Come Together Right Now Chopped Salads (with Bacon<3)

This took 5 minutes.

 

It also inspired deconstructed lettuce wrapped bacon burgers with over easy eggs for dinner ❤

When you begin learning how to balance flavor and texture accordingly, throwing together a chopped salad (or wrap, or grain bowl) becomes as easy as  protein, green, cream, and crunch. All things I believe make the perfect chopped salad  ♥

 

〉〉〉∴Hello planet earth on a plate∴〈〈〈

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Protein:

You need it to be filling and fast. Protein is the macronutrient that in my opinion gives you the most bang for your buck. I keep hard boiled eggs, homemade bacon bits (6 strips of bacon cooked low and slow until crispy, chopped and kept in the fridge), and rotisserie chicken meat on hand, in the fridge, almost always. This allows for me to grab an egg and run (sounds more dangerous than it is) when and if I need to. It gives my body the nutrient dense energy it’s craving without taking a major chunk out of my day. If you’re a vegetarian, I recommend making sure you’re getting the right amount of protein from the right sources. There are two ways I go about using hard boiled eggs in chopped salads:

  1. drizzle that hard boiled eggie with your favorite room temperature fat (avocado oil, mct oil, olive oil, ghee, bacon fat, tallow… you get the idea. While these are all suggestions, I prefer avocado oil myself because of it’s mild flavor). Season it with a little salt and pep then mash it with a fork. You can proceed to add it to your salad pre-toss it with a little less dressing than you normally would (cause the eggie and oil makes it saucccccey).
  2. Chop it. I know this sounds obvious, but hey, you never know. Slice your hard boiled eggie lengthwise and then proceed to chop it into little bits. Sprinkle it on top of your already dressed salad for added richness.

Green:

I can’t get enough butter (bibb, boston) lettuce these days. It’s a great value at Costco. It works amazingly well for wraps and chopped salads. It’s delightful broiled and served warm with lemon and butter, and the texture is akin to that of a perfectly crisp (yet tender) piece of something mind numbingly fresh. I don’t know how else to describe it! If you can’t find it or it’s ridiculously over priced ($5 dollars??? For one?) try romaine in it’s place ❤

I typically use the equivalent of one and a half cups of chopped greens. I cut them no smaller than the surface area of my fork (I loathe not being able to pick up a piece of lettuce cause it’s too small… shredded Iceberg is my nightmare unless I’m eating Mexican). Word to the wise; If you’re using a bitter green (kale, collards, cabbage, escarole…) opt for vinaigrettes. The acidity will help break down how fibrous bitter greens tend to be. You can macerate or “bruise” them at least 10 minutes before you use them by squeezing a little lemon and salt on them and tossing them by hand. Leave them to sit in the bowl up until you’re ready to dress.

I love roasted vegetables from the fridge added to my salad. Chilled roasted veggies are the bomb, and if you’re trying out the 14 day “Duh, you’ll feel better” diet, you should be making enough to keep leftovers in the fridge ready to go.

Cream:

While I stick to vinaigrettes over creamy dressing, I looooove richness. I like acid and fat to come together and start a party in my mouth. Goat cheese with lemon, avocado with lime, Boursin with berries, rice vinegar with nut butter. These combos are fool proof in a salad. I normally add no more than a tablespoon and a half of buttery, fatty richness to my salads.

Crunch!

Roasted garlic, chopped green onions, homemade bacon bits, no sugar added trail mix, sesame seeds, thinly sliced apple, jicama. I could go on forever. Salads need texture and complexity otherwise they’re just a sad bowl of raw veggies.

Happy combos using these rules:

  1. Chopped green onions, chopped peanuts (or sunflower or sesame seeds), soy (or tamari), chopped carrots, rice wine vinegar and spring mix topped with pulled chicken
  2. Roasted garlic, tomatoes, basil, and mozzerella with roasted red peppers, spinach and balsalmic vinaigrette
  3. Sliced jicama, sliced orange, mint, bacon and butter lettuce with hard boiled egg, a squeeze of lime, and chili powder

 

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⇓NOW FOR THIS MÄGIC DOWN HERE⇓

Or up there ^, rather. And yes, that is the same image twice. Real talk, I’m exhausted. Before I came to finish this post (which I started at 11:00am), I accidentally used Garam Masala instead of cumin to season onions and peppers. As a result, the beef fajitas I had planned on making became (after a few unsavory words) surprise! Beef masala!

I just need to finish this post and wake up my boyfriend so we can enjoy our unexpected Indian food.

I digress. Without further ado–

Come Together Right Now Roasted Broccoli and Butter Lettuce Salad with Creamy Horseradish Dressing (and bacon ❤ )

TOOLS:

Large bowl, for tossing salad

Smaller bowl, for eating out of

Tongs, for tossing (or a spatula for folding ingredients together)

Ingredients:

For Salad:

1 1/2 cups chopped butter lettuce

1 tablespoon homemade bacon bits

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh, soft, goat cheese; chilled

1 chopped hard boiled egg

1/2 cup roasted broccoli, from the fridge

1/4 cup minced apple (I used pink lady)

For The Creamy Horseradish dressing:

 

1 tablespoon homemade mayo

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons avocado oil (or olive oil, whatever you have on hand)

salt and lots of cracked black pepper

1 green onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced (This is optional. It’s garlic season so I’m putting fresh garlic in everything).

What to do:

  1. Place a small glass bowl in the fridge
  2. Place all your salad ingredients in a large bowl, side by side. Like, you’re an ocd kid trying to keep your food all in little piles.
  3. In a jar with a well fitted lid, put all the ingredients for the dressing inside. Shake shake shake! If you don’t have a jar with a well fitting lid, mixing them in a  bowl with a fork will suffice.
  4. Once your dressing is mixed, drizzle it, little by little, onto your salad.
  5. Using your tongs, gently toss your salad.
  6. Grab your now chilled bowl from the fridge and have you quick and satisfying meal ❤

 

I need to eat.

Happy wellbeing ❤

 

 

 

Egg in a Hole Alongside Butter Lettuce Salad With Berries and Dijon Dressing

Anytime you look up the delightful meal I’m fixin’ to walk you through you get a plethora of strange alternate names. Call it whatever you like, it’s Egg in a Hole and I’m stickin’ to it. The version I grew up with was adopted from my mother’s girl scout camping trips. Toasted pillowy bread, a soft perfectly yellow yolk, finished with a slice of american cheese and ketchup. I know, I know. It sounds gross. But it isn’t! It’s like a breakfast sammie you eat with a fork and knife. The version I’m going to share is made with whole grain rye, grass-fed butter, and finished with homemade mayo. I take it a step further by balancing out the richness with a simple butter lettuce and marion berry salad served with a dijon vinaigrette. I was thinking about how badly I wanted a Croque Madame when I came up with this.

For the record, ketchup and Kraft will forever hold a special place in my heart ❤ Love you, mom.

Revisit your childlike sense of wonder for all to align.

〉〉〉∴That’ll do brekkie. That’ll do ∴〈〈〈

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Tools:

Small glass jar with a reliable lid (one you can shake)

Small bowl

Cutting board

Drinking glass that measures no more than 2 inches across

10-12 inch skillet

Spatula

Fork

Small bowl

For the Dijon Dressing

 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon dijon

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup avocado oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp herbs de provence (or any mix of your favorite dried herbs)

salt, to taste

Lots of black pepper

What to do:

  1. Put the first 6 ingredients in the glass jar you plan on storing your dressing in.
  2. Attach the lid and give it a firm shaking.
  3. Shake, shake, shake.
  4. Taste and season.

Enjoy on salads to your hearts content for up to 14 days (store in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Keep in the fridge).

For the Eggie in a Hole

 

Ingredients:

1 egg (per slice of bread)

1 slice Dave’s Killer Bread, Rockin’ Rye

1 tablespoon grass-fed butter, divided in half

Drinking glass

A few leaves of bibb lettuce, chopped

Berries of your choice (marion, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)

Homemade Dijon Dressing

Oh So Divine Homemade Avocado Mayo

Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

What to do:

  1. Chop your butter lettuce. Arrange it on one side of a medium sized plate. Top with as many berries as you like (I hang out in the 5-10 range).
  2. Dip a fork in your Homemade Dijon Dressing and dress the salad. Set aside.
  3. Have your egg at room temperature, or run it under warm water for a few minutes. Crack it in a small bowl to check for shells and set aside.
  4. Use half the butter to butter your bread on one side and set it on a cutting board, buttered side up. Have the other half of the butter nearby and ready to use.
  5. Take the drinking glass and press it down in the center of the bread. The butter allows you to twist the glass back and forth (or side to side, like a door knob) with ease without breaking your bread (bum dum tssss).
  6. Remove the glass and the small disc of buttered bread (save and toss in the skillet at the end<3).
  7. Heat your skillet over medium heat for 60 seconds
  8. Place the bread butter side down in the skillet and allow to brown– 3-5 minutes (depending on your stove top range). Have that other half of the butter nearby and ready to go (I already warned you once).
  9. Check your rye for doneness by lifting the edge away from the pan, you should have a nice golden crust going. If it looks good, flip it (flip it good). Immediately drop the other pat of butter into the hole. Follow with your egg.
  10. Allow to cook until the egg white is opaque. If bubbles form, press the edge of your spatula into them. You can cover your egg in a hole with a lid, if you like, to expedite the cooking process.
  11. With a nonstick spatula, lift the corner and check for doneness.
  12. Gently flip your Egg in a Hole to set the yolk. Leave for 60-90 seconds, depending on how done you prefer your yolk (For a more done yolk, allow to set until it feels firm when you tap it gently with your index finger).
  13. Serve alongside butter lettuce salad. Top with a drizzle of homemade avocado mayo and garnish with parsley.

I like to slice mine up into little pieces and take bites with a little bit of everything on my fork. Tangy, tart, rich, buttery– herby. All the flavors play so nicely together!

Happy wellbeing ❤

Baked Sweet Potatoes For Breakkie, Lunch or Din

Sweet potatoes are awesome.  They are rich in Beta Carotene and Dietary Fiber, both things that are good for your bod and gut. Here is a simple step by step way to enjoy them anytime of day. I usually bake a few at a time, keep them in the fridge, and doctor them up based on what I’m craving. Go nuts!

Tools:

Veggie wash or Dr Bronners Castile Soap

Foil

A fork

Ingredients:

2-4 medium sweet pots

Avocado oil

sea salt

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425
  2. Scrub your sweet pots clean with soap and warm water. This removes dirt and surface grime. Pat them nice and dry with a towel.
  3. Rub them little root babies with avocado oil. I like avocado oil for roasting because of it’s mild flavor, high smoke point, and healthy fats.
  4. Season them with the salt. This gives the skin a delightful crunch.
  5. Wrap them each in foil (I go two times around to prevent spillage)
  6. Pierce them a few times on top with a fork.
  7. Bake them until a fork can easily pierce the flesh (60-90 minutes depending on the size of your tots, Napoleon)
  8. Remove from foil and allow to cool on the counter top
  9. Slice in half lengthwise and store skin side down in an airtight container for up to 7 days

〉〉〉∴We love our bread we love our butter∴〈〈〈

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How to Eat a Baked Sweet Potato Anytime of Day:

For a quick meal, cut in half (depending on size) and top with:

  1. Sliced avocado and salsa
  2. sliced avocado, feta cheese, olive tapenade, and sundried tomato
  3. 1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tsp dark maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Sprinkle with raw, chopped pecans.
  4. Grass-fed butter, an over easy egg, chopped bacon, and cholula.
  5. Grass-fed ground beef (cooked in a skillet, drained and seasoned with sea salt, cumin, black pepper, and paprika), full fat plain greek yogurt, and chopped green onions
  6. Steamed broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, and chopped bacon
  7. 2 tablespoons of warmed nut butter (I’m diggin’ on the honey sunflower butter from these folks lately), a drizzle of dark maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and as much unsweetened cocoa powder as you see fit (dude, trust me.)
  8. 2 cloves of chopped garlic sauteed with 1/2 a small onion and tossed with 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter, 1 tablespoon parmesan, chopped scallion and lots of cracked black pepper.
  9.  Straight from the fridge topped with a 1/4 cup Cumin Spiced Chicken Salad
  10. Chopped kale sauteed with grass-fed butter, minced garlic, and tamari. Sriracha on the side.

 

Low and Slow Over Easy Eggies

How to cook eggs like a boss.

Tools:

8-10-or 12 inch skillet (How boss are you?)

small bowl

spatula

Ingredients:

2 eggs (you can do more but I prefer to cook two at a time)

1 tablespoon fat (I like grass-fed butter. Avocado oil, ghee, tallow, or bacon fat are also great)

A dash of each; Salt, Pepper, and Paprika

Fresh herbs to garnish

What to do:

  1. Remove your eggs from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook them, or, put them in a bowl and let them rest in hot water for a few minutes. This will help the eggies cook more evenly.
  2. Heat your skillet over medium low heat for 60 seconds.
  3. Add yo’ fat! Let it warm for 60-90 seconds. We don’t want our eggs to sizzle, we want them to temper evenly.
  4. Once your fat moves around the pan easily when you swirl it, Crack your eggs into a small bowl and pour them from the bowl into the pan. Stop cracking your eggs right into the pan. You risk breaking the yolk and getting shells into your eggs.
  5. Let them sit for a few moments. Once the white is nice and opaque, use your spatula to gently lift the edges from the pan. From here, add some additional fat to the pan and use a spoon to baste the tops of your eggs until they’re cooked (Here is a stop motion youtube video from 2012 of someone doing it)
  6. Now is the time to season your eggs. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and smoked paprika over the tops. This allows for the flavor to develop and the spices to do their thing. For over easy, baste them until the tops begin to develop a white film. For a more well done yolk, keep the pan on the stove top for longer and prolong the amount of time you baste before you add seasoning and serve.
  7. Slide your eggies onto a plate. Top with chopped parsley and enjoy.

 

 

Happy wellbeing ❤

 

 

Stove Top Popcorn (With Healthy Flavor Boosters!)

You know what’s better than burning a bag of popcorn?

Popping your own. It’s easier (and cheaper) than buying the oil-laden, prepackaged stuff. Popcorn is a whole grain, so it’s a healthy little snack.

Tools:

Large pot with lid

Measuring cup

Tablespoon

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Yellow Popping Corn

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 tablespoon grass fed butter

What to do:

  1. Heat oil in the pan on high until just about smoking. about 90 seconds.
  2. Add popcorn kernels and cover. Allow to sit on the stovetop to heat.
  3. Gently swirl the pot to encourage even heat distribution. As popping increases you can swirl the pot more rigorously, just be sure to be mindful of the lid.
  4. When popping slows to a few pops ever 3-5 seconds, remove from heat and give the pan a good shake.
  5. Add butter and replace lid. Shake to distribute.
  6. SEASON!!!

You can choose from these combo’s. Let your imagination run wild.

  1. Lawry’s season salt
  2. Parmesan, cracked black pepper, and minced garlic
  3. Substitute 1/2 tablespoon grass fed butter for your favorite nut butter, replace lid and shake to distribute
  4. Substitute grass fed butter for coconut oil then add unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon and a dash of cayenne
  5. Double the butter and add chopped herbs and sea salt
  6. Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  7. Coconut oil, curry powder, salt and cumin
  8. Sharp cheddar and fresh dill
  9. Toss with chopped dried cherries and drizzle with dark chocolate
  10. Add your favorite hot sauce and crumbled blue cheese

All you need to remember is: Pop the corn, add the fat, cover and shake, then season, cover and shake again. You want to melt your fat over the kernels before you add your seasoning so the seasoning sticks to each kernel. I rest my case.

〉〉〉∴〈〈〈

You could make as much of this as you want and give it as a party favor, or, make a giant butter only batch and set out the toppings so your guests can dress their own. The possibilities are endless. I need a snack.

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Happy wellbeing ❤

 

Cumin Spiced Chicken Salad Wraps with Homemade Avocado Mayo

Prepared Deli Salads gets a bad wrap (buh dum tsssssss). Here, we use freshly chopped veggies for texture and crunch and oh so divine homemade avocado oil mayo for dressing. The taste of homemade mayo is bangin! It’s rich and creamy. Using avocado oil gives us energy boosting healthy fats. You could sandwich this between two slices of bread but we love using bibb lettuce. The velvety leaves and crispness pair nicely with the salad, making it great for a hot summer day.

Tools:

Large bowl

Cutting board

Chefs knife

Fork

Spatula

Ingredients:

1 lb Rotisserie chicken meat, shredded

2 tablespoons homemade mayo

1/2 red bell pepper, minced

1/2 an onion, sweet or yellow, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 rib celery, minced

2 tsp cumin

squeeze of lemon

salt

pepper

1 head bibb lettuce, leaves trimmed from base and rinsed

What to do:

  1. Shred rotisserie meat into small bits using either a chefs knife or two forks. Discard of any gristle or bone.
  2. Wash your veggies. Place the bell pepper on your cutting board and remove the top. Slice it in half lengthwise and, proceed to chop into smaller bits. Place the heel of your opposite hand on top of the knife and move it over the pepper in a sweeping motion, sweeping up and pressing down. This is chopping. Repeat with onion and celery, adding to the chicken as you go.
  3. Take a clove or garlic and place it sideways on the cutting board, either smiling or frowning at you. Place the heel of your knife over the top, parallel to the cutting board, so you can crush the garlic and remove the skin. Press down on the heel of your knife with the palm of your hand, holding the knife steady with the other. Remove the skin and chop the garlic until it’s minced (into small pieces.) Add to chicken.
  4. Add two tablespoons of homemade mayo (recipe below).
  5. Add a squeeze of lemon and the cumin. Fold in mayo, lemon juice, and cumin with a spatula.
  6. Taste for seasoning.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce (optional)
  8. Take your bibb lettuce leaves and stagger them one over the other, like a venn diagram. Fill the one on top with just enough chicken salad to cover the center. Wrap from one side to the other. Use a third leaf like a taco shell placed over the seam to hold it all together.
  9. Eat. Them. Up!

Oh So Divine Homemade Mayo with Avocado Oil (The stuff of dreams…)

Use it to dress salads (like we’re doing here) and as the base of creamy dressings. Put it on a baked sweet potato with bacon and chives, use it in place of butter and toss it with roasted veggies and fresh herbs. Slather it on the OUTSIDE of a sandwich and then toast it in a pan for the most awesome toast you’ve ever tasted; homemade mayo is bomb. I’ve included some alternative seasoning options at the bottom. Let your imagination run wild. I originally learned this technique from The Commonsense Kitchen by Tom Hudgens. Tom was a student and then instructor at Dawn Springs Ranch in California, a working ranch and selective college for young males (I highly recommend looking it up, they’re story is amazing). His methods and philosophy on food resonate deeply with me. It’s all about working hard, living well, and respecting the ingredients the earth provides us with.

Tools:

Immersion blender, food processor, or standing blender

Slotted spoon

Fork

Spatula

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons dijon

1 1/2 cup avocado oil

salt

cayenne

What to do:

  1. Boil a small pot of water
  2. Place egg in water for 2 minutes
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Crack into mixing vessel (depending on what tool you’re using. For an immersion blender I recommend a 16 oz container)
  4. Add ACV, and dijon. Mix with a fork
  5. Place immersion blender in container (or start food processor/ blender) and start mixing on low speed. With your dominate hand, begin slowing drizzling avocado oil into mixture. It will emulsify and begin to thicken, becoming opaque. Once 3/4 of the oil is incorporated, taste for seasoning and check the consistency. If it seems overly liquidy (consistency of milk) start your blender back up (on low) and drizzle in more oil. It should be about the consistency of thin pudding (it will thicken in the fridge).
  6. Season with salt and a dash of cayenne.

Makes about 1 cup of mayo. Use a spatula to transfer to an airtight container and keep in fridge for up to 7 days.

BONUS!

For aioli; add 1 clove of chopped garlic, squeeze of lemon, and freshly chopped herbs. Basil, parsley, dill, mint– whatever you like. Basil and parsley are great with poultry, roasted veggies, and french fries. Dill is good with fish, or, tossed with roasted red potatoes and chopped bacon. Mint would play well with melon and prosciutto or served alongside lamb chops.

For creamy horseradish (great with beef); 1 tablespoon preserved horseradish, dash of worcester, black pepper.

For “Secret Sauce”; 1 teaspoon tomato paste, 1 chopped dill pickle, 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 clove minced garlic dash of cayenne– great for burgers and Rueben sammies).