Summer Salad

When I was a kid, once a summer or so we used to block off the whole court, drag out the BBQs into the road and have a huge party. It was the greatest thing ever, with the neighbours offering up their pools to all us kids and all the summer BBQ favourites you could eat!

Even as a little kid, this recipe of my mom’s was one of my most looked-forward-to summer recipes. It was only ever broken out for special occasions, like the court party or a pool party at the neighbours, and I used to gobble up big plates of it every chance I got.

A quick google shows  tons of recipes for Broccoli Salad, almost all of them laden with lots of bacon and a cup or more of full fat mayonnaise. Which tastes fantastic, but isn’t so easy on the waistline. Tonight, with a washed and ready bag full of broccoli hanging out in my fridge just begging to be used, I decided to try and lighten up a traditional broccoli salad.

This salad is super easy, very quick and so yummy!

1 large head broccoli

4 slices bacon

2/3 cup 0% Greek yogurt

2 tbsp light mayo (I love Hellman’s light olive oil mayo)

1/2 cup light cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup raw pepitas (sunflower seed centres)

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Wash your broccoli really well; I like to soak all my hardy produce in a sink full of water and a cup of white vinegar when I bring it home, so everything in the fridge is ready to go when we want to eat it! Soak for about 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and store in the veggie crisper until ready for use. The only thing I don’t do this with is berries, as they’re so fragile they always seem to end up mushy and gross if they’re pre-washed.

Next, crisp up your bacon either in a pan on the stove top or in the oven and then dice it into small pieces. Side note – I recently discovered baking bacon in the oven and it is *fantastic*! Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and lay out your desired number of bacon strips on the pan and put it into a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 400C and leave for 17-20 minutes (until desired crispiness) and you’re done, all with no grease splatters!

To make your dressing – mix the yogurt, mayo, salt & pepper together.

Put the broccoli, pepitas & bacon into a big bowl and mix in the dressing until well distributed. That’s it! Even the medic – who was super skeptical, said it was yummy 🙂

broccoli salad

-J.

 

 

Worst Blogger Ever…

Yes, that would be me. I am the worst my friends…It’s been a hectic year for me (getting married, moving into my first house, adopting a cat, buying a puppy…) and my blogging has suffered something fierce! But I’m back with a new layout, and probably a few less photos (just to help with the time commitment). Inspired by my friend and colleague Abigail Keeso, over at That Clean Life – I am doing my best to eat a more clean and balanced diet (though I can’t resist baking up something bad every now and then, so don’t worry, the treats will still make an appearance!).

Today I’ve got three quick things for you – a summer BBQ dinner, protein granola bars & refrigerator oatmeal!

The refrigerator oatmeal is quite possibly the most simple thing ever. I am always short on time in the morning, and I would never eat breakfast if it wasn’t pre-prepared. The medic and I both take these for breakfast every workday so I make six (or more!) before the work week starts and boil/peel a bunch of eggs so breakfast is done for the week!

For one serving:

1/3 c oats of choice (I usually use Quaker quick cook which I buy in bulk; but whatever you have on hand will do*)

2/3 c milk of choice (we use almond; but soy, rice, hemp or dairy would work as well)

1/2 medium banana, sliced

1/2 cup other fruit of choice

Any other add-ins you’d like (mini chocolate chips, hemp hearts, ground flaxseed…the possibilities are endless really)

Put all ingredients in a mason jar, and shake well. Refrigerate until ready to use! Yes that is seriously the entire recipe. I initially mixed these up in plastic containers, but mason jars are just so convenient! I use them fore everything now.

Some of our favourite flavor combos: chocolate & nut butter (dark chocolate almond milk + hazelnut butter = NUTELLA oatmeal!), mango & coconut, strawberry & blueberry, apple & cinnamon…the list is endless!

refrigerator oats

*Steel cut oats will likely need extra milk and possibly a longer soaking time…I dunno, I’ve never tried them.

And now for protein granola bars (or cookies if you prefer):

1 c oats of choice (once again, Quaker quick cook for me)

2 thawed bananas, mashed (I freeze super ripe bananas to use in smoothies, muffins & cookies – they look horrible when the thaw but they work great for baking)

20 grams dried goji berries

20 grams unsweetened dried cranberries

30 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein)

Preheat oven to 350. Mash bananas in a bowl, then add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for five or ten minutes to let the oats soak up some of the moisture. If you use fresh bananas instead of thawed you might need to add a bit of some sort of milk to get everything to bind.

Drop the mixture onto a Silpat/parchment lined cookie sheet (or press into a parchment lined 8×8 metal pan) and bake for about 20 minutes. It’s done when the edges start to brown and the chocolate is all melty. Cool on a wire rack until you can handle them and package separately (using plastic wrap or snack size baggies) and freeze until ready for use!

IMG_1347

 

And finally – Naan Veggie Flatbreads!

These were inspired by my friend LeChing over at Maude & Phyllis (her cats are the cutest) and helped along by Abigail’s amazing kale pesto!

4 pre-made Naan flatbreads (or make your own…hm future blog post perhaps?)

1 small yellow zucchini, thinly sliced

8-10 white button mushrooms, thinly sliced

8-10 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced

120 grams light brine packed feta cheese

Kale pesto (from That Clean Life) – or sub pre-made pesto if you prefer

2 chicken breasts, cooked & sliced (optional)

Place a pizza stone on your BBQ and preheat over medium-high (if you don’t have a BBQ, this can be done just as easily in the oven).

Spread some pesto on each Naan flat bread, and then top with veggies, cheese and chicken (if using). Put each flat bread on the pizza stone until warmed through and the base is crispy. You may have to do these one or two at a time, depending on the size of your pizza stone.

I made mine with just veggies and cheese, and added chicken to the medics. You could go full on vegan with Daiya cheese (or something similar) and vegan Naan (like this perhaps?). Enjoy!

naan flatbread

 

-J.