Broccoli Salad

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You know those recipes that just instantly remind you of your childhood, family gatherings and summer BBQ’s?  Well, this is one of those for me.  I hadn’t eaten this in years and actually had never made it in my own kitchen, until a while ago, one of my girlfriends hosted a summer BBQ and served this salad.  I went nuts for it and ate WAY more than my fair share.  Since then, I have been making batches of this salad to keep in the fridge for weekday lunches as it is so satisfying and nice to have on hand for a quick and easy lunch.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the caloric value in the recipe, because lets face it…mayo, bacon, cheese…three delicious items, but when put together, not exactly the healthiest when consumed together in a “salad”. So, I wanted to revamp it a little.  First things first, there was no way I was going to eliminate the bacon…well, because bacon is delicious.  BUT, I could attack the mayo and omit the cheese.  So, I tweaked the mayo by using 2/3 greek yogurt and keeping 1/3 the mayo.  This still gave us the mayo “taste”, but allowed me to add a good source of protein in the form of greek yogurt, not to mention reducing the calories and fat.  Omitting the cheese is a case-by-case decision – if you are serving this for company, I suggest including it, but if it is a weekday lunch salad, I don’t think the salad absolutely needs it to be delicious!

I can’t wait to whip-up another batch of this salad soon…and I know it won’t last long!

Enjoy.

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Broccoli Salad

Yield:  6 servings, 1 cup each
Prep Time:  15-20 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes for the bacon

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt (or fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup  mayo/Miracle Whip Spread
  • 2 TBSP sugar (you can also substitute Splenda for the sugar – just use a touch less)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 6-8 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 6 slices bacon (whatever your family favourite is!)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups of raisins or craisins, whichever you prefer
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

Prepare bacon according to package directions or using your favourite method (I love baking my bacon in the oven, on a baking sheet.  So easy to do and clean-up is a breeze!)  Once bacon is cooked and cooled, crumble bacon into bite-sized pieces and set-aside.

In a bowl, mix together the greek yogurt, mayo, sugar and vinegar and stir well.

Wash and dry the broccoli florets.  Cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl/container (with a lid is a great option, to make storage/clean-up easier!) mix together the broccoli florets, the dressing, bacon, onion, raisins and cheddar cheese (if you are using it).  Mix well.

Place the salad in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, or longer, to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve and keep cold.

Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Kraft Kitchen (and from my friend NP!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Side Dishes

Coffee Cake Muffins

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It took CH approximately 28+ years to figure out that: (1) a Coffee Crisp chocolate bars do, in fact, have coffee in them (at the time, he disliked coffee and this was shocking to him), (2) coffee cake does NOT, in fact, have coffee in it (previously, a deal breaker on the suspicion of coffee alone), (3) coffee isn’t so bad after all, and (4) coffee cake is delicious.  CH is now quite happy with himself :)!

Growing-up I remember my Mom making coffee cake – she got the recipe from a friend at work and it was amazing.  A while back (while stocking the freezer for my pregnant girlfriend), I came upon this recipe from Melissa at I Was Born To Cook and it immediately brought back memories of my early days enjoying this treat – except this was a modern approach in muffin form, and a few less ingredients involved, so I gave them a shot.  As soon as I made these with my friend, I knew I had to make them again for CH because a) he loves all things cinnamon and b) he loves muffins, so I had a feeling this would be a win-win in his books.  And they were.

These muffins aren’t overly sweet – they have perfect balance and the layered approach definitely helps that.  I’d bake-up a few batches of these to have on hand in the freezer for an unexpected weekend guest or just to please a hungry-breakfast-seeking family member.

Enjoy!

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Coffee Cake Muffins

Yield:  12 muffins
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  20-30 minutes

Ingredients for the Muffins:

  • 5 TBSP butter, melted, divided into 2 TBSP and 3 TBSP
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or cashews
  • 2 TBSP butter (from divided amounts above)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients together, along with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking powder.

In a third bowl, mix milk, egg and remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter together.  Whisk until well incorporated.

Make a well in dry ingredients, add wet to it, and blend. Fold until dry ingredients are wet, then add in half of the brown sugar/nut mixture. Batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but very moist. Add more milk if needed to achieve this consistency.

Spoon batter into tins, filling them about 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar/nut mixture on top. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe from I Was Born To Cook

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast

Barbacoa Beef for Burrito Bowls

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As I mentioned in previous post, our past 10+ months have been…well…different.  They involved a lot of cross-country flights (mostly on CH’s part), lots of Facetime, emails and phone calls.   But the biggest downside for CH, was not eating home cooked meals. His survival rested on one particular restaurant chain – Chipotle.  Thankfully there is one 2 blocks from his office and I am fairly certain they know his name and order by heart.  As his wife, I am grateful he eats so healthy and I won’t complain about his frequent visits here.  However, now that I am home and back in action, I need to fend-off the competition.  Thankfully, I have this ace of a recipe up my sleeve – Chipotle, you are no competition for me.

I’ve been making this for a while now – we hosted a fun summer party last year and had a build-your-own-burrito-bowl party.  I’ve made this for my Dad, my girlfriend with a new baby, my Mom and many more.  Every time I make it, it comes out with rave reviews and barely any leftovers.  I remember I even made it when we went camping – it was perfect because all you needed to do was re-heat the beef and you had an instant, delicious, non-camping food dinner.  CH and I disagree about the ratio of lettuce to rice to meat, mine being more of a salad bowl, his being more of a meat bowl, but hey, it works.

I am actually wishing as I write this that a giant burrito salad bowl was in-front of me…alas it is not, but it will be again soon! Definitely add this to your recipe roster, you won’t be disappointed (and Chipotle, well, CH says it was great while it lasted!).

IMG_1051 Barbacoa Beef 

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time:  45 minutes
Cook Time:  5.5 hours (mostly hands-off time)

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, most of the fat trimmed*
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce (4 makes it quite spicy!)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper  (generous amounts of both!)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 2 cups water

For Serving:

  • lettuce
  • cilantro-lime rice
  • black beans
  • pico de gallo
  • cheese
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • lime wedges

*Skinny Taste called for removing all of the fat – but I followed Sunny Side Up’s recommendation and left a little of the fat, as I agree it maintains the moisture in the beef better. 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Add garlic, onion, lime juice, chipotles, cumin, oregano, cloves and water to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until liquified.

Heat oil in a dutch oven over high-heat. Cut beef into 4 large chunks and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the dutch oven and brown each side.

Add the liquified seasonings and bay leaves. Put a lid on the dutch oven and cook in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the meat easily shreds.

Discard the bay leaf and shred the beef in the dutch oven. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.

Place the dutch oven over medium heat and cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

As stated above, serve with lettuce, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Recipe slightly adapted from SunnySideUp, originally from SkinnyTaste.

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Mexican