BLT Salad (Bacon, Lentil, and Tomato) Crispy bacon and fresh tomatoes made healthy in a lentil salad with balsamic dressing and fresh thyme. Perfect for summer lunches. Yay for not having to turn the oven on! 4 pieces bacon, preferably thick slices
2 cups green or black lentils
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh)
1 pound small tomatoes

Slice the bacon into strips. In a medium skillet cook the bacon pieces until crisp, then reserve. Save a tsp or so of the bacon drippings for the dressing. Meanwhile cook the lentils about 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender.

Carefully add the balsamic vinegar, salt and thyme to the bacon drippings, adding a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Whisk the dressing, making sure to loosen any bits stuck to the pan. Remove from the heat and reserve.

Drain the cooked lentils and place into a large bowl. Pour the hot dressing over the hot lentils, and mix well. Let the lentils cool to room temperature.

Halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on the size. Once the lentils are cooled, stir in the reserved bacon and the tomatoes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Original recipe
Stacie's Curried Chicken Salad A favorite of teas and showers and girly events, this fruity chicken salad has a slight hint of curry in the dressing and lots of crunch from the celery, pecans, and apple. Easy to throw together ahead of time and makes plenty to share. 2 C cubed chicken
1 apple, chopped
3/4 C dried cranberries
1/2 C celery, chopped
1/4 C pecans, chopped
3/4 C mayonnaise (or 1/2 c. mayo and 1/3 c. yogurt)
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp curry

Combine chicken, apple, celery, cranberries, pecans, and green onion. Mix mayo, lime juice, curry, and toss with other ingredients. Serve as sandwiches or with crackers.

From: Stacie (via allrecipes.com)
Sour Cream Scones A slightly healthier scone that has a nice nutty flavor from the whole wheat flour. For early-morning events, make the dough the night before, shape it, and refrigerate. Then in the morning, all you need to do is pop them in the oven. Serve with lemon curd (homemade, it's really easy!) or butter. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (about 3 ounces)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine both flours and the next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Combine sour cream, butter, and egg in a small bowl. Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in currants.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6 to 12 times with floured hands. (Dough will be crumbly.) Divide dough in half. Pat each half into a 6-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut each circle into 6 wedges; do not separate.

*Note: dough can be made the day before up to this point and refrigerated overnight covered with plastic wrap.*

Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and cinnamon. Lightly coat top of dough with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Nutritional Information per scone
Calories: 175, Fat: 4.8g

From Cooking Light

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or spray a 1 and 1/2-quart casserole dish with either butter or cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, toss together the oats, half of the walnuts, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, the melted butter, and the vanilla.

Place the sliced banana pieces in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle about two-thirds of the fresh blueberries over the top of the bananas, then cover the blueberries with the oat mixture.

Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the milk as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the top of the oats.
Original recipe
Sumi Salad This sweet and salty coleslaw is a classic Cummings family favorite. Made with bagged coleslaw mix, it is really easy to throw together and makes a perfect side dish to teriyaki chicken. 1 large cabbage, chopped or one bag of coleslaw mix
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c. sunflower seeds, salted and toasted
1 packages ramen noodles - crumbled with no mix
Dressing:
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T. vegetable oil (you can add a tsp of sesame oil if desired)

Crush noodles in package before opening. Mix cabbage, noodles, onions and nuts in large bowl. Pour dressing on top and toss well.

From: Cummings Family

Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. (The batter will rise to double its volume, so keep that in mind when you choose the bowl.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes.

Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour, and beat until well blended and smooth. (Electric beaters do a nice job of this.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it stand overnight at room temperature.

Before cooking the waffles, preheat a waffle maker. Follow your waffle maker's instruction manual for this, but whatever setting is approximately medium-high should be fine.

Just before cooking the waffles, add the eggs and baking soda, and stir to mix well. The batter will be very thin. Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. Cook until golden and crisp.

Original recipe

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk well. Add the milk, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk to blend well, so that few (if any) lumps remain. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron. Follow your waffle maker's instruction manual for this, but approximately medium-high. There's no need to grease the waffle maker.

Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. We used around 1/4 cup. Cook until golden and crisp.

Original recipe
Green salad with Dates, Smoked Almonds, and Goat Cheese This salad has a lot of ingredients, but it is well worth the work. Smoked almonds and chopped dates add strong smoky/salty/sweet flavors to the crunchy lettuce, cabbage, and celery mix. Beans, chickpeas, and shredded precooked chicken provide protein, and crumbled goat cheese acts as a creamy accent. A simple red wine vinaigrette is included in the recipe, but feel free to improvise - just about any vinaigrette will do. Made ahead of time on Sunday, it makes for a easy, healthy work lunch and will last for nearly a week properly stored in the fridge. For a vegetarian version, just omit the chicken. Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded very fine
3-4 stalks celery, chopped

Toppings:

Cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/2 cup smoked salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce can chickpeas and/or 1 12-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Optional: 6 shallots OR 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Avocado

Dressing:

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey or fruit jam
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. olive oil


To make ahead: Mix the salad ingredients (washed and thoroughly dried) together. Store in large plastic containers lined with paper towels. Top with the finely chopped shallots or red onion, dates, almonds, and legumes.

Per serving: Toss with the goat cheese, top with chicken and/or avocado, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to taste

Whisk the jam/honey, mustard, and seasoning together. Add vinegar, stir well, and slowly add oil while whisking until emulsified.

Original Recipe


1. Scrub your potatoes well.

2. Bring (heavily) salted water to a boil and drop in your potatoes. Cook until tender - do not over cook. You can rinse the cooked potatoes in ice water to halt cooking. Halve and quarter them.

3. There are two options now. You can chill your cooked potatoes first - then fold your ingredients directly into the potatoes and serve or chill. This prevents the mayo and other creamy ingredients from 'melting' into the hot potatoes. The other option is to simply toss all the ingredients into the warm potatoes - and then chill until ready to serve (this is what I did). The last option is to fold all the ingredients into the potatoes and serve warm.

4. Chill your salad until ready to be served - or serve warm. We served it wrap-style in grilled flatbread - highly recommended. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper over top.

Original recipe

Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles Homemade pickles: crunchy, sweet but not overly so, and perfectly spiced with mustard and celery seeds, coriander, and a little turmeric for color. Even if you don't like store-bought bread and butter pickles, you might like these - they went quick in our house. Use as you would normal pickles - on a sandwich with mustard or plain as a snack. 1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cups sugar (or less)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (if ground, use 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed


In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and salt. Mix well. Cover the mixture with ice. Let stand at room temperature for two hours. In a pot, bring sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. You can store the pickles in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the fridge. They will begin tasting pickled in just a couple hours.

Makes 4 cups of pickles, filling a 1-quart jar

Original recipe

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