Ring Sandwich for a Crowd

I can’t believe this hasn’t been posted earlier. It’s a recipe I’ve made so many times, mainly because it’s so easy, includes Boursin cheese and is pretty because of the way you assemble the bread in a ring. I’ve put lots of things on it, so choose your own adventure!

Ingredients:
2 Pillsbury Italian bread tubes
Olive oil
Italian, bagel or other seasoning

Plus any of these things to taste:
Deli turkey or ham
Salami or bacon
Roasted red peppers
Pesto
Lettuce
Tomato
Avocado (I mash up with a little salt and lime)
Cheese
Boursin

Remove the italian bread from the tubes, and pinch together to form a ring. Brush on a little olive oil and seasoning. Put some diagonal slices into the top of the dough if you’re feeling fancy. Cook according to package directions (on parchment so you don’t have to wash the pan) and let cool. 

Slice bread horizontally, spread with boursin on both sides (or avocado or pesto on one side), then pile on the ingredients. If serving later, cover with foil and put in warm oven. Maybe do lettuce and tomato on the side or add at the last minute.

Poppy Seed Dressing

My beloved Bon Appetit has printed its final issue, and they replaced it by sending me Eating Well. The timing was perfect – I had a Strong Family Alliance board meeting, and I had agreed to bring a salad.

Everybody knows that the stuff on the salad is the good part, definitely not the greens. And that includes the dressing. I served this dressing on a salad of baby spinach, rotisserie chicken and sliced apple. Simple and delicious.

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. buttermilk
2 T. honey
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. poppy seeds
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt

Mix all ingredients and toss with salad. Serve with yummy bread.

Fajita Marinade

It should be no surprise if you’ve followed this blog that my son is picky. But he loves steak – who knew! So we are living our best lives more often and having fajitas and other forms of steak.

I recently found this marinade on AllRecipes. It’s easy and good. I go light on the pepper and leave out the cayenne for my boy who thinks ranch dressing is spicy.

1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 t. soy sauce
1 t. salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large resealable plastic bag, mix together the lime juice, water, olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and liquid smoke flavoring. Stir in cayenne and black pepper.

Place desired meat in the marinade, and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight. Grill or saute in an oiled skillet.

Beef Bulgogi Tacos

I’ve always loved Smitten Kitchen, my go-to for recipes that are sure to be good. We were in Dallas this weekend, and I stayed up too late with my sweet niece and mom; so I needed something quick for dinner last night. I opened up the awesome Smitten Kitchen Every Day cookbook, and I found this recipe.

Bulgogi tacos are like an asian taco. This recipe non-traditionally uses ground beef, but instead of taco seasoning, you add a sweet and savory soy/ginger/garlic to the beef, then put it all in a taco – low carb tortillas for me, homestyle H-E-B for the rest of the family. They come together in about 20 minutes.

I roasted some sweet potatoes and carrots, and I put them on the tacos with cilantro and sriracha sauce, but there are other ideas below. My son preferred cheese. 🙂

1 pound ground beef
1 large garlic clove, minced
1-2 inches fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 T rice vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 T sesame oil
Flour tortillas

Topping ideas
Lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, sesame seeds, kimchi, roasted sweet potato cubes, cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add ground beef. When cooked, drain and add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Let simmer for a couple minutes, then add sriracha or red pepper flakes if your family likes spicy (or add your own later if they’re crazy and think ranch is spicy).

Put beef in tortillas, garnishing with your toppings. This is also good in lettuce wraps.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

This is another recipe from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite online recipe sources. We love banana bread in my house – it’s a great before-bed snack for Hudson to squeeze in a few more calories. Add chocolate, and you have a total winner. I’m shortening the cooking time – I’d start checking it at 45 minutes instead of her recommended 55. Can’t have a dried-out banana bread!

3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, melted
3/4 cup (145 grams) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup (about 6 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, cinnamon (if using), flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 45 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days covered at room temperature.

Detox Red Lentil Veggie Soup

Raise your hand if you spy someone who overindulged and under-exercised over the holidays and is now trying to pay for sins with healthier options. In the fall, I was all about cookies. But now that January has hit, and it’s been so “Texas cold,” I’ve been all about soups, and this is a good one.

As with all soups, it’s best not to get too persnickety with the exact ingredients. Use the veggies you like – I substituted butternut squash for sweet potato, for about half the calories and carbs. 

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