Frisée Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing and Poached Egg

My expert gourmet sister said this is called a lyonnaise salad. She also pointed out that the lettuce I used wasn’t actually frisée, but whatever I used turned out pretty tasty!

I got (what I thought was) frisée lettuce in my bountiful basket yesterday and had no idea how to use it. After googling recipe ideas, I learned that frisée is best with warm, savory dressings. The recipe I ended up using comes from epicurious.com. You can read it here.

I followed every step exactly- I tore the lettuce into bite sized pieces.

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I cooked some delicious uncured Black Forest bacon cut into 1/4″ pieces.

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I finished the hot dressing with shallots and red wine vinegar.

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The part I was most excited about was successfully poaching an egg to top the salad with! The instructions in the recipe are very helpful.

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I don’t usually love salads, but this beast is SO GOOD! I will definitely be making this bacon salad again and again. It’s gluten and grain free and very simple to put together once you get the hang of poaching eggs. It would be delicious without the egg, too.

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Bountiful Baskets

I picked up my basket of fresh produce from the Bountiful Baskets food co-op this morning! Check out the goods:

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Vegetables:
Green leaf lettuce
Frisée lettuce
Yellow squash
Cucumbers
Red onions
Beets

Fruits:
Bananas
Green apples
Red pears
Pomegranates
Persimmons
Kiwi fruit

Getting a bountiful basket is like Christmas morning- you wake up really early and get a big box of surprises! I love that you don’t know what you’re getting until you show up. It’s a fun way to challenge yourself to develop new recipes and try new foods using local, seasonal produce. A few years ago, I tried curly kale for the first time because it appeared in my basket!

If you’re interested in getting an inexpensive basket of produce, check out bountifulbaskets.org to see if your area is served!

To purchase a basket, log onto the website on a Monday or Tuesday. The basket will cost you $15 plus a local processing fee ($2.50 in Las Vegas). You’ll choose a pickup location nearby, usually at a park or school. Pickup is always on Saturday mornings. I hope you’ll check it out!

My plans for this morning’s produce include:
Pear apple cider (with bourbon!)
Persimmon sorbet
Cucumber, red onion, and bean salad
Russian borscht (beet soup)

I’ll have to come up with some more ideas for everything else. Maybe a salad and some pomegranate dressing? Hmmm…

Creamy Chicken Pasta

I had to make this recipe a second time to share with you. I didn’t take any pictures or write anything down the first time around because I had no idea it would be this good! This pasta sauce is perfect over zucchini noodles or short pasta.

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Ingredients:
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbs cream cheese
1 cup shredded chicken (rotisserie)
Several slices diced salami (optional)
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Freshly shredded parmesan
(2 zucchini, spiralized or 2 cups cooked pasta)

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add sliced onions. Sauté for a couple of minutes before adding mushrooms and garlic.

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2. When the vegetables begin to soften, push them to the side of the frying pan. Melt butter in the pan and add the flour. Mix together to form the roux.

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3. Add chicken broth and white wine. Stir all the vegetables into the sauce and simmer to thicken.

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4. Add cream cheese, chicken, salami, seasonings, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and melt.

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5. Serve the sauce over spiralized zucchini or freshly cooked pasta.

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I think you’ll love this dish! The flavors work together elegantly to create a creamy pasta sauce that you’ll be glad you stayed home for! It beats most restaurant pasta sauces I’ve tried. Let me know what you think of it.

Salmon, Quinoa, and Veggies in 20 Minutes

Try this meal when you only have 20 minutes to get a balanced dinner on the table! Salmon cooks quickly in the oven, quinoa is a breeze to prepare on the stovetop, and veggies are sautéed to perfection in under 10 minutes. Here we go!

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Ingredients:
2 marinated salmon filets, 6 oz each
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 tsp + 1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic, divided
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
2/3 cup grape tomatoes

1. Place 2 salmon filets on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until fork tender. (I used Costco’s wild Alaskan marinated salmon)

2. While the salmon is in the oven, heat dry quinoa in a saucepan until hot and fragrant. Add water, chicken broth, 1 tsp olive oil, and 1 tsp minced garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Once the quinoa is cooking, slice the veggies. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper. Move around the pan for a few minutes until golden. Add a splash of water if the pan is getting dry. Add the grape tomatoes and 1 tsp minced garlic to the pan and continue to sauté for a couple minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. The salmon and quinoa should be done shortly after the veggies are finished. Split everything between 2 plates and serve!

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Spinach Artichoke Chicken Dip

This dip is made healthier by putting the cheese where it has the biggest impact on flavor- the surface! Cheese mixed into casseroles and dips doesn’t taste much different than yogurt or milk. Inside the dip, you’ll find a heaping portion of veggies, reduced fat cream cheese, greek yogurt, and a flavor boost from shredded chicken and Sriracha!

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Ingredients:
8 oz package of frozen chopped spinach
14 oz can of artichokes in water
2 oz cooked or canned chicken breast, shredded
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz low fat cream cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded lowfat mozzarella (or parmesan)

1. Thaw the spinach in the microwave and squeeze out all the excess moisture. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts. Drain the shredded chicken, if using canned. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the garlic in the hot oil for about a minute before adding cream cheese and yogurt. Stir until melted. Add sriracha, spinach, artichokes, and chicken. Stir to coat and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer the dip to a small baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

4. Serve with raw vegetables or flatbread for dipping… Or just eat it plain! Check out the nutrition facts for 1/4 of the recipe:

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With that much protein in so few calories, this snack will fill you right up!

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Paleo Spaghetti

Yesterday was a rainy day that begged comfort food- a perfect day for Spaghetti! I was excited to try out this great Italian spice blend, Spezia 11, from a tasting party last weekend. This fresh, handmade blend of herbs and seasonings is delicious on chicken, flatbread, meatballs, vegetables, and just about anything needing Mediterranean flair.

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The herbs made my spaghetti sauce outstanding!

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Ingredients:
1 summer squash, spiralized
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
6 oz ground turkey
2 tbs Italian seasoning (such as Spezia 11)
1/2 cup sugar-free marinara sauce (such as Victoria’s White Linen Marinara from Costco)

1. Sauté the onion and bell pepper in olive oil until softened. Add garlic and sauté for a minute more. Set aside.

2. In the same pan, brown to ground turkey. Once no longer pink, add the Italian seasonings. Add the sautéed vegetables back in. Stir in the marinara sauce and heat until bubbling.

3. Serve over lightly sautéed or raw summer squash. This sauce is great on regular spaghetti or zucchini noodles too!

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Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush is an eggplant salad dish popular in Turkey, Isreal, Egypt,
Syria, Lebanon, and other Arabic countries. In some countries it is used as a dip for pita bread, while in others it is served as a salad with tomatoes, onions, and a dressing of olive oil and pomegranate concentrate. This recipe is a basic version- you can spice it up however you’d like!

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Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs tahini paste
2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt

1. Bake the eggplant on a lined baking sheet at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the flesh is soft.

2. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and allow to cool. Scoop out the insides and purée in a food processor with all remaining ingredients.

3. Serve room temperature or cold with a drizzle of olive oil and vegetables for dipping.

Eat this as an appetizer, side dish, sandwich spread, or turn it into hummus by adding garbanzo beans to the food processor in step 2.

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Cauliflower Risotto with Peas and Roasted Mushrooms

I’ve used cauliflower as pizza crust and as mashed potatoes in shepherd’s pie, but I hadn’t tried “ricing” my cauliflower until yesterday. I’m happy with the result. Here’s a recipe for cauliflower risotto with fragrant roasted mushrooms, white wine, thyme, and peas!

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Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
8 oz package of mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped onion
1.5 cups frozen petite peas
1.5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs olive oil, additional in a mister
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Break the cauliflower into florets and process raw in a blender or food processor until it reaches “rice-like” texture. Do this in batches, or else your cauliflower might just turn to mush.

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2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice mushrooms and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil mister or cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

3. Sauté onion with olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the garlic after 3 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for a minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

4. Add the cauliflower rice, green peas, thyme, wine vinegar, and roasted mushrooms. Stir together and simmer for 5-10 minutes to bring the flavors together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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If you’re avoiding legumes, leave the peas out and add carrots instead. Enjoy this risotto with chicken or yummy Swedish meatballs like I did!

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Curried Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables! I made this curried version to serve with my Moroccan turkey meatballs this week. Try it- you’ll love it!

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Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 medium sweet onion, quartered and segments separated
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower and onion pieces on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

2. In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients to make a curry marinade. Pour this all over the cauliflower and onions. Stir them around on the baking sheet to coat well.

3. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning the pieces over once midway through. They are done when fork tender.

Yum yum yum!

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