BLT Salad with Avocado and Garlic Butter Croutons

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I’m not much of a salad girl. I usually think that salads taste like rabbit food – I’d much rather have a bowl of macaroni and cheese or a great burger. But after a weekend of eating heavy food with my best friend Holly (she came to visit Boston from L.A. a few weeks ago), we realized we were actually craving salads. Bizarre.

So this was my version of a non-salad salad: a bacon, lettuce and tomato salad with avocado and garlic butter croutons. Check it out!

For this recipe, which makes enough for one salad, you’ll need:

2 handfuls of spinach

3 slices of thick-cut bacon, fried and broken up into pieces

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, diced

10 chunks of french bread

2 T butter

1 clove garlic, minced

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

First, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Then melt the 2 T of butter in the microwave and mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the melted butter and brush the garlic butter onto the chunks of french bread with a pastry brush (you can drizzle the butter, too, if that’s easier). Arrange the bread on a pan and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping the croutons halfway through.

Meanwhile, dice the avocado, cut the tomatoes, fry and breakup the bacon, and put those ingredients, with spinach, in a bowl. Grab the croutons from the oven once they look golden brown and throw them onto the salad, then dress it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Easy, (kind of) healthy, and delicious – a win, win!

Enjoy!

Orzo with Tomatoes and Spinach

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Jenni and Danielle will both say that I often open the fridge before dinner, look at my ingredients and then decide what to cook. Usually I try to use the items that will go bad the soonest because I don’t like wasting food. Creatively composing my own recipes is easier for me than looking through a cookbook because I don’t have to worry about the ingredients I don’t have!

Tonight I wanted something warm after returning home after running errands. Jenni had mentioned an orzo soup recipe that she found on pinterest which was my inspiration.

Ingredients:

1/2 C. orzo pasta

1/2 onion diced

2 Cloves garlic minced

1 C. vegetable stock

1 C. water

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 C. cherry tomatoes

1 large handful of fresh baby spinach leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

You will need one medium pot and a large saucepan. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Combine the stock and the water and bring them to a boil and then add the orzo. Cook the orzo for 9 minutes or until tender stirring occasionally. Most of the liquid will be absorbed by the orzo so draining is not necessary.

Meanwhile, in the saucepan, heat the olive oil and brown the diced onion and minced garlic. Then add the tomatoes and stir. I added about 1/4 cup of the boiling liquid from the orzo pot to help cook the tomatoes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted then add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the tomato/spinach/onion to the orzo pot and stir them together.

It turned out to be delicious — a perfect winter-time dinner.

Love, Hilary

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