Roasted Carrot and Brown Rice Salad!

There’s a new salad in town, and I’ve been making it a lot. Like ‘three times a week a lot.’ It’s downright swoon-worthy for so many reasons, not the least of which is how beautiful it is! Feast your eyes on the Roasted Carrot and Brown Rice Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette and Spicy Pepitas!
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission. Your price remains the same.)

Gourmet But So Easy!

This salad has it all. If you’ve read my “How to Make an Amazing Salad” post you’ll notice I followed my own ‘salad making tips’ by giving this salad texture, color, flavor and warmth! I use tender baby greens, warm roasted carrots and brown rice, then add some spicy pepitas for a little kick!

The Pepitas: Make Them Yourself or Buy Them!

It’s fall y’all. I just had to toss some pumpkin seeds in this recipe! These aren’t ordinary pumpkin seeds though. They are drizzled in lime, tossed in cayenne, chili and other spices then roasted in the oven. You can make your own following the recipe below or if you are lucky enough to live near a store that sells spicy pepitas you can buy them. They are also available online (<—Amazon affiliate link)

The Dressing:

This stunning salad is tossed in a simple white balsamic dressing. It’s ‘barely there’ but makes all the difference by ramping up the flavor of each ingredient. I will offer my two favorite white balsamic vinegars, you can choose which best fits your budget. My first pick is always Prelibato White Balsamic vinegar from Italy. You may get lucky and find it in a store, but I almost always have to buy online. Second choice, O California White Balsamic. (<—Amazon link) I find this one in many stores and it’s a little easier on the wallet.

Put It All Together:

Savory, sweet, and spicy with a blend of textures, this salad is a must make! It’s perfect for every occasion or no occasion at all. Add rotisserie chicken to make it a complete meal or serve alongside my Citrus and Herb Roast Chicken or Steak Au Poivre.

 

The Recipe: Roasted Carrot and Brown Rice Salad!

What you need:  a good knife, a great sea salt, and parchment paper (to cover cookie sheet). You will also need white balsamic vinegar. My first pick is always Prelibato White Balsamic vinegar from Italy. You may get lucky and find it in a store, but I almost always have to buy online. Second choice, O California White Balsamic.

5 from 3 votes
Roasted Carrot and Brown Rice Salad!
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This salad has texture, flavor, and is visually stunning. A favorite salad any time of year!

Course: Salad, Salad Dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cilantro lime rice, roasted carrots, salad, side salads
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Spicy Pepitas
  • 1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ teaspoon   black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4  teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ancho chile or chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2  Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
For Salad:
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice cooked to package instructions
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal (1/8" thick)
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups baby greens
  • handful spicy pepitas (store bought or recipe included here)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives (optional as garnish)
Salad Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • pinch sea salt and a few turns freshly ground pepper
Instructions
Make Pepitas:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place oven rack in center position

  2. Place all ingredients together in a bowl, toss and then spread on a cookie sheet. Bake, shaking pan once or twice, until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes

  3. Remove from oven and turn heat up to 400 degrees and move oven rack to the upper third position. Set pumpkin seeds aside to cool

For Salad:
  1. Start cooking rice to package instructions

  2. After slicing carrots, place on a parchment covered cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, toss

  3. Place carrots in oven and roast until carrots are soft and edges are browned. (usually between 30-40 minutes. While carrots and rice cook, make salad dressing.

Salad Dressing Prep:
  1. Whisk all ingredients together and set aside

Put it all together:
  1. When rice and carrots are cooked allow a little time for them to cool. They can be warm, but not hot.

  2. Place greens on platter, drizzle with desired amount of salad dressing and toss. Top with rice, carrots and pepitas, toss again. Sprinkle with additional sea salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with chives (if using) Serve

  3. Save extra pepitas in a sealed container and use as desired

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Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grains Bowl!

We love True Food Kitchen. It’s one of our favorite places to eat. I always order the Ancient Grains Bowl. Sometimes I leave it vegetarian, other times I add shrimp or chicken, but one thing is for sure…I ALWAYS eat every last bite! I love it so much I wanted to enjoy this healthy meal at home, so I came up with a Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grains Bowl of my own!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl! #ancientgrainsbowl #vegetariandinnerbowl #truefoodkitchen #quinoabowl

The Grains:

I am sure True Food Kitchen makes their own combination of ancient grains but fortunately for us there are several ancient grain mixes to choose from in markets and online. For this bowl I used a quinoa, rice and chickpea blend I picked up at Whole Foods Market. They also carry a 7 grain lentil blend and Organic Super Grain Blend.  Trader Joe’s has an ancient grain blend as well. Any and all work well, so pick your favorite! Just note that the cooking time for each ancient grain mix is different, so plan accordingly.

Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl! #ancientgrainsbowl #vegetariandinnerbowl #truefoodkitchen #quinoabowl

The Veggies:

This beautiful bowl is abundant with vegetables: sweet potatoes, red onion, snow peas, and mushrooms, all capped off with a gorgeous ripe avocado. So much good in one pretty little bowl.

Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl! #ancientgrainsbowl #vegetariandinnerbowl #truefoodkitchen #quinoabowl

The Sauce:

The original recipe uses a miso glaze on the veggies. I skip the soy in my ‘copycat’ version and use a simple mixture of Sambal Oelek (a Thai chili paste), dijon mustard and honey. Just whisk together and you have an amazing sweet and spicy sauce that works well with so many dishes…like my Spicy Shrimp and Cauliflower Rice Bowl. After assembling your bowl, generously drizzle over the veggies and your meal is complete.

Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl! #ancientgrainsbowl #vegetariandinnerbowl #truefoodkitchen #quinoabowl

Put It All Together:

Voila! The Ancient Grain bowl in all it’s healthful glory! Colorful, nutritious, easy to make and best of all, delicious!

Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl! #ancientgrainsbowl #vegetariandinnerbowl #truefoodkitchen #quinoabowl

Optional Ingredients:

True Food Kitchen serves this recipe with a dallop of fresh pesto! I love this addition but it’s not mandatory. If you choose to add it, you can use store bought pesto or make my vegetarian pesto recipe. If you’d like to add protein, add some sliced rotisserie chicken or shrimp sautéed in olive oil.

Copycat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl! #ancientgrainsbowl #vegetariandinnerbowl #truefoodkitchen #quinoabowl

The Recipe: Copy Cat True Food Kitchen Ancient Grain Bowl!

Tips and what you need: ancient grains…my favorites are 7 grain lentil blend and Organic Super Grain Blend or Trader Joe’s ancient grain blend. A Thai Chili Paste called Sambal Oelek (<—Amazon link) provides the heat. You can also find Sambal Oelek  in the Asian section of most markets. As always, you need a good knife and a great sea salt! 

5 from 13 votes
Copycat True Foods Kitchen Ancient Grains Bowl
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

I love the Ancient Grains Bowl at True Food Kitchen so much that when I am not in California I have to make my own version! I love this one as is, but also sometimes add rotisserie chicken or sautéed shrimp.

Course: dinner, lunch
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: gluten free, grain bowl, roasted sweet potatoes, vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2"
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 servings ancient grains of your choice, cooked to package instructions (see notes above in blog post) You can also use straight up quinoa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (add more or less depending on how you like the heat!
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chives for garnish
Optional ingredients:
  • sliced rotisserie chicken or shrimp sautéed in olive oil, if you want to add protein
  • pesto, the TFK version contains a dallop of pesto. I love it, but it's not a game changer, so with or without is fine. Use store bought or my recipe link in blog post above
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place oven rack in upper third position in oven. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside

  2. Prepare potatoes and onion, place on parchment covered cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, toss. Be sure all veggies are glistening with oil

  3. Place in oven and set the timer for 35 minutes

  4. After potatoes and onions have been in the oven for 15 minutes or so, start cooking grains. The time it takes for the grains to cook will depend on which grains you buy, so be sure to check timing. Also, I find that many instructions on these grains are not spot on. My grains are almost always done before all the water is absorbed. If this happens to you, just drain the extra water using the pot lid rather than continuing to cook.

  5. While grains cook, slice mushrooms and chives. Whisk together honey, sambal oelek and dijon mustard, set aside

  6. When timer goes off, check potatoes. If they are almost done (crispy browned edges) add mushrooms and snow peas to pan and set timer for 5 more minutes. (If potatoes need a little more time, be patient, ovens vary, just add veggies when potatoes are almost done)

  7. Remove veggies from oven, divide cooked grains into two bowls, top with veggies, drizzle generously with sauce, leaving some in a small bowl to use as needed. Add avocado, chives and a dallop of pesto if using. Serve!

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Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

It’s almost fall, which makes for a tricky transition when it comes to seasonal eating. Fall produce is just starting to make an appearance on the grocery shelves but the weather still might feel a bit like summer. This meal is the best of both worlds: Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. Light, tasty, warm and comforting, and with a simple change of the fruit this meal works any time of year!
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission. Your price remains the same)

Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes #chickensalad #easydinner #sweetpotatowedges #rotisseriechicken

The Salad: Simple and So delicious!

Baby greens, chopped dates, shredded rotisserie chicken (or leftover roasted chicken), grapes, walnuts, Pecorino Romano and pomegranate seeds all drizzled in a homemade lemon poppyseed vinaigrette! Depending on the time of year you can sub out the pom seeds for raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries etc…whatever is in season.

Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes #chickensalad #easydinner #sweetpotatowedges #rotisseriechicken

The Sweet Potatoes:

The perfect accompaniment to this salad, these crispy oven baked sweet potatoes sure hit the spot…and the taste buds. Plus they are super easy to make and much healthier than restaurant fries! If you prefer white potatoes, check out my home fries here!

Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes #chickensalad #easydinner #sweetpotatowedges #rotisseriechicken

The Recipe: Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

What you need: a rimmed cookie sheet, unbleached parchment paper, and a good knife.

5 from 12 votes
Chicken and Grape Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
 

A delicious, quick and healthy meal made simple by using rotisserie chicken!

Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: #easy dinner, chicken salad, roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato wedges
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, separated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups baby greens
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 6 pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • handful pomegranate seeds, (or raspberries, blueberries, whatever is in season)
  • Handful plain or candied walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded pecorino romano
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place oven rack in upper third of oven. Place parchment paper on rimmed cookie sheet, set aside

  2. Peel potatoes and cut into wedges (thick side of wedge should be about a 1/2 inch thick)

  3. Place potatoes on parchment covered baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), toss

  4. Sprinkle potatoes with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, toss again

  5. Place potatoes in a single layer and pop in the oven, roast for 35-40 minutes or until edges are browned and crispy, turn once halfway through cooking

While potatoes cook, make dressing and prepare salad
  1. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, juice, honey, sea salt, pepper and poppy seeds

  2. Shred chicken and cheese, chop dates, slice grapes, prepare berries etc...

  3. Place greens on a platter, add all salad ingredients, toss with dressing right before serving

  4. Plate and serve with potatoes

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment withThe Organic Kitchen’’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy



How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter

I have a confession to make. I used to have my kids make butter when they were driving me crazy. Which was often. Let’s just say…we had a lot of butter. I would hand them a small baby food jar filled with cream and a pinch of sea salt and tell them to take turns shaking it until it became butter. It kept them busy for about 15 minutes, which is a long time in mom minutes. But butter making isn’t just a way to keep kids occupied, grown ups love it too. So I decided to make a step by step tutorial: How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter! No baby food jars or shaking required.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales but your price remains the same.)

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

It’s Not 1850, Why Make Your Own Butter?

First and not surprisingly, homemade butter tastes better than store bought. It just does, I can’t tell you why other than that you are going to be using the thickest, best quality organic cream you can find and an excellent sea salt. But there is another reason to make butter! I, on occasion find myself with too much cream. I buy cream for a recipe and use only a portion and have no use for the rest. Rather than waste it, I turn it into butter!

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

How To:

Obviously I am giving you a recipe below, but here is the run down step by step….whip up some heavy cream (raw or pasteurized cream it’s up to you). Be sure to buy the thickest, creamiest organic cream you can find. My favorite is raw and grass fed.

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

When It Looks Like Whipped Cream You’re Halfway There!

I would guess most of us have made whipped cream, making butter is very similar. When the cream looks like whipped cream you add a pinch of sea salt and just keep on whipping! By the way, I adore my Mini KitchenAid Stand Mixer. It’s small and light and fits in a regular size cupboard without killing my shoulders every time I pull it out!

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

Ah… We Have Butter. And Guess What? It’s Good For You!

A few minutes after achieving whipped cream status, you will reach ‘butter status’. Thick, sweet cream butter! Now, I know butter has gotten a bad rap in the past, but butter has many healthful properties. Butter contains CLA, a type of fat that may have cancer-fighting properties, as well as help reduce body fat and improve immune function. Butter is rich in butyrate, a type of short chain fatty acid that has been associated with several benefits including reduced inflammation, reduced insulin sensitivity and electrolyte balancing. Butyrate is also produced by the beneficial bacteria in your gut and is used as a source of energy for the cells in your intestines. One tablespoon of butter contains 11% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A and 2% of your daily requirement of Vitamin E and K!

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

The Buttermilk:

Buttermilk is a by product of making butter, see it there in the mixing bowl? After making the butter you can strain the butter milk and save it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for later use in my Vanilla Buttermilk Cake. See what I did there:)

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

Storing Butter:

After making butter you can store it however you like in any shape you like. You can spoon onto parchment paper and form into a log and wrap it up, or store in an airtight container, or press into a mold of your choice! Butter lasts 6-9 months in the fridge!

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

Personally, I Think Homemade Butter Makes a Great Gift!

Need a gift for the neighbors, teachers, mailman or your best pal? Butter baby. I mean wouldn’t you be thrilled to receive creamy homemade organic grass fed sweet cream butter wrapped in parchment and a cute string? Or in a decorated mason jar? I would be your BBF if you gave this to me. But then again I made my kids make butter as a punishment…so there’s that.

How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter #homemadebutter #rawbutter #howtomakebuttermilk #howotmakebutter

Want More ‘How To’s”?

Learn: How to Roast a Red Bell Pepper, How to Seed a Pomegranate in Two Minutes, How to Fry the Perfect Egg, How to Caramelize Onions, or How to Peel Garlic!

The Recipe: How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter

What you need: a mixer ( I love my Mini KitchenAid Stand Mixer) and a quality sea salt. I buy the tub to save a lot of money!

5 from 16 votes
How to Make Raw or Pasteurized Butter
Prep Time
15 mins
 

15 minutes to fresh, sweet cream butter!

Course: Condiment
Keyword: butter, homemade butter, how to
Ingredients
Note: You can use any amount of cream you have on hand and adjust sea salt accordingly. Just be sure it won't overflow your mixing bowl. My recipe uses a pint (4 cups) of cream
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place cream in mixer and mix on low/med speed for about five minutes or until bubbles form

  2. Add salt, then move speed up to med/high until cream looks like whipped cream

  3. Once whipped cream is achieved set mixer on high speed and keep a close eye, it goes from whipped cream to butter pretty quickly! Once you have butter let the mixer continue and it will force the liquid out of the butter, making buttermilk! Turn off mixer

  4. Scoop butter into a any dish you wish or place on parchment or wax paper and use hands to form into a log and wrap it up! As you press butter into mold it may release more buttermilk, just add the milk to your bowl. Cover butter and store in the fridge for up to 3 months or freeze for up to a year, removing to soften as needed.

For the buttermilk
  1. Pour buttermilk through a mesh strainer to remove any butter chunks. You can store buttermilk in the fridge for a week or freeze in ice cube trays and thaw as needed.

 

 

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Instant Pot Crustless Veggie and Bacon Quiche

Can you feel it? Fall is in the air. Those crisp, cool evenings have arrived and I for one couldn’t be happier about it. And to start fall off like a boss, I am making this Instant Pot Crustless Veggie and Bacon Quiche! It’s easy, low carb and keto friendly.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales while your price remains the same)

Instant Pot Crustless Veggie and Bacon Quiche #instantpotquiche #crustlessquiche #ketoquiche #lowcarbquiche

LOW-CARB COOKING WITH YOUR INSTANT POT

My friend Emily, the creator of the blog Recipes to Nourish has come out with her third Instant Pot Cookbook and is sharing this delicious quiche recipe with us! her cookbook Low-Carb Cooking in Your Instant Pot is chock full of delicious low-carb meals that the whole family will enjoy, 80 of them in fact! Each is easy and recipes range from comfort food, to side dishes and desserts. Here’s a little sampling of what you’ll find inside:

  • Cheesy Veggie-Stuffed Meatloaf
  • Mediterranean Lamb-Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Savory Ranch Chicken
  • Crustless Veggie & Bacon Quiche
  • Garlic-Herb Brussels Sprouts
  • High-Fat Greek Spinach Dip
  • Luscious Chocolate Custard
  • Low-Carb Key Lime Cheesecake
  • Carrot Cake

If low carb isn’t your bag check out Emily’s other cookbooks: Amazing Mexican Favorites with Your Instant Pot and The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Crustless Veggie and Bacon Quiche #instantpotquiche #crustlessquiche #ketoquiche #lowcarbquiche

SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FABULOUS INSTANT POT!

So if you haven’t already heard, the Instant Pot is the most versatile small appliance ever. It takes the place of a rice cooker, a pressure cooker, a steamer and a crock pot! It makes everything from eggs, rice and oatmeal to pulled pork, ribs and chicken broth (broth in 30 minutes with no smell!) It’s really quite an amazing little machine. Click to get your Instant Pot <—here.

The Quiche!

Quiche is one of those dishes that is classic comfort food and gourmet goodness all in one. This dish cooks perfectly in the Instant Pot and is packed with caramelized mushrooms, nourishing spinach, crispy bacon, several cheeses and a hint of lemon and herbs!

Instant Pot Crustless Veggie and Bacon Quiche #instantpotquiche #crustlessquiche #ketoquiche #lowcarbquiche

The Recipe: Instant Pot Crustless Veggie and Bacon Quiche

What you need: an Instant Pot and a 1 1/2 qt baking dish with lid that fits in an Instant Pot.

5 from 11 votes
Instant Pot Crustless Veggie Bacon Quiche
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
38 mins
Total Time
1 hr 3 mins
 

Quiche is one of those dishes that is classic comfort food and gourmet goodness all in one. This dish cooks perfectly in the Instant Pot and is packed with caramelized mushrooms, nourishing spinach, crispy bacon, several cheeses and a hint of lemon and herbs!

Course: Breakfast, dinner, lunch
Cuisine: French
Keyword: instant pot quiche, keto quiche, low carb quiche
Servings: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (50g) shredded Parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup (30g) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup (28g) shredded provolone or gruyere, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) grass fed butter or ghee (plus more as needed)
  • 1 cup (70g) thinly sliced or chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups (60g) pre-washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 7 slices crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup (15g) finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine parmesan, cheddar and provolone, set aside

  2. Add the butter to Instant Pot and press "sauté ". Once butter has melted, add the mushrooms and sauté for seven minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly caramelized. Add the spinach and sauté for three minutes, stirring occasionally, just until wilted. Pres the "keep warm/cancel" button.

  3. Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with lid that fits inside the Instant Pot and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream and cream cheese until eggs are fully incorporated. Add salt, garlic, bacon, lemon zest, parsley, three quarters of the cheese mixture and the mushroom mixture, gently stirring to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place lid on baking dish.

  5. Pour water into the Instant Pot, place Instant Pot Trivet into the Instant Pot. Carefully transfer baking dish to Instant Pot on top of the trivet. Place lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the steam release valve is sealed. Press the 'manual' button and set timer for 25 minutes.

  6. When Instant Pot beeps, press warm/cancel. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for ten minutes. Using and oven mitt "quick release" the steam release valve. When the steam stops venting, and silver dial drops, carefully open lid.

  7. Carefully remove dish from the Instant Pot and remove lid from the dish. Next add the remaining reserved cheese mixture to the top of the quiche and either place quiche back into the Instant Pot with the lid on or place under a preheated broiler in the oven for three minutes or until cheese is slightly brown.

  8. Allow quiche to rest for 15 minutes.

  9. Note: if your baking dish does not have a lid, you can cover the top with parchment paper then secure the edges with aluminum foil.

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy



Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner!

Whenever my husband and I order a charcuterie platter I always think “this could be a complete meal if it only had a salad”. So, here you go. I am making my dreams come true and you benefit as well. You’re welcome. Seriously though, when you need a simple, delicious and romantic meal there is no better low stress option than this Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner. Besides toasting the bread this platter is assembly only and it has everything you need for a lovely, no cooking required (because toasting is hardly cooking), complete meal!
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission, your price remains the same.)

Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner #charcuterie #dinnerboard #glutenfreecharcuterie

The Beauty of The Board!

No cooking. That’s the beauty of the board in a nutshell. Another plus, you can use whatever meats, cheese and nuts you have on hand. Of course I will be offering suggestions but you can mix and match as much as your hearts desire. And there’s very little clean up because you eat right off the board! Grab two forks and dig in.

Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner #charcuterie #dinnerboard #glutenfreecharcuterie

 

The Salad:

A lovely, light and slightly sweet salad comprised of greens, caramelized nuts, apples and feta dressed with a light, lemony dressing. Charcuterie, otherwise known as cured meats, are very strongly flavored so we keep the salad simple, so it works well with all the savory, salty goodness on the board!

Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner #charcuterie #dinnerboard #glutenfreecharcuterie

The Meats:

I used pepperoni, prosciutto, and salami but you may use whatever you prefer! I like to ‘scrunch’ up the prosciutto and arrange the pepperoni and salami in rows.

Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner #charcuterie #dinnerboard #glutenfreecharcuterie

The Cheeses:

I used Tapas sampler wedges comprised of Manchego, Cabra Al Vino, and Iberico, slices of aged gouda, and the piece de resistance…soft goat cheese topped with Adriatic fig spread. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this, you are missing out, and when spread on sliced warm grilled baguette it is heavenly.

Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner #charcuterie #dinnerboard #glutenfreecharcuterie

The Bread and Nuts:

I love to use a par-baked baguette, slice, brush with olive oil and grill in a grill pan. That said you could also place in the toaster or oven. If you are living gluten free, I recommend Against The Grain Baguettes found in the frozen section of some super markets. The nuts on this board are Marcona almonds, I love the olive oil and rosemary flavor. Of course you could use any nut you like including plain old roasted salted or spicy!

Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner #charcuterie #dinnerboard #glutenfreecharcuterie

The Recipe: Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner for Two!

What you will need: not much! A serving board (I love this farmhouse style board or this round board) and these pretty cheese knives! I use a grill pan to grill the baguette and love Marcona almonds, and use Adriatic fig spread on the goat cheese! It’s amazing!

5 from 11 votes
Salad and Charcuterie Board Dinner
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
 

A complete meal served Charcuterie board style! This borad is for two people but can easily be made into a meal for 4 or even 6!

Course: dinner
Keyword: board dinner, cahrcuterie dinner, charcuterie, main course
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
Bread:
  • 6 slices  your choice of baguette, grilled or toasted
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
Salad:
  • 2 cups baby greens
  • 6-8 apple slices
  • small handful caramelized pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons   extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  teaspoon  honey
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Charcuterie board:
  • Your choices of cured meats, I used salami, pepperoni and prosciutto
  • Your choices of cheeses, I used a Spanish Tapas mix of  Manchega, Cabra al Vino and Iberico wedges and slices of aged gouda
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoon fig spread
  • marcona almonds
Instructions
  1. Set out tray, board or platter

  2. Place pan on medium heat, while grill pan is heating slice bread and spread with butter or brush with olive oil

  3. Grill bread until golden and crispy, set aside

  4. Place greens, pecans, apples and feta in a bowl

  5. Whisk together salad dressing ingredients, set aside

  6. Place meats and cheeses on board, spoon fig spread on top of soft goat cheese, add almonds and bread slices

  7. Dress salad, toss and add to board, snuggle in the bread

  8. Share right off the platter!

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Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!

Summer in Washington State means blackberries are literally growing everywhere! Our grand children came to visit a few weeks ago and we picked oodles of berries everyday with the idea we would make jam. That never happened, but we ate berries fresh by the bowlful and blended them with ice cream to make blackberry shakes.By far my favorite way to use the abundance of juicy, summer berries is atop this gorgeous Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission. Your price remains the same.)

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries #lemoncake #blackberrycake #layercake #glutenfree option

The Cake: Two Layers or Three….it’s up to you

This simple cake is naturally flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest then frosted with lemon buttercream, and topped with luscious blackberries dusted with powdered sugar. You can make this cake two layers, or three. If you make a double layer you’ll need to use two 9 inch non stick cake pans, to make it triple layer you’ll need three 8″ non stick cake tins.

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries #lemoncake #blackberrycake #layercake #glutenfree option

How to “Zest” a Lemon:

To “zest” citrus you will need a microplane. The key here is to scrape the skin of the lemon until the white is exposed and then move to a new area. The white part of the skin is bitter, so you don’t want to go too deep.

TO MAKE THIS CAKE GLUTEN FREE:

If you are fine eating gluten, have at it! But if you are one of my gluten free followers, I have a wonderful suggestion to make this cake gluten free but just as good: Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour. Not all gluten free flours are created equal, the grains in this flour are soaked for easy digestion and the texture is the best I have found for GF baking!

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries #lemoncake #blackberrycake #layercake #glutenfree option

The Recipe: Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!

Tips and what you need: all ingredients should be room temperature. You will need a microplane to zest the lemons,  two 9″ inch non stick cake pans or three 8″ non stick cake tins depending on how many layers you want. You will also need a stand mixer or hand mixer. I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer! When it comes to vanilla I always prefer using vanilla paste. If you want to make this cake gluten free I recommend Jovial Gluten Free Pastry Flour.

Lemon Layer Cake with Blackberries!
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

A beautifully light lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting topped with fresh blackberries! You can use three 8" cakes pans or two 9" cakes pans depending on how many layers you want.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: #layer cake, blackberries, gluten free, lemon cake
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
The Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or the gluten free flour of your choice, see above for my suggestion)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans
  • 1/4 cup  coconut oil or baking oil of your choice
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6  eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups cultured buttermilk, room temp
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • Garnish with mint leaves or thyme even crushed pistachios if desired (basically anything green)
The Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup   butter room temp
  • 3 tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • tiny pinch of sea salt
  • 4-5 cups cups powdered sugar
Instructions
Cake Prep:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:
  1. To prevent the cake from sticking you can use non stick pans, then use a paper towel to wipe sides and bottom of pans with soft butter. Dust each pan lightly with flour, OR fold a large piece of parchment paper in half twice. Use bottom of cake pan and pencil to trace a circle on parchment, then cut folded paper so you end up with two or three circles (depending on if you are making two layers or three). Place parchment circles into the bottom of pans and spray with organic non stick spray. This is my favorite method. Set aside

Make Batter:
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside

  2. Place butter, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined

  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions

  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute

  5. Add lemon zest and mix until incorporated (to zest lemons scrape with a microplane just until white is exposed, then move to a new area until all the yellow is gone)

  6. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

  8. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove from pans from oven discarding parchment (if using) and then frost. You can make this cake "naked" by frosting the top of each layer, or "semi naked" by frosting each layer and then spread some frosting around the sides

The Frosting
  1. Place softened butter, lemon juice, sea salt and 4 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix. If frosting is not quite thick enough add more sugar (up to a cup, I usually end up using almost 5 cups total). If it's too thick add just a little more juice. When frosting is desired consistency, frost cooled cake.

  2. Right before serving: top cake with blackberries and use a screen colander or sifter to dust with powdered sugar. Add mint leaves, thyme sprigs or crushed pistachios as a garnish if desired

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Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

Hold onto your sun visors because this summer salad is going to blow your mind! This Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad is about as good as a salad gets and it happens to be a real eye pleaser too.
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission. Your price remains the same.)

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad #grilledpeachsalad #summersalad

The Burrata, Pesto and Caramelized Nuts:

For those unfamiliar, burrata is a combination of mozzarella and cream. It may just be the dreamiest cheese on the planet. Top that cheese with pesto and serve with grilled peaches and balsamic and you have a flavor combo made in heaven!! You can certainly use store bought pesto, but I recommend you learn to make your own here.

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad #grilledpeachsalad #summersalad

LET’S TALK PEACHES YO:

Peaches are a ‘stone fruit’. Stone fruits have a large pit in the center that is surrounded by a thick flesh. Cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines etc… are all stone fruits. Stone fruits are high in antioxidants and therefore have natural anti inflammatory properties. Unfortunately they are only in season for a short time so take advantage and get while the getting is good!
(You can serve this salad alongside my Lime Chili Chicken Skewers or my Apricot Chicken Skewers)

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad #grilledpeachsalad #summersalad

Tips and what you need:  If making your own pesto, click! If you prefer to buy you can have this organic pesto delivered to your door!

5 from 10 votes
Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A fresh and flavorful summer salad!

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: basil pesto, peach salad, summer salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
For Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For Salad:
  • 1 50z bag baby greens
  • 8 oz burrata cheese, separated
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto (store bought or fresh, linked above)
  • 4 ripe peaches, sliced thinly or into wedges (totally up to you)
  • 1/3 cup caramelized nuts
Instructions
  1. If making your own pesto, do that first (see links to instructions above in blog post)

Salad Dressing:
  1. Whisk all ingredients together, set aside

For Peaches:
  1. Spray clean grill with organic cooking spray and preheat to 375 degrees

  2. When grill is ready add peach slices. For thinly sliced peaches, cook 2-3 minutes a side. For thicker wedges, cook 4-5 minutes a side. Remove from grill.

For Salad:
  1. Place greens on a platter and toss with desired amount of dressing. Sprinkle with caramelized nuts. Use fingers to separate burrata and place 5-6 portions of cheese on salad. Spoon pesto over burrata add peach slices and enjoy!

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Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl

Summer is almost over but thanks to frozen fruit, we can make it last a whole lot longer! Here’s your quick, easy, healthy breakfast ‘go to’ for summer and beyond: The Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl! So much pretty in one little bowl.
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission. Your price remains the same.)

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

That Color!

You will be so distracted by the soft pink color of this smoothie bowl that you’ll almost forget it’s packed with protein, antioxidants, omega 3’s and fiber. If you’d like to add even more brain boosting healthy fats, adding a quality MCT oil is a great idea.

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

The Flavor!

That soft color is matched by a very soft flavor. Slightly sweet, with a little cherry tang and of course some texture provided by that shredded coconut, black chia and crunchy granola. If berry smoothies are more your jam, click!

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

The Toppings:

Sprinkle with Black chia seeds, shredded coconut and your favorite granola for a smoothie that holds you over until lunch! Of course you can add whatever you have ob hand as well, that’s the beauty of the smoothie bowl.

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowls #peachsmoothiebowl #cherrysmoothiebowl #smoothiebowl #dairyfree #glutenfree

The Recipe: Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl

What you need:  a good quality blender. I love my Blentec! And if you’d like, add quality MCT oil to this recipe (tasteless, odorless and incredibly good for you) Can’t find black chia seeds? <—Click!

Peach Cherry Smoothie Bowl
Prep Time
5 mins
 

A delicious, healthy, light breakfast!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy breakfast recipe, smoothie bowl
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
Ingredients
  • 2 cups your favorite milk (almond, coconut, cashew or whole cow's milk, all work great!)
  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
Toppings:
  • Shredded coconut
  • 2/3 granola of your choice (I use gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon black chia seeds
  • 3-4 fresh ripe cherries, cut in half and pits removed
Instructions
  1. Place your choice of milk, fruit, and dates in blender and blend until smooth

  2. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with toppings. Enjoy!

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment withThe Organic Kitchen’’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy

 



Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg

Sometimes nothing hits the spot like a green salad with a couple of substantial toppings to make it more of a meal than a side dish. This Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg is the perfect example, just the right amount of ‘light’ and just the right amount of satisfying!
(This post contains affiliate links off which I may make a commission, your price remains the same)

Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg #simplesalad #paleo #whole30 #keto

The Salad:

This salad is made up of your choice of tender young greens, thin sliced ham, canadian bacon or prosciutto, and a fried egg garnished with freshly chopped chives. It’s incredibly simple and easy to throw together, even last minute. But trust me when I say it doesn’t taste ‘last minute”! The salty pork combined with a savory fried egg and sweet dressing is perfection!

Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg #simplesalad #paleo #whole30 #keto

The Dressing:

This beautiful salad is tossed in a simple white balsamic dressing. It’s ‘barely there’ but makes all the difference to ramping up the flavor. I will offer my two favorite white balsamic vinegars, you can choose which best fits your budget. My first pick is always Prelibato White Balsamic vinegar from Italy. You may get lucky and find it in a store, but I almost always have to buy online. Second choice, O California White Balsamic. (<—Amazon link) I find this one in many stores and it’s a little easier on the wallet.

Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg #simplesalad #paleo #whole30 #keto

The Egg:

The perfect yolk is up to interpretation of course. I love mine runny, my husband likes his firmer. No matter how you like your yolk, you’ll want to see this simple tutorial to get the perfect results!

Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg #simplesalad #paleo #whole30 #keto

 

The Recipe: Simple Green Salad Ham and Fried Egg

Tips and what you need: a quality white balsamic vinegar (<—our fave but we also like this one) A fabulous sea salt is always a must! I use Maldon Flaked Chef’s Salt!
Need an egg frying tutorial? Click!

5 from 9 votes
Simple Green Salad with Ham and Egg
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
 

This Simple Green Salad with Ham and Fried Egg is the perfect example of just the right amount of 'light' and just the right amount of satisfying! Paleo, Whole30 and Keto compliant too!

Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: #easy dinner, keto, Paleo, salad, whole30
Servings: 2 servings
Ingredients
For dressing:
  • 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons good quality white balsamic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
Salad:
  • 3 cups tender greens of your choice
  • 4-6 slices canadian bacon, ham or prosciutto
  • 2 eggs, fried (see link above for tutorial)
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
Instructions
For Vinaigrette:
  1. Place all ingredients in a covered container and shake well or whisk. Set aside and shake again right before using

For Salad:
  1. Chop chives. Fry eggs (see link above to learn how to fry the perfect egg) Plate greens and your choice of ham, Canadian bacon or prosciutto, toss lightly with dressing. Top salad with fried eggs, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and chives. Serve.

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy