Tag Archives: bacon

BLT Salad with Avocado

Easy BLT salad with avocado - gluten-free, low-carb, paleo

This salad couldn’t be easier, and because it borrows the classic flavors of a BLT sandwich, what’s not to love?! Trust me: you won’t miss the bread. My hubs who’s usually all “meh” over salads even likes it! And because there’s no bread, this salad is gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, low-carb, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant. (Assuming you use compliant mayo and bacon.)

You could also add chopped cooked chicken to this and call it a one-dish meal!

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Quick, easy Paleo snack: bacon-ranch cucumbers

quick easy paleo snack: bacon ranch cucumbers

quick easy paleo snack: bacon ranch cucumbers

 

Talk about a quick, easy Paleo snack: Three ingredients, and NO cooking of any kind!

On top of which, two of the ingredients are BACON! and this fabulous, easy, Paleo Ranch dressing. Which — trust me — once you try it, you are gonna wanna keep in your fridge at all times!

If you don’t like Ranch, homemade mayo would work well, too.

Already-cooked, chopped bacon is another thing that — IMHO — should always be on hand in the fridge. Especially since the best, easiest way to cook bacon means cooking a whole big batch up at a time is no more trouble than cooking a few pieces.

So, if you have those two things on hand, and you have a cucumber, you can whip this bad boy up in no time flat! Perfect for a snack, appetizer — or maybe just lunch! You could package the three ingredients separately, and pack them with an ice pack for a work lunch, school lunch, or picnic.

Oh you wanna go a little fancier? Sure, add some finely diced tomato, or some snipped chives or dill. Pump up the protein with a little smoked turkey or chopped hard boiled egg.

But for instant gratification, those three ingredients will do just fine!

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Eggs on avocado toast – easy, clean-eating breakfast or lunch!

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The moment I saw the photo on Pinterest of Simple Poached Egg and Avocado Toast at Pinch of Yum, I was hungry for this combo! But I thought it would be even better with a sprinkling of crispy bacon on top. Especially since I had some already-cooked bacon in the fridge. (Because of this: the best and easiest way to cook bacon.)
Better with bacon? Yep: I was right! The contrast of crispy whole-wheat toast, creamy mashed avocado, warm/runny egg yolk and crunchy bacon = heaven!
Poached eggs are a little challenging; her method makes them a bit simpler, but you could also just fry your eggs. My avocado was a bit too firm, so I added a bit of mayo to it. And then a dash of garlic salt, just cuz. Sprinkled on some fresh ground black pepper and a wee bit of thyme — totally optional, but pretty!
Now I wish I were going to be home for lunch tomorrow, because I am already hungry for it again!
Diet-friendly? Almost paleo (full-on paleo if you skip the bread); gluten free if you use gluten free bread for the toast; clean eating if the bacon passes muster; South Beach / low carb for maintenance level.

Really, truly, the best and easiest way to cook bacon!

best way to cook bacon

I’ve tried ’em all — stovetop, grill, microwave, and oven on a slotted broiling pan — but this method makes crispy, evenly-done, flat bacon with substantially less mess than any other method.

Here’s the summary:

  • use good quality, fairly thickly-cut bacon (I like Wright brand, at Dillon’s)
  • preheated 400 F oven
  • good quality cookie sheet: half sheet for 8 oz of bacon; full sheet for 16 oz.
  • cover the cookie sheet with aluminum foil completely; up the sides and around the edge, for the easiest clean up
  • lay the bacon on the foil, close but not touching
  • bake for 12 minutes, pour off excess fat (save it for another use), return to the oven
  • check every two minutes till done to your liking, minus a bit (it will continue to cook a bit after being pulled from the oven)

Clean-up consists of carefully draining off the rest of the grease, wadding up the foil and tossing it in the trash!

For more details, check out the original article from The Kitchn. (Photo from The Kitchn.)

Recipe Roundup: 12 Things to Do With Avocado

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Just rounding up a few avocado recipes. Because they’re so good for you!
Here are a few of my own, followed by others by trusted sources.
Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad, with my variations. 
(Note: it’s not the texture of guacamole; just the ingredients.)
Turkey-Bacon-Avocado Sandwich. The photo is from Pioneer Woman, and her recipe includes some fancyin’-up, like pesto, but really, I think a simple sandwich of turkey, bacon, avocado, Swiss or provolone cheese, tomato if you like, and a bit of mayo on some crusty whole-wheat toast doesn’t need a recipe — and is just the best sandwich ever! 
Hint: When eating at Jason’s Deli, order the California Club on whole wheat toast (instead of the standard croissant). Order it with steamed veggies on the side, and that is one guilt-free lunch!
And here are some others I’ve found around the web…
Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Chopped Salad (Can you tell I love avocado with bacon?) This looks so amazing! And inspired by a dish from a Salina, KS restaurant — Go, Kansas!
Avocado-Tomato-Mango Salsa, from AllRecipes: 5 stars and almost 700 reviews! This sounds like it would be great on fish, pork — or chips!
Kiwi Salsa from Simply Recipes
The top-rated Avocado Smoothie from AllRecipes.
Avocado Ranch Dressing, also via AllRecipes. (I like that site because you’re getting the opinion of not just one person, but hundreds.)
Avocado Egg Salad, from Pioneer Woman. (I’ve been meaning to try this forever. Gotta make it happen soon.)
And to finish off our avocado buffet: Chocolate (Avocado) Pudding, anyone? from HowSweetEats.

10 things to do with a bacon-weave

blt-from-savorynotes
My husband once wove some bacon together and draped it over a pork loin (yes, redundant, I know), but I had no idea that the bacon weave was a “thing.”
But it is. A little googling prooves that it most certainly is!
First, the most obvious {forehead smack} use: ensuring that every single bite of your BLT is bacony!
bacon-weave on a BLT
Food blogger SavoryNotes makes a mean bacon weave and takes a mighty-fine pic, above. (But a BLT on white bread — untoasted?! That ain’t right!) Her method involves whiskey and brown sugar. Hmm.
Lifehacker commenter JaySinn divulges his secret for a simple, single-serving bacon weave:

I find 2 slices and a microwave do the job nicely – cut the slices in half, then do a similar weave, but just three parallel and one perpendicular slice woven in the middle. Paper towel underneath and on top, into the microwave for 3-4 minutes and you get a nice crispy square of bacon, that is all stuck together in one easy to apply slice. The microwave method is much faster and you don’t have to drain the fat off while cooking as the paper towel absorbs the excess.

The Republic of Bacon claims the best BLT ever, featuring a bacon weave and chipotle mayo. They certainly have a brilliant idea on how to efficiently cut your bacon in half:
bacon package
Here are just a few of the other, dare I say, stunning things people have done with their carefully woven bacon…
A grilled bacon-weave turkey from BarbequeMaster:
Here is it topping an Easter ham, studded with cloves and glazed with a pineapple-juice/brown-sugar/7UP concoction, from the appropriately named LifeCandy:
The “baco” – a bacon taco – via This is Why You’re Fat (also appropriately named):
Bacon weave as a stand-in for pizza crust, via FoodBeast:
In the same vein, bacon-weave as a stand-in for bread, via the DailyBacon:
Have you heard of a fatty? AKA, “bacon explosion.” It involves bacon wrapped around sausage and, depending on the recipe, possibly other things. (Ah, America!) Most of the ones I’ve seen are really too grotesque for me to share here, gentle reader, but if you are made of strong enough stuff, you can find detailed instructions at Grilling24x7:
Things get curioser and curioser…
Bacon-weave-topped apple pie – via Is This Thing On?:
A bacon-weave salad bowl, also via FoodBeast:
And last but not least: Turtle burgers:
No, those aren’t actually turtles: the center is hamburger and the legs, heads and tail are hot dogs.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take some Maalox and lie down…

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Recipe

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Looking for things to do with summer’s last abundance of garden tomatoes? When you’re tired of BLT’s (is that possible?), this is one delicious way to serve up the same flavors with a twist.
This recipe is based on Ina Garten’s (aka Barefoot Contessa) buttermilk ranch dressing. I’m not saying I could improve on her: these changes were just made to accommodate my being short on fresh basil, my husband’s aversion to too much mustard flavor, and our taste for less salt in things. Also, I prefer the taste of yogurt to that of mayo, so I tweaked that proportion a bit.
I loved how it came out! I ate this salad or some variation of it for four days straight! I hope you’ll love it, too.

Recipe: Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
2 T. chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed (or 2 t. dried)
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 T. good olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
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3 small Bibb lettuces, cut in half through the core
   (or 6 hearts of romaine, cut in half through the core, or equivalent loose-leaf chopped)
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in large cubes, or smaller tomatoes thickly sliced
1 red onion, sliced (optional)
bacon, amount to your liking (optional, but highly recommended)
Place the green onions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, for the flavors to develop.
Arrange the salad ingredients on salad plates and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper if desired, and serve.
Serves 6.