Being Mrs. Pierce

Life as a wife, hiker, wanna-be chef, book-lover, traveler, and now, mom

BLT with Avocado Spread January 26, 2014

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The BLT with Avocado Spread recipe from Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix (which I continue to work my way through) is one of the cookbook’s simpler recipes, which made it ideal for a quick Saturday lunch at home. Already a fan of bacon, the addition of avocado to the BLT only upped my interest level.

 

Originally I had intended to make these sandwiches on MLK Day, but my plans for the holiday went awry when I passed out at my doctor’s office while the nurse was drawing blood. (I really do not like needles.) So the avocado I had bought, which was already pretty ripe, sat in the refrigerator for the rest of the week. It had a number of brown spots when I cut into it yesterday, but I was able to scoop out enough avocado to make the spread stretch over 3 sandwiches (2 for John, 1 for me).

 

With it being January, the store-bought tomato was not as fresh and flavorful as I would have liked (when are supermarket tomatoes fresh and flavorful, though?), but I did enjoy using romaine leaves from my brand-new CSA, picked up for the first time on Wednesday. Hooray for local, seasonal produce!

 

To lower the Points value of the sandwich, I used light bread and center-cut bacon, which dropped the PointsPlus value to 5, according to my calculation. I find center-cut bacon to be just as tasty as regular bacon, and I prefer to have fewer fatty, chewy bits. The light bread, however, did affect the overall quality of the sandwich. A richer bread would have elevated the sandwich above average. As I made it, the sandwich earned 3 stars. I enjoyed the avocado spread, but as John commented, guacamole or even plain sliced avocado would have been better. Neither of us like too much citrus with our avocado.  Yet BLTs are meant to be tinkered with, and the basic concept of this sandwich is a winner.

 

Comfort Food Fix recipes made: 6
Comfort Food Fix recipes still to make: 147

 

BLT with Avocado Spread

1 very ripe avocado
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 slices bacon, preferably nitrate-free
8 slices whole-wheat bread
4 medium leaves romaine lettuce
2 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced

1. Peel and pit the avocado. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning two or three times, to the desired doneness, about 8 minutes for crispy. Drain on paper towels.

3. Toast the bread.

4. To make the sandwiches, spread 1 tablespoon of the avocado mixture on each slice of toast. Place 2 pieces of bacon on half the pieces of toast, then top with a folded lettuce leaf and 2 slices of tomato. Top with the remaining toast. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich). Per serving, 8 PointsPlus.

 

Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw (New Recipe #88) November 25, 2013

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Back in September, I had to put my blog on hiatus during the back-to-school deluge of work. While I was not posting during that time, I did manage to keep cooking (for the most part), and I even tried out a number of new recipes (on the weekends). Many of the new recipes I attempted during that period were short on required ingredients and time, including the Hungry Girl’s Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw. Rereading the recipe two months later, I am a little surprised that I ever picked out this recipe to make! The word “Manwich,” if I were in a normal state of mind, would have kept me from reading any further in the recipe and certainly from actually cooking it. Yet cook it, I did.

 

The best part of the recipe, by far, was its quickness of preparation; the Sloppy Joe mixture was hot and ready to go within 15 minutes. I served the slaw on whole-wheat slider buns with Baked Kale Chips on the side. The recipe was not a successful one, however, as neither I nor John liked the flavor of the Sloppy Joe sauce, which unfortunately pervaded the entire dish. Even the presence of broccoli slaw, which I love, was not enough to save it.  We gave the recipe 2 stars, and I doubt I will ever make it again (unless addled by beginning-of-school-year-brain, of course).

 

Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw

8 oz raw lean ground turkey
One 12-oz. bag (about 4 cups) dry broccoli cole slaw
1 cup Hunt’s Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce

1. Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add turkey and use a spatula to break it up. Cook and crumble until browned and fully cooked, about 8 minutes.

2. Add slaw and sauce to the skillet and stir to mix. Continue to cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is hot and slaw has softened.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). Per serving, 3 PointsPlus.

 

Garden Tuna Melt (New Recipe #59) August 2, 2013

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A friend gave me a copy of Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix cookbook a while back. Despite being an enthusiastic fan of Ellie Krieger, the cookbook sat on my bookshelf, unused, for months. Last week, I spontaneously added it to my stack of books to take to Menard with the hope that I would finally sit down with it and give it the attention it deserved. Luckily, I did just that during my visit with my in-laws, and I find myself fired up to try a host of new Ellie Krieger recipes now that I am back home.

 

First on the list: the Garden Tuna Melt. I must thank my husband, John, for getting me interested in tuna melts. He occasionally orders them in restaurants, and every time he does I find them surprisingly appetizing. Ellie Krieger’s tuna melt recipe was interesting to me because of the addition of vegetables to the tuna mixture. It also was a relatively simple recipe, which I decided last night would be an ideal one to try after a day of car travel.

 

The recipe calls for very little mayonnaise (and an even smaller amount of Dijon mustard), so the tuna mixture was not very creamy, as seen below. Next time, I plan to up the mayo/mustard slightly in order to achieve a creamier texture.

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For my tuna melt, I followed the recipe exactly. For John’s, I doubled the amount of cheese and added a top slice of toast, making his a true sandwich. We both liked the tuna melts; I gave mine 3 stars and John gave his 3.5 stars (the more cheese, the better, apparently). The fresh parsley is a must in the recipe, as it provided a burst of fresh flavor in each bite.

 

Garden Tuna Melt

Two 6-oz cans or pouches light tuna in water, drained
2 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, finely chopped (2 oz)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, shredded (about 1 cup)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 TB mayonnaise
1 TB Dijon mustard
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 slices whole-wheat bread
4 thin slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese (2 oz total)

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, spinach, bell pepper, carrot, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, and black pepper. Place the bread on a baking sheet, divide the tuna mixture among the 4 pieces of bread, and top each with a slice of cheese.

3. Bake until the cheese melts and the edges of the bread are toasted, 6 to 8 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings. Per serving, 7 PointsPlus.