Monday, June 18, 2012

Broccoli Salad with Bowtie Pasta & Bacon

I love pasta salad in the summertime, especially the kind that has just a touch of flavor rather than dripping with dressing. This definitely fits the bill- cold and creamy yet not overpowering, and the bacon gives it a great flavor.

Broccoli Salad with Bowtie Pasta & Bacon
1/2 (16oz) box organic farfalle pasta
1 pound (two large heads) organic broccoli
2 cups organic seedless red grapes, halved
8 slices of organic bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup pecans (halved or chopped)1/2 cup organic mayo
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup diced red onion (I didn't use)

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.

Cut broccoli florets from stems and separate into small pieces. Slice grapes in half and chop onion (if using one).

In a large bowl, whisk together mayo and honey, then stir in red wine vinegar. Mixture will be a bit lumpy, that's ok.

Stir in pasta, broccoli and grapes. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Stir in bacon and pecans just before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.

*Recipe modified from Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Whole Wheat Navajo Tacos (fried in coconut oil)

Navajo tacos were one of my favorite things to eat as a kid. There are dozens of ways to eat them but my favorite is Mexican style: refried beans, cheese, avocado and tomato. Thanks to coconut oil, I can still indulge in them from time to time.

Whole Wheat Navajo Tacos
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour (one half cup at a time as needed)
coconut oil for frying
toppings- refried beans (I love mine mixed with salsa and sour cream), cheese, avocado, tomato

Dissolve yeast in warm water with honey. When yeast is bubbly, stir in melted (cooled) butter, salt and 1 cup of flour. Continue mixing and add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl- you want it to be soft but not sticky.

Cover and let rise until double. Roll dough out into 2 thin rectangles (about 1/4" thick) and using a pizza cutter slice into squares (I cut each into 12 small squares) and let rise until double.

Heat coconut oil in a small pot (the smaller the better). I don't like to waste a lot of oil so I used about a 1/2 cup but it's easier if you have more oil. I also make mine smaller due to less oil. Dip the corner of one piece of dough in the oil- when it bubbles right away the oil is ready.

Fry one piece of dough at a time, using a spoon, scoop oil over the top of the dough until it puffs up (or you can tip and rotate the pan around in circular motions so that oil covers the top of the dough). When the top has puffed, flip over and cook until brown. Drain on a paper towel and repeat for all pieces of dough. Top with desired toppings and serve warm.

For sweet dough, dip in powdered sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or drizzle with honey. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Real Fruit Frozen Yogurt (with or without the yogurt)

There's nothing better in the summertime than homemade ice cream.

Well, nothing except frozen yogurt that is...

It is the easiest thing to make- no measuring of ingredients, simply blend in whatever you want and enjoy!

You don't even need an ice cream maker- a blender will work just fine.

And you don't really have to use yogurt...unless you want to.

All you need are a few ripe frozen bananas and some fresh or frozen fruit. It's 100 % healthy, no sugar added- a snack that you can feel good about serving!

Real Fruit "Frozen Yogurt"
3 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
Fresh or frozen fruit (strawberries, mango and pineapple are the best combo I've found, if they are frozen, defrost slightly before blending)
1-2 cups plain yogurt or milk (optional)

Blender method:
If you prefer a chunkier ice cream, blend the bananas first, then stir in the remaining fruit, otherwise put all fruit into a blender (including 3 frozen bananas). If you want a creamier consistency, stir in one to two cups of plain yogurt or a bit of milk (if using milk, add a little at a time to desired consistency). If too thin, add more frozen fruit, if too thick, add more milk/yogurt. Serve right away and enjoy!

Ice cream maker method (makes more ice-cream-like consistency):
Blend bananas and desired fruit (if you want chunkier ice cream, chop your fruit- like strawberries- and set aside). Pour the banana mixture into your ice cream maker and turn on. Add chopped fruit and any yogurt/milk (if using milk, pour a little at a time to desired consistency) and mix according to the directions until it becomes frozen (my Cuisinart takes about 15 minutes).

If you are lucky enough to have any leftovers, you can freeze them. Just be sure to give yourself adequae thawing time before eating again, as it tends to freeze pretty solid.

You really can't go wrong with this- just add whatever fruit you like to the desired consistency. No sugar needed and you can say yes to second helpings!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

BLT {the best sandwich on earth}

I think bacon is my favorite food. If I had to choose between dark chocolate and bacon...I think bacon would win... I like my bacon super crunchy and my favorite way to eat it is in a big fat BLT.

I don't think anyone really needs a recipe for a BLT, but some things I add to make it better than your average sandwich, is ranch dressing on one slice of bread (instead of mayo) and smashed ripe avocado on the other. Throw in some havarti cheese and swiss chard (along with tomato and bacon, of course) and you have one tasty (and healthy) sandwich.

Perfect for lunch or dinner, especially in the summertime when you need something quick and easy.

Oh- and bacon cooking- the way to get it super crunchy is to bake it in the oven at 425 degrees. Place bacon strips side by side and bake until all the fat has been cooked away and the bacon is a dark color and looking crispy (or until your smoke detector goes off), about 15-20 minutes, turning half way through (don't burn!). Then when the bacon grease cools down, pour into a jar and refrigerate for later use. Bacon grease is great for cooking eggs, potatoes, popcorn and more. Refrigerate or freeze any extra bacon.

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