Quinoa and bacon, probably not two ingredients you see together a whole lot. However, I happen to think they make a great match! What does bacon not go with anyway? This is a beautiful and healthy, summer salad that you can make with lots of fresh ingredients for a picnic or barbecue. It also doesn’t have to be served hot, which makes it really easy for making ahead and transporting.
Watch the video for my tips and tricks to make this flavorful, southern summer salad!
Corny Bacon and Tomato Quinoa Salad
1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
2 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth (may sub water)
1 garlic clove, smashed
4 slices bacon
2 cobs of corn, shucked
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (may sub regular tomatoes, chopped and seeded)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Place the quinoa, chicken broth, and garlic in a saucepan over high heat. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp, and then drain all but a teaspoon or 2 of the drippings from the skillet. Chop the bacon and reserve for later.
Meanwhile, cut the corn off of the cobs, and add it to the drippings along with another teaspoon of canola or olive oil over medium heat. Cook the corn for 4-5 minutes until it begins to caramelized.
Turn the heat off and add the cooked quinoa, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, reserved bacon, lemon juice, and oil to the corn. Stir everything together until it is well combined. Serve this warm or at room temperature.
I just love this time of year, especially the fresh fruits and vegetables we get to enjoy here in the South. Fruit has been one of my biggest cravings during my pregnancy, and fresh, juicy peaches have been no exception!
In the Nashville area, we have this awesome thing called The Peach Truck, which brings ripe, delicious Georgia peaches here every week. You can check their website to see where they will be each day so you can try them out for yourself, their peaches are such a treat!
Check out the video below to see how to make my latest creation, summer peach blondies with a super simple caramel sauce for drizzling!
Summer Peach Blondies with Simple Caramel Sauce
Makes 9 servings
For the Peach Blondies
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
For the Simple Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray an 8inch (or 9inch) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix together the melted butter and brown sugar, and then mix in the egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are just incorporated.
Fold in the chopped peaches and pecans into the batter, and then spread the batter into the dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes (35-40 minutes for 9inch dish), until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of the blondies. Allow the blondies cool before cutting them into 9 squares.
For the Caramel Sauce
Stir together the brown sugar, butter, half and half, vanilla, and salt over medium low heat. Stir this until the mixture is creamy and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Serve the sauce warm over the blondies with vanilla ice cream.
If you have never made risotto, now is the time to give it a try! The recipe video below shows you the simple step by step process to making this creamy, delicious dish. I promise, once you give it a try, you won’t be intimidated by it any longer. It does take a little time, but it is totally worth it and super simple!
Cheesy Asparagus Risotto
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
1/4 cup sweet onion or 1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup Arborio Rice (found with other rice or in “Italian” section of regular grocery stores)
Optional: 1/3 cup white wine
3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lmeon juice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Meanwhile add the oil to a large skillet and cook the onions over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and rice, stirring for about 1 minute until the rice is coated in the oil.
- Add the white wine or 1 ladle of the chicken broth to the rice, and continuing stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Keep adding the broth one ladle at a time, allowing the liquid to completely absorb between each addition. Do this for a total of 20-25 minutes, until the broth is gone and the rice is creamy and softened.
- Place the asparagus in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Place it in the microwave for 3 minutes, and then add it to the risotto. Also stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and cheese.
- Serve the risotto immediately, enjoy!
Who doesn’t love a good burger on the grill? It’s definitely the perfect food to celebrate the warm weather. Instead of the usual fixins’ this year, why not change things up with some of my (easy) gourmet burger toppings! I’m also sharing 3 tips to for grilling burgers this summer, check it out!
3 Tips for Perfectly Grilled Burgers
1) Flatten the burgers with the bottom of a glass.
We have all experienced the “burger balls” that result from not flattening out your burgers correctly. My trick to even cooking patties is to divide the meat evenly, roll each section into balls, use the bottom of a glass to flatten them, and then press your thumb in the center of each patty. It’s super easy!
2) Keep it simple.
A little burger seasoning (my favorite is Bam Burgers by Emeril) goes a long way. No need to mix all kind of ingredients into the meat, the more you play with the meat the tougher it will be. Once they are flattened out, sprinkle each side liberally with your favorite seasonings.
3) Don’t over cook your burgers.
If you are in charge of grilling, be sure to watch them, and take them off the grill as soon as they are done! No one wants dried out, hockey puck burger, am I right? If you’re worried about keeping them warm, put the patties on the buns, and then place them back in the plastic bag that the buns came in, this will keep them nice and moist! …This was a trick our friends taught us, and it works wonders!
Now for those yummy toppings…
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet. Place 1/3 cup brown sugar in a shallow dish and dredge 8 slices of bacon through the sugar on both sides. Shake off the excess sugar, and place the bacon on the wire rack. Once all of the bacon is coated, sprinkle it evenly with 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Bake this for 20-25 minutes. The bacon will harden as it cools.
Slice up 4 sweet onions. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Place the lid on the skillet and cook the onions for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The onions will be a deep golden brown color by the end of cooking.
Garlic Grilled Shrooms
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Slice up 16 ounces of baby bella mushrooms. Place them on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Add 2 tablespoons of cubed butter and 1 minced garlic clove over the top of the shrooms. Sprinkle with a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add a splash or two of red wine if desired. Wrap the mushrooms in the foil, and seal the edges. Place the “packet” on the grill for 10 minutes, flip it over, poke a hole in the top of the foil, and then grill them for another 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup light mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons chili sauce (or ketchup), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon hot sauce.