I’ve been all about the meatless meals lately. Summer seems like such a perfect time for that. I saw Jess Fuel make a white bean and basil spread and I thought it would be really good as a hummus alternative. I make baked falafel regularly so this was a perfect time to make a spread. It would be a good dip as well, but I used mine on a falafel “burger” as a condiment.
1 can white beans
2 cups basil
1 tbs garlic, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
In a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients.
Blend well, taste, and season with added salt and pepper accordingly.
This is so simple. The beans make it thick and hearty and the basil adds the freshness. I don’t know that it would be my go-to dip or anything, but I liked the flavors and love how easy it was. It was a great way to use fresh basil since it only has a few days of shelf life. It would be easy to customize with roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, lemon + mint, or adding cuke chunks and feta. I have to remember this when needing to make something cheap or easy.
For the falafel, I baked them like usual, but I made us each a big patty rather than a bunch of small falafel balls. I served them like a burger but with the bean spread, lettuce, and cucumber slices. These were good, but probably won’t be my go-to for falafel night. I think I still like them in a pita or wrap with feta and hummus. They make great little sliders for an appetizer too!
Have more basil? Use it for Strawberry Basil Sangria or Grilled Bruschetta Pizza or on a made-at-home sub!
Happy Friday! Since we’ve successfully made it though the week together, I figure this Avocado BLT a perfect ‘What I Ate’ addition since obviously you do not need a recipe for a BLT. Bacon + Lettuce + Tomato = delicious. I’m going to add a few special touches to an already awesome sandwich. (Check out How Sweet It Is’ Avo BLT from this week too!)
The BLT is a perfect I-ate-some-pretty-bad-for-you-food-this-week option for the weekend,
or a breakfast-versus-lunch tie breaker,
or I-don’t-like-traditional-breakfast-food. It has the perfect grease requirement for hangovers and the ideal fresh factor to make up for unhealthy indiscretions.
I think BLTs are perfect for a quick dinner or even brunch. They’re great on whatever bread you have, rolls, wraps, biscuits, flatbread, bagels, pita pockets, anything!
I added some pesto aioli and some avocado. Perfection! Mix up some mayo and some pre-made pesto. Also, if you refer to it as aioli, even people who think they don’t like mayo will be alllll about it.
I grilled the bacon in a criss-cross lattice pattern. Bacon in every bite! I like it suuuuper crispy but bacon in any form is perfect.
Layer it up! I like it in the order of B then L then T. I added avocado to make it more special, filling, and creamy.
I think there are tons of fun ways to keep a BLT interesting. I think a salad-y wrap would be good too. Maybe the lettuce and tomato in chunks mixed with ranch, avocado, and bacon! Ooo. Yum! A BLT grilled cheese would be delicious right about now. Or maybe a BLT with fried egg on ciabatta! I’ve made BLT pizza (which was to die for). Just goes to show you, BLTs are great inspiration.
What do you do to keep sandwiches interesting? Any BLT variations I should try next?
Two words. BACON JAM.
Yes, I jumped on the band-wagon and now I’m pretty much the band-leader. Love at first sight. Why didn’t I know I needed to be able to spread bacon. I’ve seen recipes all over and just needed long enough to whip it up.
I adapted Closet Cooking’s recipe to fit my tastes to avoid it being too spicy and added some red wine…because why not?!
1 ½ -2 pounds of bacon
1 large (or 2 small) onions, sliced
1 tbs garlic, chopped
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 cup coffee
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup red wine
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Crisp bacon in shifts, removing when crispy at medium high heat.
Leave a tablespoon of bacon drippings to sauté the onions. When they start to get translucent, add the garlic.
Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, then add the coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and wine. Add in the bacon.
Reduce the temperature to low and cook covered for an hour.
When cooled slightly and syrupy, process in a food processor until crumbled and spreadable.
Try not to eat it all in one sitting.
This stuff is seriously addictive. As in, it might disappear if you have a spoon too close to the jar.
Sis wasn’t a fan, but Mr. J liked it. It has some big time flavor.
Picture it: I made it late one afternoon on a Sunday. It was a beautiful day and sis came over for dinner. We grilled some cheese burgers and spread some bacon jam on them. Then I took one magical bite and time stood still. It was that good.
Ohh yeah, we ate some potato salad and a corn and tomato salad, but all I cared about were vehicles to be able to eat more bacon jam.
I was thinking I wanted to make salsa once my work event was over I was thinking not just any salsa. Something crazy! I haven’t made salsa before but I winged it and it came out good. I wish it was spicier but I wasn’t sure that would appeal to the crowd.
I also can’t say I actually knew how spicy it was going to be anyway.
5 tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (seeds and
2 garlic clove minced
1 lime, juiced & zested
½ pineapple, grilled
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp hot sauce
¼ tsp salt
Blend 4 tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
Add the jalapeno, then the last tomato, lime juice, lime zest, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and salt.
Grill pineapple 2-3 minutes per side until lightly charred.
Chop the pineapple and add to the salsa.
Let it sit at least 2 hours before serving.
Salsa was totally easy. I was worried after I blended the tomatoes. It seemed too pink but it was a good amount of liquid to add the chunks to. I like it super chunky so I left the pineapple really big chunks.
Any salsa tips for me next time? It was good, but maybe the next one can be great!
My sis was coming over for dinner and I was trying to think what would be a good idea for her first meal from my new kitchen. I thought of her love of chicken Caesar salad and decided to tweak it a bit. I made it into a pizza!
It didn’t come out perfectly but I’m still getting acclimated to my new oven. It went from not done to quite crispy in just a minute. I made the Caesar dressing earlier in the day and marinated chicken breast pieces in some dressing.
4 garlic cloves
2 tbs mustard
1 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs mayo
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs Parmesan cheese
Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, and mayo in a blender.
Slowly stream in olive oil and lemon juice until blended completely.
Transfer to a jar and mix in pepper and cheese by hand.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
1 pizza dough ball
¼ cup pesto
1 cup mozzarella shredded
1-2 hearts of romaine
2 chicken breast (marinated in Caesar dressing), grilled and sliced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stretch pizza dough out onto a greased and floured baking pan or pizza stone and top with pesto (I used sundried tomato pesto).
Add mozzarella and grilled chicken slices.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown (not torched like mine)
While pizza is baking, chop romaine and toss with dressing.
Allow pizza to cool for a minute or two and top each slice with lettuce mix.
I drizzled some dressing over the pizza since mine was overdone (and pretty dried out) before adding the lettuce.
I made some croutons just for fun by just toasting some bread cubes with olive oil and some seasonings.
Overall, it was good and I’d probably make it again. I have since tried an alternative pizza technique to ensure I get the crust crispy without massacring everything else. Stay tuned for that one and just wait till you see what our office Valentine’s Day Potluck was!