One of the things in life that I really excel at, seriously, I don’t even have to try – is making healthy things not so healthy anymore. But I am also dangerously good at convincing people (mostly myself) that the un-healthified meal in question is basically like eating plain lettuce.
The real moral of the story here is that for this ridiculous dialog to be happening, there has to be a sliver of healthy goodness in there. I don’t scream out, “HEY, IT’S VEGGIE!” when I’m shoving my face at Burgerville eating my favorite Spicy Anasazi Bean Burger. I usually know when to shut up and just enjoy it. But at least I don’t get the double bacon cheeseburger….
So anyways, this broccoli salad, yeah. It’s pretty good. No, we aren’t eating plain broccoli here, we are throwing on some creamy dressing and bacon. But broccoli is going to steal the show no matter how much we try to trash this up.
This is a riff on those broccoli salads you have at Bridal Showers, Summer BBQ’s, and the stuff you pick up for lunch from the deli counter. Since first making this, it’s been requested by Jordan for his work lunches several times. However, if you are bringing it to work, you may want to leave out the garlic in the dressing and those red onions out of the salad…Broccoli + garlic + onions can be pretty potent, if you know what I mean. Your call though, it’s really tasty either way!
Broccoli Crunch Salad
Serves 6 to 8
by Baked Northwest
for the dressing:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
for the salad:
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite sized florets (you can also trim and cube the stems for use in this salad)
8 ounces (about half of a regular sized package) bacon, cooked and chopped into bit size pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds (can substitute peanuts or cashews)
1/3 cup Zante currants (can sub dried cranberries)
1/4 cup diced red onions (optional)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1. Place all dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Base amounts on how thin you like your dressing. If you like a thicker dressing, add 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Like it thinner? Add about 2 tablespoons. If you want a sweeter dressing, add more honey, if you need a little zing, add some lemon juice! We eyeball ours and it comes out a little different each time, but it’s always delicious.
2. Place broccoli florets and all other salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl and top with dressing. Fold together until fully combined.
3. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
4. Toss salad before serving. This salad is great to make ahead and save for work lunches, but it’s always a hit at parties too!
Blackberry season is hands down one of my favorite times of the year. Around here, you pretty much walk outside and it’s free berries EVERYWHERE! It’s hard not to get a little giddy when you think of how much a bucket o’ berries would cost you from the store or farmers market.Nothing feels more like summer to me than picking blackberries. It’s almost always August, it’s HOT out, but at the same time you know summer is coming to a close, and you have to relish in the last few weeks. My blackberry picking love is hard to explain, but it really is one of my favorite things. Continue reading
I have never been a big Snickerdoodle person. Given the choice, I will always choose chocolate chip over a Snickerdoodle. It seems weird, since some of my favorite treats are churros, elephant ears…just about anything else with cinnamon and sugar. When I saw this recipe for gooey cinnamon squares, I knew I had to make them. And holy crap. They are like Snickerdoodles elevated to the highest level.
These portable (yet trust me, gooey) treats are perfect just about any time of year. Make them for anyone who loves a snickerdoodle…they won’t be disappointed. Even before I put these in the oven, I could tell they were going to be prettttty awesome.
The gooey part is key – when I made these the edges may have gotten a little crisp, so beware of that. Slightly under-baked is ok in this situation.
Per Usual, Smitten Kitchen just kills it. I have about 12398210938120 more of her recipes archived in hopes I can get to them all one day, so get ready for more.
Gooey Cinnamon Squares
from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
makes about 6 dozen squares
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup milk (I used nonfat)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. Make the cookie base: Stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 min. Add the egg and milk and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Spread dough into an even layer in the prepared pan; set aside.
3. Make the gooey layer: Whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer cream butter, 1 cup sugar and salt until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and honey mixture alternately, mixing each time until all ingredients are incorporated. Dollop over the cookie base and spread into an even layer.
4. Mix together the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the gooey layer. Bake until edges have set and center is still gooey, about 25 minutes. The gooey layer will rise and fall in the oven but will still be a bit gooey under the cinnamon crust when the squares are done. Let cool on a rack, for at least an hour, then cut into small squares.
This recipe will definitely be filed under the “fancy dinner salads” category. It’s simple, yet elegant…and tasty! I have never really liked kale…but I found some “baby kale” at the store and just went for it…There seems to be a lot of different types of kale out there, and I am by no means an expert, so please, if you know more, enlighten me…
I seriously can’t wait to eat this salad again (most likely for lunch tomorrow) and I’m wondering if I will like kale any other way…the pairing with the goat cheese, cherries, and dressing is just perfect.
Kale Cherry and Pecan Salad
makes 4 small or 2 large servings
adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
for the salad:
- 5 ounces (entire package pictured above) baby kale
- 4 ounces (about 4 medium-large) radishes
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup candied pecans, you can coarsely chop, but I kept them whole
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled and crumbled
- salt and pepper for topping
- for the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine (or apple cider) vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash kale and allow it to dry by spreading it out on a paper towel. Tear kale into bite sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl. If you are using baby kale, you can keep them whole if you like. Thinly slice radishes and add to the bowl. Add the dried cherries, candied pecans, and goat cheese crumbles. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. Whisk until smooth and the oil is well incorporated into the mixture. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss together insuring that all of leaves are coated in dressing. The salad is delicious to eat immediately, but is even better after its rested for 20 minutes, allowing the leaves to become tender.
This is THE salad dressing. It goes great on just about any kind of salad. I cannot tell you how many times I have dug through my email, trying to find the recipe that my mom has sent me on numerous occasions. It is so easy to make, very few ingredients, yet for some reason I cannot memorize this recipe for the life of me! Let’s hope this post helps it sink in more. I’m just relieved that now that I’ve posted it I’ll have easier access to it!
The classic salad for this dressing is a combination of pear, toasted walnut, and bleu cheese. Grilled chicken on top makes it a complete meal (if you aren’t vegetarian).
Last night, I didn’t quite have all of those ingredients, but I was close enough, and it was just as delicious: Asian Pear, candied pecans, and goat cheese, with the dressing drizzled on top. Honestly one of the most delicious and satisfying salads you can have!
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Makes enough for a salad that serves 2-4 (depending on if entree size salad or side salad)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- dash Salt
- dash Pepper
- Squirt of honey mustard
- Squirt of honey
- Use dijon mustard or grainy mustard instead of honey mustard.
- Add a clove of minced garlic if you are feeling a little more zesty!
Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper to a bowl. whisk until combined. While whisking, add in a squirt of honey (at least a tablespoon) continue whisking and add a squirt (again, about a tablespoon) of honey mustard. You can add more honey or mustard to taste. I used French’s Honey Mustard, although other brands will work. Just make sure it is REAL honey mustard, not the lighter colored kind you find at some fast food restaurants.
Here comes another winner from the Joy the Baker Cookbook…Biscuits. With Honey. And Goat Cheese. I don’t think I have ever seen a biscuit that I wanted more.
It gets better though. These have got to be the world’s easiest biscuits to throw together. I made them for the first time at Easter brunch, nervous they wouldn’t turn out or somehow be really difficult. But I made them in about 2 minutes. Didn’t even have to roll them out. Plop them in a pan and wait another 14 minutes until imperfect but delicious and flavorful bites of heaven come hot out of the oven.
I didn’t even put anything on these babies, and anyone who knows me will tell you that’s a big deal. I am the queen of adding tons of jam/butter/honey/anything to biscuits and scones. My only variation may be to go a little easier on the salt, as goat cheese already has a strong and delicious flavor.
So, do me a favor, roll out of bed, and lazily make these. I’m pretty sure you could make these while still being half asleep. I made a second batch the day after Easter just so I could use them to make leftover ham sandwiches with honey. Though delicious by themselves, it’s hard not to dream up the many ways you could go about eating these.
Whole Wheat Honey and Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits
from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 (1/2 stick) butter, cold, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
- 4 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
- 1 cup buttermilk, cold
- 2 tbsp. honey, plus more for topping
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Place a 10 inch cast-iron skillet (I used a round cake pan, things still worked out great) in the oven as it preheats.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With your fingers, quickly incorporate the cold butter and goat cheese until the flour resembles coarse meal. Some of the butter and cheese chunks will be the size of small pebbles; others will be the size of oat flakes. It’s all good. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Whisk together buttermilk and honey. Honey may not completely blend into the buttermilk, that’s okay. Pour the buttermilk into the well of the flour mixture. Use a fork to blend together the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated and no dry flour remains. Set aside.
Remove the hot pan from the oven and add 1 tbsp. butter. Swirl the butter around the bottom and sides of the pan until butter is melted and pan is coated.
Spoon batter by the 1/4 cupful into the hot skillet. About 6 biscuits will fit into the 10 inch skillet. Biscuits should have about an inch of room separating them, but will bake up to touch one another.
Place in the oven to bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until golden and tops appear dry and slightly firm. Remove from the oven. Let rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter. For a glossy finish, brush the biscuits with slightly warm honey. (I did not do this, but probably will next time)! They are incredible served hot out of the oven, but are still good for up to 3 days well wrapped at room temperature.
Ok, I hesitate to even post this, because it did not turn out as good as I wanted it to be. This is definitely one of those “healthy” alternatives…and yup, it absolutely tastes healthy. Not sinful healthy…Like the kind of healthy a mom is going to give to their kid and the kid will hate it. I suppose it is something you could brainwash your kid into eating though, maybe if the kid has never had the awesome coolwhip/marshmallow cream dip that is fricken amazing.
So why am I even posting this recipe, you ask?
…Because one day I’m guessing I will be that mom who tries to make her kid eat this.
Update: The dip (I am now thinking of calling it a ‘spread’) tastes better on toast or a bagel. Typical, right? Leave it to me to always find a way to erase any healthiness.
Cinnamon Almond Fruit Dip
- 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp low fat milk
- Fruit of your choice, cut into bite size pieces
- Place all of the ingredients except the fruit in a food processor and process until smooth. If the dip is a little too thick add another teaspoon of milk.
- Serve with fruit and dip in!
Makes about 1 cup.
Cornbread. So easy to make at home. Never, ever use one of those box mixes, from scratch is just as simple.
I secretly prefer my cornbread on the sweeter side – aka with tons of honey and butter. But this recipe is great, because everyone knows Ina would never screw up cornbread. You can secretly put honey and butter on it like me and it still tastes good.
Makes 12 large squares
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
- 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
- 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
- 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Delicious served with soups – especially chili.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with Honey Walnut Shrimp. I go to a restaurant, order it, get so excited, get it, first bite tastes great…then it’s all downhill from there. I find it too heavy, greasy, and rich. They seem to fry the shrimp in something weird and I always end up feeling gross, telling myself it’s not worth the pain involved.
Imagine the joy when I somehow came up with a lighter version. No frying, no heavy grossness. An added kick, while still being slightly sweet. Add some broccoli and brown rice, and you’re set for dinner super quick and easy.
Light Honey-Walnut Shrimp
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 1 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 lb. peeled, deveined large shrimp (26-30 per lb)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or cooking spray
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- sprinkle red chili flakes
- sriracha to taste
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts