies crawling back into bed to lounge and watch SVU marathons all morning.

Anywho, back to the oatmeal. I literally just replaced the water with apple cider. It would be even better with some chopped up apples, almonds, Craisins or whatever floats your boat.
The Three Bite Rule - Apple Cider Oatmeal
I loved it. I know apple cider is almost out of season, but if they’re still sellin’ it then I’m still buyin’ it, even though it is December.

The Three Bite Rule - Apple Cider Oatmeal
I made a ton and couldn’t finish it. I forgot how filling and how much oatmeal expands. Maybe next time I’ll start with less oatmeal. The flavor was big time, especially for the morning, but you could definitely do 75% cider and 25% water if it was too strong.

Make this for a quick weekend breakfast before you do lots of holiday things. I’m seeing the POPS at Symphony Hall tonight and can’t wait! It might snow a little bit again so that would make for an ideal gift-wrapping-day on Sunday after a holiday party and volunteering on Saturday.

What I Ate: Pumpkin Smoothie

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I almost wanted to call this pumpkin pie smoothie, but it is seriously much healthier for you. It only tastes like dessert. It is perfect for fall flavors. I freeze the bananas for smoothies to make it frostier and thicker, but a regular banana would be fine, just not a chilly.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 banana (preferably frozen)
6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tbs pumpkin butter (optional)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)

Directions:

Add banana, yogurt, pumpkin, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie
Blend and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie
This is so good and tastes like dessert. The pumpkin butter amped up the pumpkin flavor even more, but could definitely be omitted. I use it in oatmeal, on toast, or mixed into yogurt during all-things-pumpkin season.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Smoothie

  • this recipe – yogurt + ice cream = dessert
  • this recipe + blend with ice + dark rum + rim the glass with graham cracker = cocktail

Does pumpkin-season end after Thanksgiving? What do you think?