Bacon Apple Salad with Brown Sugar Dressing

Becky's Bacon Apple Salad with Brown Sugar Dressing

Here is my Facebook status from last night, which drew a crowd of friends volunteering  to join the experiment:

“I really do think I could live the vacation life all year long. Sleep late, coffee & toast, to pool to read and swim, lunch, check email, etc., more pool reading and swimming. Happy Hour. Cook dinner or go out to eat. Relax some more. Bedtime. Repeat. Why aren’t we all on this schedule all the time? The world would be such a happy place if it were. I think it might even wipe out PMS.”

I’m on the sixth day of this schedule and I can tell you the world seems brighter, my heart seems happier and people, in general, of all shapes and sizes and ages seem especially adorable.  I think I may have discovered the cure for world peace.  Yesterday at the pool, with some sort of soft jazz playing in the background I looked up into a blue cloudless sky and, I kid you not,  someone was  sky-writing,  “God loves you. Jesus forgives you.”  I started wondering if perhaps I had stepped into the Christian version of the Truman Show.  But I’m going with it.

I have come to the conlusion that the cure for World Peace is for all of us to be on perpetual vacation. Well, that, and bacon.

I cooked up a mess of bacon from the remaining contents of our condo fridge this morning.  Bacon alone makes my normally laid-back husband want to dance me around the kitchen.  But I needed to make something lunch-worthy out of it.  I spied an apple. Lettuce.  Italian Dressing. Brown Sugar. Voila!  Bacon Apple Salad with Brown Sugar Dressing. Seriously,  how could this not be amazing?  Let me assure you it is!

And in keeping with keeping me out of the kitchen and at the swimming pool, it is also easy.  Enjoy it and visualize, “World Peace. God loves you. Jesus forgives you. Bacon is good stuff.”

Becky's Bacon Apple Salad with Brown Sugar Dressing

Becky’s Bacon Apple Salad with Brown Sugar Dressing

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 small head of lettuce or spinach, chopped (1 to 1 1/2 cups per person)

1 large apple, cored and sliced thin

6 pieces of bacon, cut in small pieces and “stir-fried”

1 t. bacon drippings

1/3 c. your favorite Italian Dressing

1 T. brown sugar

Directions

Divide lettuce into two salad bowls. Arrange apple slices over each.  Top with crumbled bacon, dividing evenly.  In small skillet put 1 t. bacon drippings,  Italian dressing and 1 T. brown sugar. Warm just until brown sugar melts, cool slightly then drizzle desired amount over each salad.

Variations: Try this vegan version of baconmade with wide pieces of coconut, liquid smoke, and soy sauce.  Add avocados, dried fruit or use crisp pears instead.

This was printed from:

We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com

The Title: Bacon Apple Salad with Brown Sugar Dressing

The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-eS

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Sesame-Pecan Salmon with “Avocado Goddess” Salad

If I were to find out this morning that I had to host a dozen execs for lunch today, this is the recipe to which I’d turn. It makes a beautiful and amazing-tasting one-bowl dish. Served with some warm crusty bread, it is all you need to impress your guests.

I invented this recipe when I married my husband eight years ago.  Greg is from the great Northwest and adores salmon. I grew up in Texas cattle country with a mother who thought all fish tasted like cat food. Needless to say, I never developed a fondness for food with fins. If I were served fish sticks as a kid at school,  I’d peel the breading off, eat that, leaving the meat for the disposal. Sad, I know.

It was for the love of Greg, and Greg only,  that I determined to figure out how to cook, eat, and hopefully, love fish.  This is the recipe that started my love affair with salmon. I served it to my pastor, Hugh Halter,  and he scraped his plate cleaning, calling it “praline fish.” The coating isn’t quite like candy, but it is just as hard to resist. Truly this recipe was my gateway drug to the pleasures of fish, and as I continue to blog my favorite recipes, you’ll discover this landlubber has come to embrace the fruit of the sea with gusto.

The salad is easy, too, with a dressing that just adds 3 ingredients (avocado, fresh lime juice, pepper) to your favorite Ranch salad dressing.

Becky's Sesame-Pecan Salad with "Avocado Goddess" Dressing

Becky’s Sesame-Pecan Salmon

Serves 2

2 pieces fresh salmon, skin removed

1/2 c. thick teriyaki sauce  (teriyaki sauce often has soy sauce in it that is made from wheat. Gluten free folks may want to make their own. Here’s one gluten free recipe.)

2 T. sweet Thai chili sauce

1/4 c.  toasted sesame seeds (these are cheaper and come in larger containers on the Asian aisles of most grocery stores)

1/4 c. pecans,  chopped to about the consistency of Grapenuts in food processor or blender

1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In one shallow wide bowl mix teriyaki and Thai chili sauce.  In other similar bowl, mix sesame seeds and ground pecans.  Coat both pieces of fish with sauce on all sides, then do the same with the seed-nut mixture.  Carefully lay in a square glass baking pan that has been generously coated with olive oil. Pour any left over sauce and nut-seeds over all.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is done.  (I prefer mine slightly opaque and moist in the middle.)  I also like to broil the fish (watching carefully) for just few seconds to give the topping additional thickness and crunch.

Avocado Goddess Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch Romaine lettuce, chopped

1 avocado, peeled and cut into thirds

1/2 c. Ranch dressing, any kind you like

1 T. fresh lime juice

1 t. pepper

Directions:

Put about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped Romaine into each of two large salad bowls.  (I use big wide pasta bowls.)

Take 2/3 of avocado and cut into slices, arranging evenly on top of the two salads.

Mash the other 1/3 avocado in a small bowl.  Add Ranch dressing, lime juice and pepper to this and stir.

Avocado Goddess Dressing

Using a wide spatula, carefully lay one piece of the cooked salmon on top of each salad. Drizzle “Avocado Goddess” dressing over all.

Vegan Options: You could easily make sesame-pecan tofu with slices of pressed tofu marinated in the teriyaki Thai Chili sauce mixture instead of fish and simply substitute vegan ranch dressing to make the Avocado Goddess dressing. This is a great dish for serving both vegans and non-vegans since it wouldn’t take much extra work at all to make both versions.

Chicken Option:  You can use this same technique with chicken tenders if you prefer.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Sesame-Pecan Salmon with “Avocado Goddess” Salad
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.com/2012/03/30/sesame-pecan-salmon-with-avocado-goddess-salad
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved

Refreshing “Lemon Drop” Berries, Walnut & Greens Salad

Not long ago, I enthusiastically wound up my Cuisinart salad spinner, a gift from my efficient salad-loving daughter. What I did not do was read the instructions, which I’m now guessing said something like, “Wait until the inner whirling colander comes to a complete halt before removing the lid.” If you remove the lid early in the spinning process, I can testify that you will immediately give your entire kitchen, including ceiling and floor, a certain lettuce-based Rain Forest look. However, if you use it correctly, a salad spinner is quite the nifty item to dry the lettuce mix for this recipe below, one of my favorite salads.

The “dressing” is mixed as you toss the salad, no need for a separate bowl.

Becky’s
Refreshing “Lemon Drop” Berries, Walnut & Greens Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 to 6 cups of early spring mix lettuce (rinsed, patted, or spun dry)
½ c. toasted walnuts or pecans

1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1/2 c. sliced fresh strawberries
Juice of one small lemon or ½ large lemon
Olive oil (about 2 T. or to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
Organic sugar (to taste)
(Blue cheese , feta, goat cheese or  Gorgonzola crumbles can also be added if you want a heartier salad.)

Directions

In a large salad bowl place the greens, berries and toasted nuts. Squeeze juice of one small lemon over all. Toss. Sprinkle the leaves with sea salt and sugar to taste.  (Hint from professional chefs: salad always tastes better and you use less dressing if you lightly salt the greens just before serving.) Toss. Finally squiggle about 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil. (My good friend Lucille gave me a bottle of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil featured in the picture- so good in this recipe!) Toss gently again. This is a taste-as-you-go salad. The dressing should taste sweet & sour — like lemonade or “lemon drops” — with just enough salt and olive oil to make it savory.

This salad is a light go-to side dish that goes especially well with heavier main dishes. Once you get the method down, it is also one of the fastest, easiest salads you can throw together – and everyone loves it!  Try using sliced green or red apples or sliced peaches in place place of berries, for a salad that refreshes in all seasons.

I made a huge version of this salad on a big oval platter fothe holiday. Not a drop of salad left, and it was so beautiful. Looked like a Spring garden! Added some goat cheese to this version. Yum!

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Refreshing “Lemon Drop” Berries, Walnut & Greens Salad
The URL: https://welaughwecrywecook.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/refreshing-lemon-drop-apple-walnut-greens-salad/
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved