Monday, July 4, 2011

BLT Salad, Stuffed Mushrooms & Strawberry Pie

It's starting to feel like summer here in the Pacific Northwest and I'm loving it. It's not been too hot here yet so the garden isn't producing a lot, but I'm getting a good amount of kale, chard and lettuce. And the pea plants have a few snap peas ready to pick.

Last week the kids and I went strawberry picking and picked 18.5 lbs of organic strawberries! You don't realize exactly how many that is until you start to hull them. I think the family and I hulled for days...ok, maybe a couple of hours, but it felt like days. I put about half of them in the dehydrator in batches, made a strawberry pie at the request of the boy, made strawberry smush for pancake topping and we ate a metric ton each fresh out of the bowl. They were so yummy! And guess what? When I was weeding the garden yesterday what do you think I found ready to pick? Strawberries! :)

For dinner the other night i wasn't really in the mood to cook much of anything. That's the way it is during the summer. I just want to play outside all day and not stop early enough to cook dinner. So I thought cooking some bacon would be an easy way to feed the family. I had greens from the garden and my veggie box last week contained some tomatoes and mushrooms. BLT Salad was born! The stuffed mushrooms was an experiment gone right. I'll probably make them again; they were so easy.

BLT Salad (Paleo/Primal, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
1 lb bacon (I cook mine on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until crisp)
Several handfuls of greens (I used chard and lettuce)
2 tomatoes sliced
drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Arrange greens on a plate, add sliced or diced tomatoes, top with bacon and drizzle balsamic vinegar over all.

Stuffed Mushrooms (Primal, Gluten Free)
About a dozen medium sized button or Crimini mushrooms with stems removed
1/2 C cottage Cheese
1/4 C cheddar cheese - shredded
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp chili pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Remove stems from mushrooms and wash caps. Place mushrooms on a paper towel on a microwave safe plate and nuke for 1.5 minutes on high. Remove from microwave and turn caps upside down to water can drain. Mix all other ingredients together in a small bowl. Fill caps with cheese mixture then microwave again for 1 minute on high.

Strawberry Pie
1 deep dish pie crust (frozen or make your own)
1 C hulled strawberries
2 T corn starch
3 T Coconut Crystals (or sugar of choice)
1/2 C water

Arrange about half of sliced strawberries in pie crust. Take other half of strawberries, combine with corn starch, water and coconut crystals in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Pour boiled mixture over sliced berries in crust. Bake pie for about 30 minutes until crust is golden. Let cool then chill for about an hour before serving.

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