Good morning! I have one more #CookoutWeek recipe for you this week, and a reminder to go enter the great grilling giveaway! You can find it on my #CookoutWeek post here.
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for a simple broccoli salad. I like broccoli salad with dried fruit and sunflower seeds and all that jazz, but I really love this one just for its simplicity. Plus, all the bacon.
I took this to a potluck the other night. I had my salad in a stainless steel bowl, and I put it inside another stainless bowl filled with ice. Worked well at keeping it cool in the heat, so I was less worried about having the mayonnaise sit out.
Cut broccoli florets into bite-size pieces. You should have at least 2 cups of pieces. Dice onion very finely (I use a food chopper for this, because I don't like big pieces of raw onion). Crumble or chop bacon. In a large bowl, mix together broccoli, onion, bacon, and diced cheese. In another measuring cup or bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before tossing again and serving.
Many, many years ago, I shared a favorite recipe from Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods Bible study, which I worked on when I was at LifeWay. It was high time to update this recipe with my own proportions and instructions!
We decided this summer to eat beans and rice once a week. My kids are so spoiled when it comes to food, given that we eat in the dining hall nine months of the year. They can pick and choose whatever they want, and definitely have never considered we or other people might not be able to afford meat or fresh ingredients. So this “beans and rice plan” has been a way to talk to them about people in other countries and how they eat. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt for us to eat meatless and save a few dollars, too. Mr. V and I love beans and rice and hope our kids can learn to love them.
(Verdict from week 1: David ate rice. Joshua ate one bite of avocado. Libbie found she could eat beans with a lot of rice and cheese, although she thought the texture was strange. I am proud of her for trying something new.)
Kelly’s original recipe calls for 4 whole cups of cheese on top of the beans. I used about 2 1/2 cups and our beans were swimming in cheese, so I think that’s plenty!
I realize the cheese increases the price on a beans-and-rice meal, but it’s a good place to start if you have kids who are scared of beans. I like these with avocado and sour cream, too, but they’re just as good as written (or with a runny egg for breakfast).
You can cook the brown rice however you like; I use Alton Brown’s method of oven-baked rice often, but the oven temps on this won’t match up. For this recipe, I used my brand-new Instant Pot to make the rice, and I was really happy with the texture and outcome! For brown rice, you use a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cup water or liquid and cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. It’s like magic!
I haven’t added most of these meals to my recipe archive, because I didn’t try them out or picture them. I found them at other places. But the Chile Sweet Potato Hash from Rachael Ray was one that I have made, often. Back when Mr. V and I were kidless, we ate this regularly for dinner, because it’s inexpensive and satisfying, and a nice mix-up for breakfast for dinner. I think I saw Rachael make it on “30-Minute Meals” once.
The only issue I have with this dish is the sweet potatoes. It’s difficult to get them to cook through unless you slice them very thin. I suggest slicing as thinly as you can. If they still aren’t cooking through, after your initial 10-15 minute cook time, change the heat to low, put a baking sheet or lid on your skillet, and steam them for a few minutes. Alternately, you could partially cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time in some boiling water. I may try that next time!
If you like heat, use hot breakfast sausage and throw in some cayenne or chipotle chili powder. If you don’t, this isn’t too spicy, but you can cut down on the chili powder if you want.
2 large or 3 smaller sweet potatoes - peeled, then cut in half lengthwise, then into half-moon thin slices
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 T chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro or coriander
1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper
eggs, cooked over easy
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When it's hot, add sausage to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage for about 3 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, onions, spices, and some salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently and continuing to break up the sausage, for 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.
Here is something small children and high-school boys have in common: if you say the word “quiche,” they immediately think “that sounds disgusting.” From experience, I can send the exact same quiche to Mr. V’s small group of advisee boys two Wednesday mornings. If he calls it egg pie, they will eat it. If he slips and calls it quiche, they pass.
So around our house, we call this, which is obviously QUICHE, egg pie. It’s a very basic one, because you know my children could not possibly ingest a vegetable during breakfast. Occasionally I’ll throw a few spinach leaves on top, but they will pick them off.
But for us, it’s a good dish that pleases everyone in the family. I’m happy because they kids are getting protein from the eggs; Libbie is happy because BACON. And everyone else eats it, too. (At 6, Libbie apparently joined in the bacon trend unknowingly. Girl loves bacon more than anyone I’ve ever met.)
First, you fry up a package of bacon and cut it into small pieces. It can still be a little chewy. I like to chop mine with kitchen shears into the pan and cook it like that. It takes a while, but I don’t have to mess with flipping whole pieces or anything. Then move the pieces to a paper towel to drain and cool off a little.
Next, mix your eggs, half-and-half, dried minced onion, and some pepper together. I don’t add salt because I think all the cheese and bacon makes it plenty salty.
Now shred about 6 ounces of block cheese – you want about a cup and a half. Shredding the cheese yourself makes it melt so much better, because it doesn’t have stabilizers and the cornstarchy stuff on it. I used Colby Jack for this pie but any version of cheddar or a nice, sharp cheese will work. Then stir the cheese and the bacon into the egg mixture.
Spray your pie pan with cooking spray or grease it, then fit the pie crust to the plate. I like to pretend like I will make my own, but I almost always buy the boxes of refrigerated crusts.
Crimp the edges of your crust so they’re not hanging down low, and then put the pie plate on a jelly roll pan in case of overflow. Pour the egg mixture into the pie. You may need to move around the bacon and cheese to make sure it’s all over the pie.
Loosely cover the pie with aluminum foil (just lay the sheet on top of it) and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until it’s not very jiggly. Wait a few minutes before slicing and serving.
This is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and roll out the pie crust onto it, crimping edges.
Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, dried minced onion, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in bacon pieces and cheese. Pour into prepared crust, spreading out the bacon and cheese so it is evenly distributed.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until center is no longer jiggly. Cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices and serving.
It’s certainly not that it’s BAD by any means! We love it here and gobble it up often. But sometimes it’s just fun to branch out, isn’t it?
I make something for my husband’s five dorm kids that he meets with every Wednesday morning for their meetings. I try to aim for breakfast food, since they meet at 9:45 a.m. I don’t think they’ve ever REFUSED cupcakes, but if they’re anything like I was in high school, they probably haven’t eaten any breakfast before class.
This week, I pulled out this egg bake recipe that I made when we were first married and my mother-in-law bought me a subscription to Simple and Delicious magazine. Back then, I was much more obedient and I am sure I followed the recipe.
Now, I’d rather take a simple recipe and make it a little bit better with my own additions. And this one I think I improved a lot with the easy add-ons of real milk, sour cream, salt, and garlic powder.
Bacon? Mmmm. Lettuce. Good. Tomatoes? Ick. And that, my friends, is why I’ve never had a BLT.
I’m always terribly embarrassed to admit that I don’t like fresh tomatoes. I’ve even been trying to make myself eat them this summer, in things like our Summer Bow-Ties recipe. Honestly, I hate that I don’t love tomatoes!
A summer food that I do love, however, is cucumbers. I came home with a bunch from the farmer’s market last weekend. And the only other person in my house who will eat them is David. (Raw cuke is a great teething toy!)
I’ve been using the cucumbers frenetically, trying to get in all their goodness before they go bad. I knew I wanted to make some kind of pasta salad with them, but it wasn’t until I looked in the fridge that I got inspired and tossed this Bacon, Lettuce, and Cucumber Pasta Salad together! Who needs BLTs when you can have a BLC? If you like tomatoes, you could of course make it a BLTC Pasta Salad!
2 c. shaped pasta, cooked and cooled (or rinsed with cool water)
2 oz. cheddar cheese, diced or shredded
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and diced
a handful of lettuce, torn
3 T mayonnaise
2 T ranch dressing
1 T vinegar (I used white vinegar)
salt and pepper
Toss together cooled pasta, cheese, cucumber, bacon crumbles, and lettuce. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, ranch dressing, and vinegar. Pour over pasta mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerating for a while before serving will help the flavors to meld, but the lettuce won’t be as crunchy. So it’s up to you and your texture preferences. You could stir lettuce in just before serving.