Sunday, October 30, 2011

Carrot and Caraway Soup

I continued my current deli-style sandwich obsession this week with roast beef and Swiss melts with horseradish mayo and caramelized onions. Although those mammoth sandwiches were nearly a meal in themselves, I still wanted a satisfying side and in this cool weather, a hearty cup of soup was just the ticket. I'm in the process of trying to use up all my carrots in preparation for my first winter CSA pickup this week, and what better way to use a large amount up than soup? This basic soup becomes the perfect accompaniment to a hearty deli sandwich with the simple addition of deeply aromatic caraway, tying the flavors of hearty rye bread with the sweet carrots. It's easy to overlook the ubiquitous carrot, but these versatile root vegetables are equally delightful uncooked in light, fresh salads and chilled soups as long-roasted and caramelized with a hearty pot roast. If you've got a few extra minutes for some chopping, peeling, and occasional stirring, try making up a pot of this soup for a warm and hearty side.

Carrot and Caraway Soup
adapted from Bon Appetit, via Epicurious
serves 2

1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
12 ounces carrots, peeled, sliced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed in mortar with pestle
1 14-ounce can (or more) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 1 minute. Add carrots and sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add caraway and cook 30 seconds. Add 1 can broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 35 minutes.
2. Transfer soup to processor and puree, or remove pot from heat and puree using an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Honey Caipirinha

Being the enthusiastic locavore that I am, even when it comes my booze, I knew I needed to visit Old Sugar Distillery from the first time I heard about it. It's out of the way for me, only open three days per week, and was pretty crowded when my husband and I went some months ago, but all the effort and inconvenience was worth it to discover their delicious Honey Liqueur and the delightful Honey Cap, which I immediately sought to recreate at home. Although the Honey Liqueur might lead you to think otherwise, this drink isn't overly sweet, but an easy-sipping drink that can be enjoyed with sweet and savory alike, as well as on its own. The sweet honey and tart lime juice mingle happily with the honey liqueur, all seamlessly blended by the effervescent club soda. But, as the bartenders at Old Sugar Distillery will warn you, these cocktails go down extremely easily, so sip with caution as you enjoy this exquisite cocktail.

Honey Caipirinha
serves 1

1 lime, cut in half
1 tablespoon honey
2 ounces honey liqueur (I use Old Sugar Distillery's Honey Liqueur)
Ice cubes
4 ounces club soda

1. Juice one half of the lime and combine with honey in a glass. Cut the other half of the lime into wedges, add to the glass and muddle together with the lime juice and honey mixture. Add honey liqueur, stir to mix, then add ice. Pour club soda over the top, invert into a new glass to mix ingredients together, and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Enlightened Traditional Coleslaw

I have a tendency to get obsessed with concepts or ingredients and currently I'm in the midst of a deli-style sandwich tangent. I started by making Reubens, a classic and favorite that I've made many times before (and have also made into a pizza and dip), moving on next to pastrami, piled high on rye bread and blanketed in coleslaw. In my search for a coleslaw recipe worthy of my sandwich, I came across this fresh and tangy coleslaw recipe. While I do enjoy a creamy coleslaw, I often find restaurant coleslaws to just be sad, soggy piles of pale, mayonnaise-soaked cabbage, with perhaps a tiny bit of shredded carrot, and if you're lucky, a bit of black pepper. To balance the pastrami and Swiss cheese I sought a coleslaw that would add new dimensions of flavor and texture instead of just weighing down the sandwich. This recipe fit the bill nicely, with the crunchy vegetables and tangy yogurt-based dressing providing the perfect foil to the rich and savory pastrami and cheese. The dressing is sparing on this coleslaw compared to most, so you may want to increase the amount of dressing for a saucier, chin-dripping coleslaw. This coleslaw was also delicious enough to earn a spot alongside my monster deli sandwich, a refreshing and healthy side that I will happily revisit when next faced with a head of cabbage without a destiny, with, naturally, more experimentation with spices and other veggies.

Enlightened Traditional Coleslaw
adapted slightly from Bon Appetit, via Epicurious
makes 4 servings

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (from about 1/2 large head)
1 large carrot, peeled, coarsely grated
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon peel, and celery seeds in large bowl to blend. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Toss before serving.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tofu Salad with Sweet Pickles and Spicy Mustard

I am definitely a Wisconsin girl at heart-I love cheese, beer, sausages and almost anything beer-battered and deep fried. That being said, I also eat a lot of what many people consider "hippie"  or health food-tofu, whole grains, copious amounts of fruits and vegetables, all local and organic when I can get it, and I truly love those foods too (maybe this makes me a Madison girl at heart). In my opinion, too many people automatically dismiss tofu and never give it a chance when it is an amazingly adaptable and healthy ingredient. I'm definitely not saying tofu is ever going to satisfy a craving for a brat or cheeseburger, but there is a huge host of delicious dishes with tofu that can be immensely satisfying, just in a different way.

This tofu salad is a perfect example of a dish that while based on a tried-and-true classic (tuna salad), it is not pretending to be tuna salad in any way. Melissa Clark, author of the A Good Appetite column in the New York Times and cookbook author, created this dish while pregnant when she craved tuna salad, but wanted to stay away from mercury-dense tuna. Although I regularly eat fish, including tuna, the contrasting sweet and spicy flavors and texture of the tofu in this salad are immensely satisfying, and this a recipe I anticipate regularly incorporating into my diet and, of course, adapting many times over. In my book, one of the best barometers for a good recipe is that it not only produces a fantastic dish, but inspires the cook to experiment further, and this recipe succeeds on both accounts. While hardcore carnivores may not ever entertain the thought of trying out this recipe, I encourage you to take a culinary leap if you're not a tofu fan already, and just to chow down with abandon if you already are. That being said, I'll be watching the Packer game today with some homemade pizza and a cold Wisconsin microbrew in hand, but this tofu salad may appear on my plate in next few days, balancing out the indulgences of my weekend. I definitely live by the philosophy of "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

Tofu Salad with Sweet Pickles and Spicy Mustard
from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
serves 2

8 ounces tofu, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced sweet pickle
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
Sliced avocado, for serving
Dark leafy greens, such as arugula or spinach, for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine the tofu, scallions, mayonnaise, pickle, mustard, and pepper. Divide the salad onto 2 slices of toast and top with the avocado and greens. Sandwich with the remaining slices of toast and serve immediately.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

White Whiskey Punch

I am just as much of a locavore when it comes to my booze as my food. I am a devotee of Wisconsin craft beers, wine, and spirits and I was beyond delighted when I opened up the latest copy of Saveur and found a recipe that specifically mentioned Death's Door White Whisky, a delicious spirit I've had for months, but haven't used all that creatively. (I have also made countless gin and tonics with their exceptional gin). Admittedly, this cocktail is a bit more suited to summer, but each sunny sip is still a delight in this chilly fall weather. This unaged whiskey is perfectly suited to this cocktail, where the clean, smooth flavor of spirit blends seamlessly with the bright, acidic juices; a smoky, aged rye whiskey is better suited to classic cocktails like the Sazerac or Manhattan, or simply savored neat.

I obviously have a voracious appetite for recipes of all sorts, and I have been enjoying my recent exploration of the world of cocktails. Although I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite magazines, Saveur, the book widely-regarded as the Bible of cocktail recipes is The Craft of the Cocktail by Dale Degroff, the essential resource for cocktail novices and professionals alike. If you're enjoying the recipes I've shared during my initial foray into mixology, I highly recommend picking up a copy so you can experiment further.

White Whiskey Punch
from Saveur
makes 1 cocktail

2 oz. white whiskey, such as Death's Door
2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
Pineapple wedge, for garnish (optional)

1. Mix whiskey, juices, and syrup in a shaker with ice; shake to chill. Strain into a rocks glass with ice; garnish with pineapple.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crispy Kale-and-Tofu Salad with Coconut

I generally have a meal plan for the week and shopping list when I hit the farmers' market, but I still always allow myself to pick up an item (or two or three) on impulse, and on a recent trip, I impulsively bought a beautiful bunch of kale with no culinary destiny. While I love kale simply roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until crispy or as part of a hearty soup, I wanted to try out something new. With a package of tofu that had been lingering in my fridge for a while, I put tofu and kale into the recipe search at Food and Wine, my favorite website to search for recipes, and lucked upon this incredible recipe by Heidi Swanson, the author of one of my current favorite cookbooks, Super Natural Everyday.

Cripsy kale is a perfect textural contrast to the slighty chewy rice and tender tofu with the nutty brown rice perfectly complementing the beautiful toasted flavors of the sesame oil and coconut; the whole dish is made just fortifying enough by the perfectly browned tofu. I know many people think of tofu as merely something to carry flavor (which it does exceptionally well), but I have come to enjoy the inherent taste of tofu, which is a nice subtle complement to the rest of the flavors in this recipe. If you'd like to serve this to people who aren't crazy about tofu, I recommend eliminating the tofu and serving this as a side, cooking up the tofu (and another protein, like chicken, for the carnivores), separately. This dinner is surprisingly filling, and although the kale isn't quite as crispy, any leftovers will delight for lunch the following day.

Crispy Kale-and-Tofu Salad with Coconut
from Food and Wine
serves 4

1 cup short-grain brown rice 
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 1/2 pounds kale—stems and ribs removed, leaves chopped 
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 
1/2 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups) 

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. In a saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 35 minutes, until the rice is tender.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Transfer two-thirds of the dressing to a large bowl. Add the kale, coconut and tofu; toss to coat, then spread on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, until crispy. Stir once or twice and shift the pans halfway through baking. Return the mixture to the large bowl and toss with the remaining dressing and rice. Season with salt and serve right away.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

While many people are bemoaning the return of fall weather, I am relishing in the season, welcoming cozy sweaters, thick blankets, and hearty meals with open arms. Now that the appropriate weather has arrived, I have dived into my annual obsession with soups. I started with the savory and satisfying Cream of Broccoli Soup, moving on next to this rich and creamy cauliflower soup, which I served with a stick-to-your-ribs reuben, piled high with delicious corned beef. Potato and leek soup, has a strikingly complex flavor profile for such a simple recipe, so when I found a cauliflower soup that also used leeks, I knew that would be an excellent partner to my massive Reuben melts. This cauliflower soup is an excellent substitute for the typical sides served with Reubens like potato salad or fries, providing the satisfaction of those starchy sides while sneaking some vegetables into the meal. Even lightened up a bit, this still is undoubtedly a meal for those with a hearty appetite, like myself. The piquant corned beef is a pleasing contrast to the thick, silky soup, but the leftover soup became an especially delicious lunch the next day after the flavor profile had a chance to develop overnight. This simple soup provides an immense return for the little effort it requires to prepare, so treat yourself right and cook up a big pot of soup instead of just opening a can.

Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup
adapted from Gourmet (via Epicurious)
serves 4 as a first course, 2 as a main course

1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
1 (2-lb) head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Wash leek slices in a bowl of cold water, agitating, then lift out and pat dry.

2. Melt butter with water in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add cauliflower and leek and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower begins to soften (do not let brown), about 5 minutes. Add coriander and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add broth, milk, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Purée soup in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until very smooth, or puree in the pot (off the heat) with an immersion blender, thinning with additional stock or water, if desired. Serve hot.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Maple Old Fashioned

I am both a pumpkin and alcohol (in moderation, at least most of the time) enthusiast, so when I heard that a pumpkin spirit existed, and even more, it was from a Wisconsin distillery, I was instantly intrigued and determined to seek it out. A small bit of research led me to discover that the genius folks at Great Lakes Distillery and Lakefront Brewery, both in Milwaukee, had come up with the idea to distill the exceptional Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Lager into a spirit (over a couple of drinks, naturally). Already a devotee of this exceptional brew, the only pumpkin lager available in the world, I was further motivated to obtain this amazing spirit, which most certainly did not disappoint. Since there is no other spirit like this made in the world, I went first to the Great Lakes Distillery website for my inaugural cocktail recipe. Old Fashioned? Love them! And with maple syrup? Absolutely! Just as I suspected, this cocktail is an amazing (and boozy) taste of fall, but only for those who aren't just trying to hide alcohol in sugary mixers to get drunk, but truly enjoy and appreciate the taste of spirits.

Pumpkin Maple Old Fashioned
serves 1

2 oz Great Lakes Distillery Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit
1/2 oz pure maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
small disc of orange zest

1. Over a mixing glass squeeze orange zest through a flame to expel burnt oils into the glass. Drop in burnt orange zest and add the Pumpkin Spirit, maple syrup, and bitters. Fill glass with ice and stir for about 30 seconds. Strain into a small chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a orange zest spiral.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maple-Roasted Pork Spareribs

Ribs are one of my favorite foods in the world, but I've never attempted them at home, primarily because of the amount of time they take to cook, making them impossible for dinner on a weeknight. I've had a beautiful rack of Berkshire pork spareribs from Willow Creek Farm in my freezer for quite some time, and when I saw the evening Packer game on the schedule (allowing ample time for the ribs to cook), I knew it was time to finally tackle this long-postponed project. Willow Creek pork is some of the highest quality you can buy, so I knew I wouldn't do them justice with just a basting of grocery store barbecue sauce. When I found this recipe from one of my favorite recipe sources, Food and Wine, that included maple syrup (one my favorite flavors), I knew I had found a sauce worthy of this exemplary pork. While this pork would be delectable even on its own, the glaze hits all the elements of good sauce-smoky, sweet, acidic, and spicy, blending beautifully with the savory, juicy pork. The irresistable aroma will taunt you from the oven for hours, but the wait is all worth it when you sink your teeth into these sticky, delicious, fall-off-the-bone-tender ribs. If you've got the time and want to do game-day food right, honor your team by whipping up a batch of these spare ribs, grab a roll of paper towels, and dig in!

Maple-Roasted Pork Spareribs
from Food and Wine
serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup pure maple syrup 
1/4 cup tomato sauce 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
2 tablespoons light brown sugar 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
Two 3-pound racks pork spareribs

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup, tomato sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, set each rack of ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet, meaty side up, and season all over with salt and pepper. Roast the ribs for 30 minutes, shifting the pans from top to bottom halfway through cooking.

3. Brush the ribs with some of the sauce and roast for about 1 1/2 hours longer, brushing with the sauce every 15 minutes and shifting the pans occasionally. If the pan juices begin to burn, add a few tablespoons of water to the pans and scrape up any caramelized drippings; baste the ribs with the drippings. Remove from the oven.

4. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat source. Put both racks of ribs on 1 baking sheet, meaty side down, and brush with the sauce. Broil the ribs for 2 to 3 minutes, until glazed and lightly crusty. Turn the ribs, brush with any remaining sauce and broil for about 3 minutes, or until glazed and crusty; transfer to a work surface. Cut in between the bones, mound the ribs on a platter and serve.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Contrary to what this week's weather might have you believe, it is actually fall and for me, fall is soup season. While I did enjoy this brief return to summer weather, I found myself longing for true fall, when hearty soups like this one are immensely satisfying and I can indulge in my favorite fall flavors and types of dishes. The spice of the mustard seeds paired with the broccoli gives the soup true fall flavor, accented by subtle hint of brightness and acidity from the lemon juice, with the sour cream lending just enough creaminess to make the soup feel luxurious without becoming too heavy. If you have time for an extra step, I recommend roasting the broccoli for an extra dimension of flavor, but this simple collection of ingredients is already more than the sum of its parts. This soup serves two as main course alongside a side salad and a roll or slice of crusty bread (or Wasa bread, as I've done here) or four as first course or side to a sandwich. If you have any leftovers the next day, the soup takes on a new dimension as the flavors have been allowed to meld together and develop even further. Once the regular temperatures of fall return, dig out your soup pot and venture into the comforting dishes of fall.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
from Gourmet, via Epicurious
serves 2

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, sliced thin
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound broccoli, chopped coarse (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 cup sour cream

1. In a heavy saucepan cook the onion, the carrot, the mustard seeds, and salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is soft, add the broccoli, the broth, and the water, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is very tender.
2. In a blender purée the soup in batches until it is smooth, transferring it as it is puréed to another heavy saucepan. Whisk in the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, heat the soup over moderately low heat, and whisk in the sour cream (do not let the soup boil).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roasted Poblano and Corn Frittata

Although many people think of eggs only as a quick and cheap meal, I delight in meals centered around eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And because I love eggs (and veggies and cheese) so much, frittatas make frequent appearances on my dinner table. In this frittata rich, farm-fresh eggs envelop a beautiful melange of smoky, spicy poblanos, sweet corn, and salty cheese. Poblanos, particularly when roasted, are my favorite peppers and I can think of few better companions for them than fresh corn or cheese. This dish is equally appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and is still delicous the next day either on its own, or between a couple of pieces of bread as a sandwich.  Although most delicious during late summer when peppers and corn dominate the farmers' market, this is a bright spot in the dark days of winter when you're reminiscing about sun and warmth and craving bright flavors.

Roasted Poblano and Corn Frittata
serves 2

3 small to medium poblano peppers
Canola oil cooking spray
4 eggs
1/2 cup fresh corn or frozen corn, thawed
1 ounce queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat broiler and coat poblanos evenly with cooking spray. Place poblanos on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil, turning frequently until all sides of the poblano are blackened, about 6 to 10 minutes, although this can vary greatly depending on the strength of your broiler. (Alternatively, grill peppers on a charcoal or gas grill or gas burner). Remove peppers from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and place a towel over the bowl. Once the peppers have cooled enough to be handleable, remove the skins and cut into peppers into small squares.

2. Reduce oven to 450 degrees, with rack set in top third. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, add 1/2 cup chopped poblanos, corn, and cheese and mix well, and season with salt and pepper. Preheat a medium cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the egg mixture to the pan, using a spatula scrape the edges and bottom of the pan for the first few minutes of cooking to allow more raw egg to come in contact with the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook until the edges are set and but the center of the frittata is still runny, 4 to 8 minutes.

3. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake until frittata is set in the center, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, release frittata onto a cutting board; let rest 5 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fettuccine with Tuna and Garlic

Although I'm usually really good about meal planning and grocery shopping because I love shopping the farmers' market and searching for recipes, every once in a while there's an evening where I get home with absolutely no plan for dinner and a relatively empty fridge because we've gone through most of my farmers' market bounty from the night before. This recipe was my answer to that predicament one Friday night. I always have dried pasta and tuna in the cabinet and with a bit of good olive oil and garlic, it became a quick and healthy dinner. This recipe is a variation on a traditional Italian dish, and no doubt recipes for dishes similar to this abound. I love both garlic and parsley so I quite generous with those ingredients and would be even more liberal with the roasted red pepper flakes if I was cooking it only for myself. Quick to prepare and highly satisfying, this is a great recipe to keep on file when you're starving and need a quick and healthy meal. To round out the meal, add a nice side salad or other vegetable (I chose peas, a delightful pairing), and a glass of wine to treat yourself if it has been a long day (or week). Buon Appetito!

Fettuccine with Tuna and Garlic
serves 2

4 ounces whole wheat fettuccine 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
One 5-ounce can tuna, drained and flaked 
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cook the fettuccine in a pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes . Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and the tuna, parsley and crushed red pepper and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.
3. Pour the sauce into the pot with the fettuccine, adding enough of the remaining reserved pasta cooking water to coat the pasta with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, and Bacon Salad

Since we're due for a bit of summer-like weather this week, I thought I'd sneak in another salad recipe, though this one is decidedly hearty and a bit too heavy for the hottest days of summer. Carnivores will appreciate the moist grilled chicken and crispy, smoky bacon, while vegetable enthusiasts will delight in the fresh greens and the sumptuous caramelized broccoli.This salad has the flavors of a decadent baked potato without turning into a complete gut bomb, filling you up without requiring an immediate post-meal nap. This meal toes the line between healthy and indulgent, sneaking in some healthy ingredients for those who would otherwise turn their nose up at salad and allowing salad enthusiasts to spoil themselves a bit. For those of you in households with both the meat and potatoes and vegetable-lover camps, try out this delicious middle ground recipe and make everyone happy.

Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, and Bacon Salad
serves 2

8 ounces broccoli florets
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 slices bacon
1/2 small red onion, sliced
8 ounces mixed salad greens
2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salad dressing, for serving (I suggest ranch or honey mustard dressing)

1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees. Toss broccoli florets with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Cook until broccoli is caramelized and tender, tossing occasionally, for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of the florets).

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breast until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F, remove from heat, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Shred or slice into small pieces.

3. While the chicken is cooking, preheat a pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, flipping regularly, until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Once cool, break bacon into small pieces.

4. Meanwhile, wash and dry greens and chop, if necessary. Distribute greens evenly between two large plates, topping each with half of the onion, broccoli, bacon and cheese. Add the sliced chicken to the top, drizzle with dressing, and enjoy!