Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Roasted Bacon and Beet Salad

(sorry for the not great quality picture, it was from my iPhone)

This is such an easy weeknight salad. The salad was seriously, like seriously, fork licking good! I even went back for seconds, which is something I proudly say I NEVER do! It was just that delicious, I couldn't help myself! The bacon is crunchy and roasted beets are soft yet crunchy too, that combo just changed my life! That might need to be a staple in my kitchen now!

Roasted Bacon and Beet Salad
Serving size 4-6
Recipe from Against All Grain's Meals Made Simple
For the Salad:

2 medium beets, peeled and thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
2 pears (I like Bartlett), diced

6 cups or more of lettuce (I mixed kale and my lettuce from the Farmer’s Market) washed, and ready to go

4 slices of organic bacon

¼ cup of chopped pecans

For the Dressing:

¼ cup of EVOO

2 teaspoons of White Balsamic Vinegar (or you can just use regular balsamic)

1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel beets and slice into thin rounds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay sliced beets on the baking sheet towards the center. Make sure though, pieces don’t overlap. (Be prepared for some scary fingers! I would suggest cutting on a cutting board if you don't usually so it's easier to wash!)

Lay four slices of bacon over the beets. This will create a nice coating of bacon grease for the beets to roast in. (few things in life are better than bacon grease)

Cook for 15 minutes.

While cooking whisk together dressing. In a small bowl mix together EVOO, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk until everything is combined. Set to the side in the fridge.

Once (first) 15 minutes are done, toss the beets around with the bacon just so each side is cooked evenly. Cook for another 10 minutes.

After those 10 minutes are done, throw in the pecans to roast for 5 more minutes.

When beets and bacon are finished, take out of the oven and place a few paper towels over the baking sheet. Pressing lightly (be careful it’s hot!) to soak up some of the grease. (don't skip this step, soggy bacon grease lettuce, gross)

While that cools, mix together pears, lettuce, and avocado! Once bacon is cooled, chop up the bacon and any beets that are not bite side. Mix everything together minus the dressing.

Serve with 2 tablespoons of dressing drizzled over the salad.


If you fancy, you can add some goat or any other soft cheese if you would like! Would be yummy!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Healthier French Toast



I woke up on President’s day and I decided I wanted to get fancy! It's not everyday we have a three day weekend! So why not enjoy it!  Now, I didn't want to break the calorie bank, so, I decided to try to develop a healthy french toast to start cooking in the kitchen! Boy, this didn't disappoint! I mixed almond milk and egg whites to pair with my delicious homemade bread. I mean this bread is dreamy and life changing. That. Is. All.



Healthier French Toast
Serving size 2 (2 slices each)

4 slices of Homemade Bread
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup of egg whites

2 tsp of cinnamon (and a little extra when it is done)

1 cup of blueberries/strawberries

Coconut oil for spraying the pan

4 tsp of real maple syrup (grade B is best)

Directions:

Slice 4 pieces of bread off the loaf. Then put it away fast or else you may eat the rest of it.. don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Mix together almond milk, egg whites, and cinnamon
Soak bread in the egg mixture for about 15 minutes.
While bread is soaking, heat up sprayed pan.
Use tongs to pick up the French toast and place on the pan. Cook until golden brown then flip.

When French toast is done cooking, sprinkle some extra cinnamon, add the berries (1/2 cup to each plate), and drizzle with 2 tsp of maple syrup!
Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread


One of my, many, goals for the New Year was to bake more, and by bake more I wanted to make bread! Delicious, gooey, soft, crispy, golden bread! I finally stopped being a coward and did it! I am always torn between baking, and eating healthy. I have a tendency to make things then want to eat them of course! Dilemmas.. Dilemmas.

I absolutely LOVE the Eat, Live, Run blog. Jenna, who went to culinary school, creates easy to follow AMAZING and beyond delicious meals. We have yet to be disappointed with any of her recipes! So, when I took on this challenge, I knew I needed to find one from her blog! This was the winner and boy let me tell you it is so out of this world!  


Letting the yeast soak.


 This is so important, to measure each part! I bought this scale on Amazon and I use it ALL the time! Not just for baking but making sure I stick to those approrpriate portions!


This is the part where that dough gets sticky icky!



I meant how good does that look? There are few smells that are better than fresh baked bread! I'd say fresh chocolate chip baked cookies are a close second...



I couldn't stop with the pictures. So delicious!




Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Orignially from: Eat, Live, Run

370 grams all-purpose flour
48 grams old fashioned oats
14 grams organic cane sugar
1 packet (1/4th oz) active dry yeast
15 grams very soft butter (1 tbsp)
10 grams sea salt
1 1/3 cups warm water
additional old fashioned oats for rolling

Directions:

Pour yeast in warm water and add a pinch of sugar. Set aside to let the yeast activate.
Mix together the flour, oats, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the soft butter and slowly pour in the liquid.
Mix with either your hands until dough is smooth. It will be sticky. (Which, I really don’t like that feeling, side note).
Cover bowl with a dishcloth and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes, until the dough has just about doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down to release any air bubbles caused by the yeast. Cover punched down dough with the dishcloth and let rest for 20 minutes on the counter. I learned this is called “Bench Rest.”
Form your dough into a small log and roll in oats. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, cover with cloth and let rise again for 45 minutes in a warm spot. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 475.
When you are ready to bake, reduce oven temperature to 375 and place bread in oven. Don’t open oven, it will release steam. Bake for 45 minutes or golden brown.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. This helps all sides stay crispy.
Let bread cool before eating! Or if you’re like my husband and I, we shared a delicious slice when it was still steaming hot! Smeared with Almond butter of course! That’s healthy right ;)