By 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 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!
Muscadines are a southern favorite, y’all! They’re the grape of the south, most famous for being the base for sweet, muscadine wine. I had the opportunity to partner with the North Carolina Muscadine Association to learn the whole process— from vine to wine! I spent the day in Monroe, North Carolina, at Treehouse Vineyards with the Nordans who have made muscadines the family business….They are incredible people and so committed to creating not just a great product– but an entire muscadine experience at their vineyard.
More pics and recipes to come later, y’all! This salsa is to die for….combining the sweet muscadines with the spicy jalapenos and the smokiness of the corn is slam dunk delish!
You know by now that as Resident Bacon Babe, I normally opt for fatty pork for breakfast….BUT, my dude is sick with some sort of cold/upper respiratory thing so I decided to make him a delish smoothie to help flush out the crud. Poor guy couldn’t really taste anything, but I did, and this is pretty freaking awesome. Maybe even enough to convince me to give up my bacon a couple days a week. I added a Tb of coconut oil for the countless medicinal properties….you could also add some spinach for green effect, but I didn’t have any in the fridge.
And notice the multiple uses for the mason jar….Just this weekend I was sipping a big ‘ol margarita while painting our living room! Another reason for the uh, DETOX necessity!
Blackberry Ginger Detox Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 heaping Tb fresh ginger (I like using the tubes of Gourmet Garden)
- 1 apple peeled and quartered
- 1 Tb coconut oil
- 1/2 cup apple or fruit juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup ice
- Put everything in a blender and puree into a delish smoothie!
It’s as naughty as it looks. I mean, Nutella and cream cheese and graham cracker crunchiness and butter and chocolate drizzled? #carbcomaneverlookedsogood. This was part of my “grilled cheese duet” that I served last weekend until I ran out of food. ) :
I used those mini Hawaiian sweet rolls (Kings brand) but you can just use small, soft dinner rolls, or really any kind of bread you want. It’s the inside that matters, naturally!! The result is melt in your mouth delish, or as I like to say, “melty delish.” Make it. Eat it. And then go to the gym. Immediately.
Nutella and Cream Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Hawaiian Rolls or fluffy dinner rolls
- Cream Cheese
- Graham Crackers crunched up (but not crumbs)
- Chocolate Syrup
- Slather a layer of Nutella, cream cream cheese and some crumbled graham crackers inside the roll.
- Spread some butter on both sides of the roll.
- Heat up a grill pan with 1 Tb butter and place roll on pan when hot.
- Sear both sides until cheese is melty delish.
- Drizzle chocolate syrup on top before serving.
Make ordinary rice extraordinary! All you need is your favorite rice and a can of full fat coconut milk. Pour the coconut milk into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and add 1 cup of rice. Turn down heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes! Easy, gourmet delish!
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.
- 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
- Blend everything together in a blender or food processor. Serve chilled.
When I was planning the menu for my last cooking class, I wanted to showcase a simple, healthy dessert that would compliment the spicy Thai peanut sauce entree we were making.
Introducing: Coconut Mango Sorbet!
You don’t need an ice cream machine to make it– just a blender or a food processor. It’s super refreshing and was a huge hit with my class. It’s easy to make ahead or in bulk, so you can keep dessert or a healthy snack frozen for the kiddos! There’s a hint of turmeric in this sorbet which accents the beautiful yellow mango color– and adds a really exotic flavor profile. Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants. DEEEEEELISH!
- 1 (16oz) bag of frozen mango
- 3 Tb coconut cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 Tb honey
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (Gourmet Gardens tube)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tb coconut meat
- shredded coconut and mint for garnish
- Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Put sorbet in the freezer until ready to serve. Top with shredded coconut and mint. (4-6 servings)
Mint and Veggies? Sounds weird, tastes delish.
I love roasting my broccoli– at a high temp, the edges get nice and crispy. I cut up the asparagus because it keeps it from getting soggy and retains that lovely crunch factor! There is a freshness and subtlety to the mint that really takes the flavor to another level of fabulous. This, from the girl who is not a big fan of vegetables. Time for
bacon broccoli (and asparagus and mint) y’all!
Broccoli and Asparagus with Mint
- 3 cups chopped broccoli
- 1 bunch of asparagus spears chopped in 1 inch pieces
- 2 Tb chopped mint
- 2 Tb olive oil
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 450
- Put broccoli and asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes until edges of broccoli are crispy and asparagus is slightly seared.
- Toss chopped mint on top of roasted veggies and enjoy!
I 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!
- 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
- 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.
- Stir in water and steak seasoning. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add parsley, chopped peppers, olives and kosher salt and stir to combine.
- Let stand for 3-4 minutes before serving.
The 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????