Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Broccoli, Bacon, and Almond Salad

I've made this salad three times in the last four weeks. I'm not the biggest fan of broccoli, but my husband loves it and I know it's good for you, so I've learned to like it (especially when it's mixed with bacon and the most incredible dressing!). What I love most about this recipe is that you can prepare all the main elements (broccoli, toasted almonds, crispy bacon, dressing) ahead of time if you want, making the actual delivery of the end result quite simple and extremely rewarding. Enjoy!

Broccoli, Bacon, and Almond Salad
From The Healthy Foodie
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Wait Time: 3-4 hours
Total Time: about 4 hours


2 heads broccoli, florets only, chopped (about 6-8 cups)
1 large apple diced
1 cup raw almonds, chopped and toasted
1 cup sliced green olives (optional)
3/4 cup raisins
4 slices crispy bacon, chopped

{for the vinaigrette}

2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup avocado oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped


The previous night, or at least several hours ahead of time, steam the broccoli over salted boiling water or cook it in the microwave in about a quarter of a cup of slightly salted water for 2-3 minutes, until it turns bright green and is slightly softened. Plunge the cooked broccoli in icy cold water to stop the cooking process and set it in a colander covered with a paper towel to drain and dry.

When the broccoli is completely cooled and dry, toast the almonds by setting them in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate pan, or in the oven, cook bacon strips until nice and crispy. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess fat. Reserve.

In a mason jar, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and shake vigorously. (Alternately, you may use a food processor or blender for this step.)

In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately or leave in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. This salad will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days in an airtight container.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wanderlust: Laos

Laos is not the first country that comes to mind when you think of the Southeast Asia region. There are no major historical sites or natural wonders. The landlocked country doesn't even have any beaches. But in a region that gets more and more inundated with tourism each year, Laos remains a country that offers genuine culture and authenticity. A rougher, less developed country, it doesn't boast the same luxuries you'll find in bigger cities or resort towns in neighboring Thailand. But if you're looking for a slower pace and a genuine experience, I hear Laos is a great destination.

Click on each image to view the source.