Apple, Gorgonzola, and Bacon …. Salad

So … the bacon caught your attention didn’t it ?? It also slightly distracts you from the word salad. Do not let the fact that this sounds healthy fool you. It’s ridiculously delicious and easy to make. Don’t worry about the dressing either …. because you can make your own if you’d like. I’ll post that recipe here on this post as well. It makes a great summer dinner. You can throw some cubed chicken on this puppy as well 😉

 

Apples-and-Bacon-with-Maple-Vinaigrette

Ingredients: (serves two hungry people)

  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 8 Slices of Bacon fried till crispy, and then crumbled
  • 3 Medium Red Apples of choice, chopped
  • *optional* 8 to 10 Strawberries
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, or Feta may be used as well.

Dressing:

  1. 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  2. 4 Teaspoons Golden or White Balsamic Vinegar
  3. 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  4. *optional*  1/2 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
  5. 2 Tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup …. you can use the others but its sweeter so be prepared
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste
  7. Mix in a small mason jar or anything you have for dressing and shake shake shake …. boom.

Because you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to make a salad , my only instructions will be …. fry that bacon up first and set aside. Mix all the dressing ingredients … shake and refrigerate. Then throw all that good salad stuff together and put as much dressing on as you like. You can always make more ….. and you will because its soooooooo good.

 

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted-Cauliflower-Poppers-2

 

I’m always trying to do new things with vegetables …. the same sides can get boring. My favorite way to eat broccoli or cauliflower is to blanket it in a thick cheese sauce …. but as we are watching what we eat these days its not on the menu. I have however grown to love roasting and I think you will enjoy something a little new . 🙂

Ingredients:

  • one medium to large head of cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • lemon wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400*
  2. In a large bowl place florets and olive oil and toss until well coated (add more oil if florets look dry.)
  3. Spread florets out on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika to desired amount.
  5. Roast in oven for 30 minutes flipping florets around halfway through.
  6. Remove from oven …. squeeze lemons onto the cauliflower and serve !!!!

Chicken BLT Salad

 

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Chicken Salad can be done in so many different ways. I have two favorites and this is one of them. I mean who doesnt like bacon ??? You can skip the carbs and just serve it on lettuce or you can toast some whole wheat bread and make a sandwich either way its delicious 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 1 medium to large tomato- seeded and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 cup light mayo (I use 1/2 Miracle Whip light and 1/2 real light mayo)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • a little splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *optional* Sliced avocado and romaine lettuce

Directions:

  1. Cook Bacon , cool and chop or crumble.
  2. Mix together the mayonnaise,  green onions, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Stir together the chicken breast, tomatoes and bacon. Pour dressing over chicken mixture and toss well to coat. Refrigerate until chilled; serve over lettuce leaves and garnish with avocado slices or on toasted bread.

 

Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche Salad- with Creamy Lime and Honey Dressing

zesty-lime-shrimp-avocado-salad-2-up

 

 

This makes a fantastic lunch or in smaller portions a great starter before dinner !!! I prefer to buy medium tortillas and bake them in shell form. and if you dont have the pans you can make them with a muffin pan …   http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/taco_bowls.html

Ingredients:

  • 2 limes- fresh juiced
  • 1 lb cooked and chilled and chopped shrimp (I use thawed out frozen)
  • 2 medium Tomatoes seeded and chopped (If I have tomatoes to use up I will use up to 3)
  •  2 Hass Avocados
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
  • 1 heart of Romain Lettuce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 2 limes- fresh juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of low or no fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of chopped Cilantro
  • *optional* – pinch of chipolte seasoning (or chili powder/Mexican spice)

 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, jalapeno,cilantro, and pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.
  2. In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, and tomato. Slowly mix the two bowls together blending well. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix all dressing ingredients together and whisk until very creamy. Adjust to taste.
  4. Chop up lettuce and place into a salad bowl or taco shell, spoon shrimp mixture on top and drizzle with dressing … enjoy 🙂

Chicken and Pear Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Tasty-Kitchen-Blog-Pear-Gorgonzola-Salad

 

I love salads, and I eat one almost every day. So being creative and learning to make several different kinds is how I stay interested. I dont do the boring “house salad” …. ever. This recipe makes 2 lunch size salads, for dinner salad just add more of all the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cooked chicken breast cut in strips or cubed
  • 2 hand fulls of mixed greens or baby spinach
  • 1 Bosc Pear
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves,  or shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles

For Dressing:

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Seedless Raspberry Jam

Directions:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a small bowl , whisk until jam has all liquified. (if you like more or less dressing then just adjust using equal parts.)
  2. Place in microwave for 30 seconds, take out whisk again and set aside.
  3. Take greens wash, dry, and place into medium bowl .
  4. Take the pear and cut into slices, then half the slices for smaller pieces. Then add to bowl with greens.
  5. Add nuts to bowl with greens.
  6. Take the dressing mixture whisk again, and pour into the bowl and toss well.
  7. Separate the salad into 2 separate salad dishes.
  8. Top with chicken and Gorgonzola cheese and serve.

 

Collard Greens

collard-greens-520

 

Sides to me are just as important as the main course. Its also a good idea to have a variety of sides you know how to make so your palate doesn’t get bored. Until about 5 yrs ago I had never had greens, and I loved them from the beginning. Plus I learned they are also good for me. This is my simple recipe …. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs collard greens, tough stems discarded, leaves chopped
  • 4 Tbsp medium onion, chopped small
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 pieces of cooked bacon, and save the grease
  • 2 teaspoons bacon grease
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • a few pinches of salt
  • a few pinches of sugar
  • a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Use a large skillet with a tight fitting cover. Melt bacon fat and heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. Sauté onion until transparent, a couple of minutes. Add garlic and and cook about 30 seconds.
  2. Mix in the greens, 2 tbsp oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Cover and cook until tender, 8-15 minutes. (Note that young collard greens will cook up relatively quickly. Older greens may take upwards of 45 minutes to tenderize.)
  3. In the last 5 minutes of cooking chop up and add the bacon in bits, and if using hot sauce add now as well.

ENJOY !!

 

 

Cheesy Potato and Smoked Sausage Casserole

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If you enjoy comfort food on occasion and feel you deserve to indulge sometimes then this is for you. If you are on a diet or counting calories please do not keep reading because I am not responsible for the 2lbs you will surely gain by eating this cheesy carb sausage masterpiece. I make it in colder months because ….. well it warms my soul and fills my belly. Some use it for a side but I use it for the main course because it is truly filling ……

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of white potatoes of your choice, peeled, boiled, cooled and cut into cubes (approx. 1lb)
  • 1 lb of Smoked Sausage, skinless ( or for my Pennsylvania friends use Smoked Kielbasa )
  • 5 tablespoons of real butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon Paprika
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 lb of Velveeta Cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup of shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

  1. Take Sausage and make sure all the skin is off, cut into 1/2 inch circles and the half moon cut them all. Then cook in a frying pan for about 10 minutes on medium. Turning frequently until slightly browned.
  2. Then toss together  your ready potatoes and browned sausage in a bowl and then place in a 2 quart casserole dish.
  3. In a sauce pot on low to medium, mix butter, flour , milk, salt, pepper, and just the Velveeta Cheese until completely melted and smooth …. you must stir or whisk constantly as not to burn it to bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour the cheese mixture over the potatoes and sausage.
  5. Then sprinkle the Sharp cheese on top and then sprinkle the paprika on the very top.
  6. Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes or till top is golden brown.

Note: If you are making this for kids you can use hot dogs of course 🙂