Are you not allowed to eat bread? Did someone terrify you as a child of bread? Are you on a keto diet? Did you have a funeral for bread and all its’ offspring in your backyard like me? Then this BLT is for you!
The key here is ….. the bacon….. hello. Can bacon possibly get any better? Let me show you how. My husband eats this delicious snack/meal/appetizer lady and gentlemen…..my husband. You don’t even miss bread, and my idea of heaven is just me laying on crusty hot sourdough slathered in far too much butter!
Let’s get busy!
*Makes 4 BLTs
4 Strips of Thick Cut Bacon
4 Hearts of Romaine Leaves
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Siracha
2 Tablespoons Mayo
1 Tomato (sliced)
Fry up that bacon! Pan fry your bacon until it is 90% cooked, and then brush your strips of bacon with the siracha and maple syrup. Broil your bacon on high for 2 minutes max. Now, ladies and gentlemen you have candied bacon.
I smeared some mayo on the lettuce itself, sprinkled with red chili flakes, layed out on piece of bacon, seasoned tomato (S&P), and some avocado was on the bottom. Kyle added some jalapeno to his “sandwich”.
Do these substitute for a real good old sandwich? No. I am not going to lie. But, they are lite, refreshing, and you can continue your day afterwards rather than sleeping on the couch. Give these bad boys a try!
Seriously. How have I just discovered real dark chocolate? More specifically, chocolate from Madagascar. Lord knows that if there ever was a day for me to like chocolate it would have to be a bar boujie as all Hell. Girl, World Market makes me weak.
To continue our 2018 healthy eating venture we needed dessert! Well, not really because neither myself or my husband are big sweet eaters, but I have found the healthier I eat during the day the easier it gets to be a very bad girl at night. Cinnamon rolls, cheese pastries, and bags and bags of popcorn. I am not claiming these are healthy either, shit I didn’t even do a calorie check on them., and neither should you. They are banana, some peanut butter, and dark sexy chocolate. Live a little.
Oh, and some butter.
Just a little!
1 Bar of Reeeeaally good chocolate (I used Madecasse brand)
5 Bananas sliced however you prefer
1 TBSP Kerrygold Butter (this helps so that expensive ass chocolate doesn’t seize up on you)
Slice your bananas, lay on some parchment paper. Dollop with peanut butter on top. See below photo. Then freeze for 3-4 hours.
Cut that chocolate up. The more even you slice, cute, cube, or grate the more evenly the chocolate will met. Simmer some water on the stove and create a double boiler. DO NOT GET WATER ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR CHOCOLATE. Water causes seizing and we do not want that. Once your chocolate is melted dip the bananas in however you see fit. I just dipped the tops as we didn’t want ours completely drowned in chocolate. I know some of you will feel differently.
You see that shine? Thank you melting chocolate correctly and grass-fed butter. Guuuuuurl. I guarantee these will help keep the late night cinnamon rolls away.
I make macaroni and cheese……like……a lot. An unholy amount of mac’ n cheese has been put into this body. I didn’t plan to make mac’ n cheese for Thanksgiving this year, but when the night came to make my scalloped potatoes I just couldn’t resist making one more thing. Over achiever much? The sauce for my scalloped potatoes was a base for mac’ n cheese so how could I really say no? This is what I refer to as “last minute mac” because I used penne in replacement for elbow noodles, because, hello, I didn’t know I was making this so of course I didn’t have the right pasta on hand. I threw in some spicy Jimmy Dean sausage because Kyle is constantly bitching at me that the freezer is too full….so I used something from the freezer, probably the smallest item in the freezer, but still counts!
1 box of penne pasta (or elbow if you’re smarter than me)
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
3 Cups of Whole Fat Milk
3 Cups of a three cheese blend or the cheese of your choosing
1 Stalk of green onion diced
1 package of Jimmy Dean Spicy Sausage
1 Cup of Panko
4 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Butter
4 Tablespoons of Flour
Don’t be an idiot like me and wait until you are done with the sauce to boil the pasta – you should do that first. Remember the pasta trick with the water – your pasta water should look and taste like ocean water – more flavor!
I fried up my sausage next, and once it was completely cooked through I added the garlic and onions. Next, I added the butter (all in the same pan, sausage fat and all, this is Thanksgiving!), let the butter melt down over medium heat, and then add in the flour. Cook this mixture for about 3-4 minutes, and then stir in the milk and begin to whisk. Whisk until your arm falls off OR you no longer have lumps of flour/butter. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese, but only add one cup at a time and wait until it’s melted down into the sauce to add the next. At this point I also take a small ladle of the pasta water and place it into the cheese sauce. The starches released from the pasta while it bowls will help the sauce really adhere to the noodles.
Butter a casserole dish and mix your sauce and noodles all together. I bake this at 400 covered for 30 minutes, and then take it out, place panko all over the top, drizzle the panko with olive oil, and then broil for 5 minutes. Delicious! Last minute mac!
I love walnuts. I would put them on everything if I could. Why did it take me so long to make a dish with brussel sprouts and walnuts? Two of my favorite foods. Do not cry to me about your hate for brussel sprouts….you just aren’t cooking them right. Also, I know lots of people prefer pecans to almonds especially in savory dishes but not I! Always feel free to change up recipes for your dietary needs…..or just don’t eat it!
3lbs of Brussel Sprouts halved (I was making these for dinners for the week so roughly 6 servings here)
TBSP Kerrygold Butter
1/4 Toasted Walnuts
1/4 Cup Good Quality Balsamic
3 TBSP Honey
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Half your brussels and lay them out on a sheet pan, I used avocado oil to drizzle, and then popped those bad boys in for 15 minutes. While your sprouts are in the oven melt your butter in a saucepan. Place walnuts in the pan to toast up with the butter about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove walnuts from your pan and put both the balsamic and honey in the pan. Let the fluids come to a soft boil and let them reduce. On medium heat this process takes about 6-7 minutes and you want the reduction to coat the back of a spoon. Once your sprouts are out of the oven the plating is up to you! If I were taking these somewhere as a side of appetizer I would scatter my walnuts on top the sprouts and do a slight drizzle of the reduction so that the vibrant colors do not become muddy and that is exactly how I photographed these……then mixed everything up and called it a day! Presentation is everything! Unless, it’s just you and your husband …… like me.
Lord have mercy do not bring hummus as a Christmas appetizer unless your entire family is vegan. I about got voted off the island for bringing hummus a few Christmas’ back. You know what, though? I am a grown up(kind of) and have my own blog now so I am just going to publish the recipe because I am a loud and proud hummus lover!
Embarrassing Fact: A few colleagues of mine had a hummus war competition and it just so happened to be on the day I was interviewing for a management position at my work. Well, ALL afternoon my stomach would not stop sounding like a blue whale searching for its family and couldn’t tell if I was just nervous OR overdosing on too much hummus.
P.S plain hummus is boring – make some exciting flavors and share them with me! I know roasted red pepper is pretty boring, too but I love it!!
2 Cups chickpeas drained and washed
1/2 Cup Tahini (just buy it – I know it’s expensive but it’s what makes hummus HUMMUS)
1 whole lemon squeezed
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Roasted Red Bell Peppers (I roast mine on the oven – stick them in a ziplock once black- let them steam – take off the char and done)
How easy is this? Throw it in the food processor and hit the Go button. Blend until smooth and the consistency you’d like – you may need to add additional olive oil. I crack fresh pepper on top one plated, a squirt of lemon, and a final drizzle of olive oil. Eaasy breezy beautiful snack. Pita chips, veggie sticks, naan bread. Gurl.
Who doesn’t like cornbread? Seriously. I could eat my weight in cornbread. I love that it’s flaky, buttery, and you can incorporate so many fun ingredients. I made these muffins for some quick grab breakfasts or snacks and they did not last long. Warm these babies up and put an extra slab or pound of butter on them and love yourself for making them and me for writing this out for you.
Do not make BOXED cornbread. It is so unnecessary – homemade cornbread is EASY. Boxed recipes tend to have a lot of sugar as well. I do not use sugar in this cornbread recipe because I do not think it needs it at all and we are adding blueberries to half the mix which naturally creates some sweetness as well. If I were not incorporating ingredients to this recipe I would add some honey for a tiny bit of sweet but no sugar.
2 Cups All Purpose Flour (you can sub almond flour just check the ratio)
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Baking Soda
1 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
1 TSP Salt
1 Cup Whole Fat Milk (can substitute coconut, almond, soy etc.)
1 Cup Melted Butter
1 8oz can Green Chiles
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 Cup Blueberries
1 Lemon Zested
Mix everything together except the chiles, cheese, blueberries, and lemon. Once your mixture is ready separate it in half. I toss my blueberries in flour so they do not sink while baking. One half of the mixture add your blueberries&lemon zest and the other chiles&cheese. I put these in muffin tins and got exactly 12 of each flavor but you can cook them in a cast iron skillet if you wish. Baked at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. I brought some of these to work for my team and boy did they go fast. Make sure if you try this recipe to tag us on instagram and Facebook!
Meal Prep Alert!
I made these for this week’s lunches. They were easy, delicious, and can be either vegetarian or stuff them with chicken like I did this week. Let’s get started!
1 Box of Jumbo Pasta Shells
1/4 Cup Pesto (buy or make your own)
2 Shredded Chicken Breast
2 Cups of Alfredo sauce (buy or make your own)
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
2 Cups Chopped Finely Mushrooms
1 Cup of Ricotta
The pasta shells need to cook about 8 minutes total and I lay them out on a sheet pan to cool. I already had shredded chicken but the recipe was just 2 chicken breast, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chicken broth, and throw in crock pot for 4 hours on high. Shred and set.
Filling: Mix ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, pesto, chicken, mushrooms, and salt&pepper. Once your shells have cooled stuff those bad boys up!
Bake: I lay a thin layer of alfredo on the bottom on my baking dish and then put the shells on top. Cover with some more sauce and let bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then put the rest of your cheese on top and broil for 5 minutes. Done! These are pretty simple for meal prep, loaded with protein, and pretty damn tasty!