Category Archives: Salads and Sides

Cranberry Bacon Jam

unnamed-2Bacon.  Jam.  Now that’s my jam.  OMG.  Seriously, y’all, you’ll never go Smuckers again.  You’ll want to put this on EVERYTHING, from toast to tacos.  OMG.  Sweet, caramelized bacon meets cranberries.  You can make it without the cranberries and it’s just as (if not more delicious) but since we’re cooking with cranberries this week, it is a perfect addition to the bacon jam.  Enjoy!   To order the incredible cranberries showcased in my “What’s in Season” segment on AMHQ, check out Cape Cod Select who ships cranberries all year long!

Cranberry Bacon Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 pack center cut bacon
  • brown sugar
  • 3 Tb cranberry sauce
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 Tb sherry
  • 2 Tb butter

Instructions

  1. Lay out individual slices of bacon on a rimmed bacon sheet and press brown sugar into each slice from top to bottom.
  2. Cook at 250 for an hour, turning over at the half way mark.
  3. While bacon is cooking, chop onion in slices and cook in 2 Tb of butter in a saucepan on low/medium heat for 30 minutes until soft and caramelized. Add sherry and crank up heat until alcohol cooks off, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Once bacon cools, combine all the bacon, the onion and the cranberry sauce in the food processor and pulse until bacon is completely combined with onion and cranberry.
  5. Top onto sweet potatoes, or serve with turkey or beef.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/11/cranberry-bacon-jam/

Celery Gruyere Gratin and Roasted Radishes with Rosemary Brown Butter

Celery gratinWhen it comes to holiday side dishes, celery is like the wallflower of the party— barely noticed, while the big personalities like green beans and mashed potatoes take the spotlight.  But the normally overlooked celery takes center stage in this recipe, by Food and Lifestyle Expert, Chadwick Boyd and Josie’s Organics.  OMG.  Add some cheese and cream and prepare to be transported to celery HEAVEN.  Plus, it’s low carb!  You can see by the pic below that Chadwick’s recipes have transported me to heaven!

chadwick beets

Next up on the Veggie Hall of Fame: RADISHES!  I always think of the fairytale, Rapunzel when I cook with radishes…Remember, the poor husband who stole radishes from the witch’s garden to satisfy the cravings of his pregnant wife?  Then the witch took Rapunzel as his debt to her!  Well, this recipe has a happily ever after in your belly!  You will feel like stealing scarfing down these radishes when you taste them…

stealing radishes

I swear, a little roasting and radishes take on the flavor and consistency of potatoes.  Try them!  The rosemary brown butter is the finishing touch that makes them #meltinyourmouth.  OMG.

radishes

Celery Gruyere Gratin and Roasted Radishes with Rosemary Brown Butter

Ingredients

    For the celery
  • 1 bunch Josie’s Organics celery
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups low sodium chicken stock
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • For the radishes
  • 1 bunch Josie’s Organics radishes, washed, roots and stems/leaves removed and set aside*, cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Instructions

    For the celery
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Remove leaves from celery, wash leaves and place in a small bowl of ice water. Finely chop one rib of celery and place in the ice water with the leaves. Set aside.
  3. Trim ends of remaining ribs of celery and peel the outer strings with a vegetable peeler. Cut ribs into 3-4 inch pieces.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add olive oil and butter, allowing butter to melt slightly. Stir in garlic and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Place celery pieces into pan and pour chicken stock over them. Add salt and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and let simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the celery is just tender (use a knife to test).
  5. Transfer ingredients to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour cream over celery and sprinkle Gruyere evenly on top. Season with Kosher salt and pepper and garnish with sprigs of thyme.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  7. Remove reserved celery bits and leaves from water, pat dry and scatter on top.
  8. DRESS IT UP! Sometimes more cheese is a good thing. To make this dish a little richer and gooey-er, layer additional thin slices of Gruyere over the celery during the last 3-5 minutes of baking. Turn up the oven to broil and place the baking dish back in the oven. Remove when the cheese is melted and golden brown. Finish with the fresh celery bits and leaves before serving.
  9. For the radishes
  10. *Radish leaves tend to be extra gritty. Rinse thoroughly in cold, clean water and let rest on layers of paper towels to dry.
  11. Preheat oven to 425°.
  12. Toss radishes in olive oil and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  13. Place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cut sides just begin to brown and radishes are tender with a knife.
  14. Five minutes before the radishes finish roasting, prepare the brown butter sauce. You want it hot to wilt the radish tops.
  15. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat until hot. Add butter. It will immediately sizzle and foam. Stir with a wooden spoon for 4-5 minutes. The butter will begin to darken. Add rosemary. The butter will crackle and foam again and release the fragrance of the rosemary. Continue to cook another 3-4 minutes until it turns a beautiful, deep brown color yet not burned. Remove from heat.
  16. Place the radishes and leaves in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the brown butter and gently toss. Place on a platter. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Serve immediately.
  18. DRESS IT UP! If you’re planning a brunch or dinner party, you can easily double or triple this recipe to serve a large group of guests. The pinkish red radishes and bright green leaves look particularly stunning on a big white platter. They are sure to turn heads on your buffet or at the table. Different salts, like Pink Himalayan or truffle salt, are a great way to finish it off.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/11/celery-gruyere-gratin-and-roasted-radishes-with-rosemary-brown-butter/

Sauteed Red Chard and Roasted Sweet Baby Broccoli

Sauteed Chard

My friend and the fabulous food and lifestyle expert, Chadwick Boyd, is back in the Atlanta Plugged In kitchen this week, cooking up delish with Josie’s Organics.  How cute are we, by the way??!

chadwick chard

Today, he’s making Sautéed Red Chard and Lemon Baby Broccoli.  This is especially inspiring for me, because vegetables are the LAST thing I think about when preparing meals….I can’t tell y’all how many times I’ve sat down to dinner with JP and he’s like,  “Um, babe?  Did you forget to make a vegetable??”  Uh, yeah….I did.  I will not have that excuse again, because these recipes are ah-mazing!

broccolini

Red Chard and Roasted Sweet Broccolini

Ingredients

    For the chard
  • 2 bunches Josie’s Organics red leaf chard, washed, stems removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces; leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • For the broccolini
  • 1 bunch Josie’s Organic sweet baby broccoli, washed and trimmed; leaves removed, chopped and set aside for the gremolata
  • 1 lemon cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • For the gremolata
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest plus juice of 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup (packed) Josie’s Organics Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (add more to taste if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (add more if desired)

Instructions

    For the chard
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet to medium-high. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a few layers of paper towel.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic to skillet. Stir until soft, 1-2 minutes. Place chard stems in skillet. Stirring frequently, cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer stems to a dish or bowl and set aside.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chard leaves to skillet in small batches, stirring with a wooden spoon until they start to wilt, about 3 minutes. Pour red wine over chard and cook another 2-3 minutes until the wine begins to evaporate and the leaves soften completely yet remain green. Add stems, raisins and red pepper. Toss well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a platter and top with bacon.
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. For the broccolini
  6. Place sweet baby broccoli and lemon slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and slightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a platter or in a shallow serving dish.
  7. While sweet baby broccoli is roasting, mix together broccoli leaves, pecans, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper. Drizzle lemon juice and melted butter over mixture and mix well.
  8. Sprinkle gremolata over sweet baby broccoli and lemon slices, serve.
  9. DRESS IT UP! Sometimes an occasion feels even more like a celebration with extra fancy ingredients. Try swapping the pecans for Marcona almonds or macadamias. You can also quickly turn the gremolata into a baked crumble—just place the sweet baby broccoli and lemons in a deeper baking dish, generously top with gremolata, add a few pats of unsalted butter and pop it back into the oven until melted and browned.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/11/sauteed-red-chard-and-roasted-sweet-broccolini/

Pita with Skillet Freekeh, Cashew Mayo and Kale-Radish Slaw

freekehI had never heard of FREEKEH before, pronounced “FREAK-AH” (which I may or may not have been referred to after a few shots of Tequila back in the day, but I digress!)

Chef Linton Hopkins (from Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House fame) came on Atlanta Plugged In with some adorable kiddos to talk about fresh garden veggies.  I was blown away by the taste of this pita– and gave up my low-carb rule just to plow through one (or 3) of these pitas. I rarely post totally vegetarian recipes, but this one is FREEK-ING awesome!

chef linton

Pita with Skillet Freekeh, Cashew Mayo and Kale-Radish Slaw

Ingredients

    For the freekeh
  • 1 cup freekah
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • For the skillet freekeh
  • 1 cup cooked freekeh
  • 4 Tb olive oil
  • 2 Tb chopped parsley
  • 2 Tb chopped mint
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • 2 Tb orange juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • For the cashew mayonnaise
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tb lemon juuice
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup peanut oil (or neutral salad oil)
  • For the Kale and Radish Slaw
  • 5 large leaves of clean kale
  • 5 red radishes cleaned and trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tb sorghum syrup
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tb extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

    For the freekeh
  1. Bring water, salt and olive oil to a boil. Add the freekeh, stir and cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Reserve and keep warm.
  2. For the skillet freekeh
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet, spread freekeh in even layer across bottom. Heat the freekeh without stirring it in order for it to crisp on one side. Keep a steady watch. Once one side has become crispy add citrus and herbs. Season to taste.
  4. For the cashew mayonnaise
  5. Cover the cashews with water and soak for 8 hours. Strain. Place cashews, salt, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar into a blender and process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides after 1 minute. Remove center cap from blender lid and while blender is running, add oil slowly until incorporated. Transfer to a bowl or storage container and chill for atleast 30 minutes for the best texture. Refrigerate for up to a week.
  6. For the Kale and Radish slaw
  7. For the gastrique, combine the sorghum and vinegar in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat, chill and reserve. Cut the kale into fine ribbons (chiffonade) and cut radishes into matchsticks. In a medium bowl combine the kale and radish, dress with the gastrique, toss with olive oil and season to taste. For best results, marinate for 30 minutes prior to serving.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/11/pita-with-skillet-freekeh-cashew-mayo-and-kale-radish-slaw/

Grandma Ronnie’s Popovers

popover
In honor of “National Yorkshire Pudding Day,” I thought it would be the perfect time to share my grandmother’s signature recipe.  “Ronnie,” as she was lovingly called by our family, was the original culinary goddess…her roasts were legendary, and so were the popovers (or Yorkshire Pudding) that she made with them.  The key is adding some of the drippings from the roast to the batter– and then baking them until they are golden and popping out of the pan!  Remember to turn the temperature down after the first 25 minutes and then continue baking for another 15 minutes.  I have forgotten that little step before and then realized my popovers had deflated and wilted!  When they are baked to perfection, they stay “popped” in the pan after you take them out of the oven.

popovers

These golden gems are stand alone delicious, but the real food heaven happens when you drench them in gravy, in between bites of tender roast beef.  Just thinking about that decadent meal,  I am totally transported back to Ronnie’s kitchen in Connecticut, the rich smells wafting through the grand rooms of my grandparent’s house.  I used to lie on the kitchen couch (yes, she actually had a COUCH in her kitchen!) and watch her deftly wielding multiple pressure cookers while putting the finishing touches on her apple pie.  Ronnie LOVED to cook for a crowd (sound like someone else you know??)   I miss her every single day.  I just wish she had lived to see me turn into a great cook–  her passion for all things delicious continues to inspire my own culinary dreams.  I hope this recipe will inspire you!

In Ronnie's kitchen

In Ronnie’s kitchen

Grandma Ronnie’s Popovers

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Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • drippings from roast turkey/beef

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 450. Grease 12 deep popover cups or 15 medium muffin cups. With hand beater, beat eggs slightly, add mil, flour and salt and beat until just smooth.
  2. Add a tablespoon of drippings to each cup.
  3. Fill popover cups 1/2 full, muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Lower oven temperature to 350 and bake for 15-20 minutes longer until deep golden brown. Immediately remove from pan and serve hot.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/10/grandma-ronnies-popovers/

Peanut Butter Curry Dip for Veggies

veggie dipBy now, you guys know that I’m kinduvasnob in the kitchen.  As in, there’s a little bit of groan when I have to feature “somebody else’s recipe.”  But, I am in awe of another blonde culinary goddess in the kitchen….my new friend and kitchen partner, Sherry Coleman Collins.

sherry

Sherry is a registered dietician with the National Peanut Board, super Mom to an adorable 14 month old, and she joined me in the Atlanta Plugged in Kitchen to whip up some imaginative peanut butter dishes.  You’ll never go ranch again once you taste this dip….it’s the shiznittabam, just sayin’.  Stay tuned for more of Sherry’s showstopper recipes next week– and videos too!

Peanut Butter Curry Dip for Veggies

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients and chill 1 hour or more to allow flavors to marry.
  2. Serve with fresh vegetable crudité.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/10/peanut-butter-curry-dip-for-veggies/

 

 

Video: Low Carb Bacon Bowls Stuffed With Caeser Salad

bacon bowlBacon bowls?  Wha-what??  Oh yes, lovelies.  This is my idea of low carb perfection!  And you don’t need anything fancy to make them– just some bacon, tinfoil and a muffin tin.  The caeser salad is absolutely fabulous—  extra garlicky by design, but if you don’t want the kick, you can just cut down a bit on the garlic.  This is major delish– and major WOW factor if you’re serving dinner to guests.  Edible bacon bowls stuffed with caeser?  You’re welcome.

Low Carb Bacon Bowls Stuffed With Caeser Salad

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Ingredients

    For the bacon bowls
  • 3 slices of bacon for each bacon bowl
  • Muffin tins
  • For the Caeser salad
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 4 garlic cloves (if you don’t want it this garlicky, reduce to 2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tb water
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan (plus a little extra to top on salad)
  • Fresh grated pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Romaine lettuce

Instructions

    For the bacon bowls
  1. Take large muffin tins, turn upside down and coat with tin foil.
  2. Cut one slice of bacon in half and lay over first muffin cup. Put the second half over the first half so it forms an "X".
  3. Repeat with another slice of bacon cut in half so you have covered the outside of the muffin cup with a "bacon star."
  4. Wrap a third piece of bacon around the outside of the muffin cup.
  5. Repeat with more bacon for additional bacon bowls.
  6. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes (watch to see if they are getting crispy.)
  7. Take out of oven, slip bacon bowls off muffin cups and place INSIDE muffin tins. Bake for another 5 minutes to crisp up the inside of the bacon bowls.
  8. For the Caeser salad
  9. In food processor, blend egg yolks, anchovies, mustard, water, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. While food processor is on, add 1/2 cup olive oil to emulsify.
  10. Toss dressing with romaine and add cracked pepper and extra parmesan.
  11. Fill bacon bowls with caeser salad.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/07/video-low-carb-bacon-bowls-stuffed-with-caeser-salad/

Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup

avocado soup

I never have been a fan of gazpacho– to me, it kinda feels like you’re just eating salsa…but as the weather gets warmer, there’s nothing like a chilled cucumber avocado soup. Without the cucumber addition, the texture is thicker and you might as well be shoveling guacamole into your pie hole. (Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with that, btw). Love the fresh factor that the Cuke’s add!

This is a great soup to serve before a heavier meal– or if you’re doing a little spring cleaning and opting for a detox menu, it is filling and super nutritious. And, unlike most of my posts, (ahem, BACON) it qualifies as vegan/vegetarian, SHOCKER!

It kept well in the fridge for an additional 24 hours after I made it.  If you want a thinner consistency, just add more of the coconut “water” from the coconut milk can.

Cucumber Avocado Soup

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Ingredients

  • 2 peeled cucumbers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 avocados
  • 2 Tb coconut cream (the thick cream that floats to the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • 2 Tb coconut water (the residual "water" under the coconut cream)
  • 2 slices pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • 1 Tb fresh pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp salt plus more to taste
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Blend everything together in a blender or food processor. Serve chilled.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/04/chilled-cucumber-avocado-soup/

Roasted Pepper Orzo

orzoI don’t normally indulge in rice or pasta on my low carb/high fat lifestyle, but my man loves starchy sides.  I forgot about a box of orzo I had in my pantry and pulled it out the other night for a quick side dish.  Orzo is a form of short-cut pasta which has the shape and texture of rice….even better, it takes half the time to cook!  I treat it like a rice pilaf and kick the flavor up a notch with whatever’s leftover in the fridge some creative additions.

We had grilled a bunch of peppers on our ‘steak date night’ over the weekend and I needed to use them or toss them, so I chopped up a couple roasted poblano peppers and a roasted red pepper.  Toss in a few chopped black olives and your orzo goes from bland to BAM!

Roasted Pepper Orzo

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 box of orzo pasta (1 cup)
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1 Tb fresh parsley chopped
  • 2-3 roasted peppers chopped (roasted red pepper, poblano or your favorite)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

Instructions

  1. Preheat medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add butter to pan and when butter melts, add orzo to the pan. Stir frequently until browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in water and steak seasoning. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add parsley, chopped peppers, olives and kosher salt and stir to combine.
  5. Let stand for 3-4 minutes before serving.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/03/roasted-pepper-orzo/

 

No oil Avocado Dressing

avocado dressingThe biggest complaint I hear from people who buy salad dressings is that there are waaaaay too many “ingredients”– all the processed crap that keeps your bottled ranch tasting like, well, bottled ranch. Gross.  I love homemade vinaigrettes, but when I was asked recently by a woman in my cooking class to come up with a “no oil” dressing, I took on the challenge happily.  Avocados are sheer perfection when it comes to texture– for dips (hello, Guacamole!) even puddings (mixed with some sweetener and cocoa, it’s off the hook!) and of course, dressings.  There’s already enough healthy fat in avocados that you don’t need the addition of oil.  All you do need is a food processor to make no oil avocado dressing magic.  I used butter lettuce because it’s my fave lettuce, but you can mix with whatever you prefer– arugula, spinach, romaine, you name it.

You don’t technically need the hint of honey that is mentioned in the recipe– I’ve made it without, but I like the combo of the bit of spicy that comes from the fresh garlic with the subtle sweet finish.  So, vegans and vegetarians, the Bacon Babe CAN branch out with a veggie friendly recipe every now and again, eh????

No oil Avocado Dressing

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Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tb cilantro
  • ½ lime
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 squeeze of honey (about 1 Tb)

Instructions

  1. Combine in food processor or blender until smooth. Mix with your favorite greens.
http://whatsonparkersplate.com/2014/03/no-oil-avocado-dressing/