Thursday, January 16, 2014

BLT Bonanza (plus a bonus recipe for Brussels Sprout Chips!)

I get the whole bacon craze, I just am not that insane over bacon (though it was a dark chocolate & bacon bar that caused me to fall off the vegetarian wagon).  That being said, if you slap that bacon on a carb and add tomato & lettuce, you better get out of my way because I'm going to go all Shark Week on it!  So a few months ago, I had a mad scientist moment in the kitchen and concocted this sinfully good BLT Pasta.  Yes, there is lettuce in the pasta, because hey, it's a green, it will saute up like spinach.  So, with the cherry tomatoes and Boston lettuce this week, just grab yourself a slab of bacon and your favorite pasta and you're on your way to pastavana (pasta nirvana, but somehow it just sounds like a yoga pose, a yoga pose that I really hope exists and includes eating pasta).

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Pasta

But wait, there's more!  With last week's green leaf lettuce and the tomatoes in store, I whipped up some Triple Decker BLT's.  Now a traditonal BLT needs no recipe because duh it's toasted bread with lettuce, a slice of tomato and crispy bacon.  Easy enough.  But most folks slather mayo on them, and since the Mister has an egg allergy, and I forgot to pickup Veganaise at the store, I decided to pull out some leftover homemade basil & almond pesto and slather that on instead.  I never want to see mayo near my BLT ever again!  Pesto is king!!!  For the pesto, use this Cilantro & Pistachio Pesto recipe as a base and sub in the basil and almonds for the cilantro and pistachio.  OR...I just came across a recipe for Broccoli Pesto that I'm dying to try, so why not weave another Crop Share veggie from this week into your BLT and use some of the broccoli for a pesto!  I know I'll be leaving out the cheese and adding more garlic to my version, because if you don't have dragon breath after eating pesto, then you didn't do it right.  The Boston lettuce will work great for your "L" but I suggest grabbing some larger tomatoes in store for your "T" as the cherry tomatoes will just fall the heck out of your sandwich.  BUT!  As an added bonus I made Brussels Sprouts Chips, as a healthy side to my leaning towers of bacon.  Let me just say, move over Kale Chips, there is a new green chip in town and it is the muscles from Brussels!  So I'll provide the recipe for those after the photo.

Baked Brussels Sprouts Chips

1 quart fresh Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed, exterior leaves discarded
1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse ground salt & pepper to taste (or instead throw on some Dizzy Pig's Cow Lick Seasoning -- in store -- that's what I did!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pull apart leaves of Brussels Sprouts and spread evenly on a baking sheet.  You may need to core them a bit more to get all of the leaves off.  Then drizzle with olive oil and toss in your seasoning of choice.  Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until the chips have started to brown and caramelize.  Proceed to eat them all before you walk away from the oven.

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