BLT with Spicy Avocado Yogurt Mayo

BLT Avocado Yogurt mayo

A BLT is an American classic.  The combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomato with a little mayonnaise and a crusty bread make the perfect sandwich.  A BLT is always my “go to” when I don’t know what else to order in a deli or diner, because it is not difficult to make; however, the quality of the sandwich is all dependent on the quality of the products you use.

Today I bring the sandwich to a higher level by choosing a whole grain sour dough bread, thick sliced bacon, and instead of mayonnaise, I made a spicy avocado yogurt mayo.  It is simple and delicious, and adds more protein to the sandwich to counteract all the carbs from the bread. Give this a try. . . . you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients:

16 – slices thick cut bacon
8 – slices whole grain sour dough bread
2 – large ripe tomatoes
Romain lettuce
1 – ripe avocado
¼ – cup fresh lemon juice
½ – cup plain greek yogurt
½ – tsp. salt
¼ – tsp. white ground pepper
1/8 – tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less to your taste)

Directions:

Start by frying the bacon in a large skillet until it is golden brown.  While the bacon is frying, let’s make the avocado yogurt mayo.

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit.  Scoop out the avocado and add it to a food processor (you can also use a blender).  Next add the greek yogurt, lemon juice, white pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.  If you do not like spice, use half the amount of cayenne pepper. Blend thoroughly until smooth and creamy.  Cover and set aside until the bacon is ready.

Spicy avocado yogurt mayo
Spicy Avocado Yogurt Mayo

You can make the avocado yogurt mayo ahead of time as long as you cover it well so that no air gets into the container.  

Once the bacon is nearly cooked, place it on a paper towel to drain.  In the meantime you can start to prepare the toast.  Slice the sour dough bread and toast it lightly.  Once the bacon and toast are done, it’s time to assemble the sandwich.

Spread a generous amount of the avocado yogurt mayo on both slices of bread.  Then place 4 slices of bacon on one half.

BLT

Next top it off with two large slices of tomato, and romain lettuce.  

It’s that simple.

Enjoy!

Makes 4 sandwiches




Chicken, Farro, Avocado Bowl

This chicken, farro, avocado bowl makes it easy to eat healthy. It has all the flavor and nutrition that you are looking for. You can easily get creative with this dish by using your favorite ingredients. A vegan version is also simple to accomplish; just replace the chicken with tofu or beans of your choice.

Start with a grain that you like. I chose farro, but you can use rice, quinoa, or couscous. Next, choose a protein such as chicken, beans, tofu, pork, beef, shrimp….anything your heart desires. However, if you want to keep it light and healthy, I suggest you use chicken, beans, or tofu. Add some sautéed or roasted vegetables, and top it off with a fresh garnish, such as avocado and/or homemade salsa.

The concept of the “bowl” reminds me of a deconstructed casserole. All the ingredients are put in one bowl and enjoyed together. It’s not baked like a traditional casserole, but it is just as comforting. My family and I like casseroles and “bowls”. They are not only fun and easy to eat, but they are also healthier than a traditional casserole, and delicious too.

Let’s get started. . .

Ingredients for farro:
2 – cups farro
1 – tsp. salt
1 1/2 – tbls. olive oil
1 – tsp. Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add salt and farro and cook until al dente or according to the package directions. Once the farro is cooked, drain it and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, herbs de Provence and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside until the rest of the meal is ready.

You don’t have to worry about the farro getting cold, because it is delicious at room temperature.

Now let’s make the chicken . . .

Ingredients for chicken:
3 – lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 – tsp. oregano
2 – tsp. chili powder
1 – tsp. corriander
1/4 – tsp. cayenne pepper
1 -cup chicken stock
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 – tbls. tomato paste

Directions:
Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet. Once it is hot, add the seasoned chicken and brown on both sides. This should take about 2–3 minutes on each side.

While the chicken is browning, mix the oregano, chili powder,  corriander, cayenne pepper, and chicken stock in a small bowl.

Remove the chicken when it is browned, take a fork and knife and shred the chicken into strips then return it to the skillet. Pour the spice mixture over the chicken and stir well. Turn the flame to medium low and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Next, add the tomato paste and mix through the chicken thoroughly. Continue to cook the chicken about 10 minutes more, then remove from the heat.

Chicken and spices

While the chicken is cooking you can prepare the vegetables.

Ingredients:
3 – zucchini cut into bit sized pieces
3 carrots sliced on the diagonal
2 – bell pepper diced
1 – jalapeño pepper
1/2 – tsp. salt
1/4 – tsp. ground black pepper
1 – tsp. oregano
2 – cloves garlic
1 – tbls. olive oil

Chopped vegetables

Directions:
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic cloves to a large skillet. As the oil is heating, let the garlic sauté and start to brown and soften, then add the chopped vegetables and seasonings. Stir and cook until tender crisp. Try not to over cook the vegetables. They should have a little crunch to them. When they are done, remove them from the heat and set aside.

Toppings . . .

Ingredients for Salsa:
2 – cups finely diced cucumber
1 – cup diced grape tomatoes
2 – tbls. finely diced onion
1/2 – tsp. salt or to taste
1/4 – tsp. black pepper
2 – tsp. olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Cucumber, tomato salsa

Slice two avocados to top off the bowl.

Assembly . . .

Start by placing about one cup of the farro into a bowl, add the chicken, sautéed vegetables, then top off with salsa and a few slices of avocado.

Makes about 6 servings.

Enjoy!




Guacamole

Guacamole, Avocado

Guacamole is not only for dipping chips, but it is also great as a condiment for tacos, sandwiches, or any Mexican dish. This is also a great summer time food. It goes perfectly at any barbecue or picnic. Add jalapeño peppers if you like a little heat.

Avocados are very nutritious. They are full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, and more.  Although avocados are high in fat, they are a good source of the heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid.  So you don’t have to feel too guilty about eating something so delicious…enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 – avocados
1 – medium ripe tomato
1/4 – cup diced red onion
1 – lime
1/4 – cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 – tsp. salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Tortilla chips for dipping

Directions:
I use a mortar and pestle to mix the guacamole, but if you do not have one you can use any bowl and a fork to mix the ingredients.

Using a knife, slice the avocado in half, length wise. Hold the fruit with both hands and twist until the two halves separate. To remove the pit, whack it carefully with the knife until it sticks into the pit. Hold the avocado firmly in your hand and twist the knife with the other hand. The pit will lift out easily.

Scoop out the avocado from both halves with a spoon and place it into the mortar or bowl. Add the salt and black pepper. Using the pestle or a fork, mash the avocado to the consistency you prefer. You can make it smooth or a little chunky. I prefer it a little chunky.

Now add the diced onion and tomatoes and chopped cilantro. Squeeze the juice of the lime over top and mix through the avocado.

Remove the guacamole from the mortar and place into a bowl or container. Cover completely with plastic wrap, placing it against the surface of the guacamole in order to keep out the air. Let it set about one hour to allow the flavors to come together before serving. Serve at room temperature for the best flavor with your favorite tortilla chips.

Enjoy!