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Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Ahhh b-sprouts and bacon. Possibly the best culinary combination since baked sweet potatoes and almond butter............no? I'm alone on the SP/AB front? Whatever, you guys are missing out. 

Thick Cut Fries

Thick Cut Fries

But actually...perfection. How many oven baked fry recipes do you see out there on the blogosphere claiming to be the best? Those fry phonies can shove it, because the constantly regurgitated method of "tossing your fries in oil and baking at a high temp until charred" is old news.

Chopped Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Chopped Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Because, like it or not, veggies are important. I know, I know...so unfair...why can't we just healthfully survive on 3 lbs of bacon per day? I HATE having to restrict my daily bacon intake to just 1 lb to make room for vegetables......

Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad

And here I present basic b holiday recipe #2...which, by no coincidence, uses basic b holiday recipe #1. While supplementing with a store bought dressing is fine, I'd really recommend making it yourself...the cranberry thyme dressing is what pulls this salad together perfectly. Also, let it be known that this "salad" is leafless...which makes me wonder - does this technically qualify as a salad? I didn't really know what else to call it, but I promise it's not your average boring pile of plant food. 

Chilled Pad Thai

Chilled Pad Thai

Pad thai doesn't have to be an extravagant creation. It also doesn't have to be hot to be totally delicious. And finally, it doesn't have to have an ingredient list that calls for shi* like mirin or Chinese cooking wine that you can only order online or five spiced tamarind paste flavored with unicorn tears.

Summer Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Summer Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

This salad is as tasty and refreshing as it is healthy and nutrient-dense. I've made it several times now for big groups and it's a hit every time. It's easy to prepare in bulk, making it the perfect dish to bring along to your next group bbq or get together. It might be considered a side dish, but make no mistake, it'll be the star of the show. You'll feel like the Regina George of your next pot luck (minus the whole mean girl, getting hit by a bus bit...).

Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant

My mom and dad really opened my eyes to the glory of grilled eggplant recently. I'm sure they've been doing it forever, but for some reason my memory tells me I didn't start eating it until like two years ago. But then again I also grew up thieving spoonfuls of granulated sugar from friends' houses at play dates and hoarding boxes of Lucky Charms and Hershey's Hugs (not to be confused with the standard Hershey's Kiss...huge difference and if you don't know it then you need to re-evaluate your life) under my bed. Soooo pretty sure if good ole' ma and pa were feeding me eggplant, I blacked it out with all the other nutrients they desperately tried to get into my chubby cheeks.

Bacon Braised Cabbage

Bacon Braised Cabbage

I really only ever considered cabbage from a coleslaw perspective. VERY wrongfully so, apparently. Turns out cabbage is a pretty dope, nutrient-dense veggie that is even tastier braised...in bacon grease...garnished with more bacon. This side dish's piggy pairing makes it a shining star. As the saying goes, everything is better with bacon. 

Cauliflower "Pasta" Salad

Cauliflower "Pasta" Salad

You know that light, lemony, delicious pasta salad that you're likely to find at a friendly barbecue or summer get together? Orzo, pine nuts, finely chopped veggies and other delicious nuggets are typically in attendance and you're likely to get seconds. Ok - well my girlfriend's boyfriend is like a master chef. No seriously...he lights that shi* up in the kitchen. He's pretty awesome...and his last name sounds like "butts"...which is hilarious to my immature, twenty-four-year-old self and makes him that much cooler. He brought this wicked little dish to our cozy Super Bowl watch party and I immediately sought to recreate it, post it and give him full credit. I literally had nothing to do with this - it was just too brilliant a use of cauliflower rice NOT to share.

Cinnamon Dusted Sweet Potato Chips

Cinnamon Dusted Sweet Potato Chips

I could eat chips all day err' day. My personal favorite flavor is sea salt and vinegar (working on a recipe for that), but I also love sweet potato chips. They are sweet (duh), salty and delicious. This recipe in particular is just so glorious in its simplicity and is just as good on its own with a side of ketchup as it is piled with some shredded chicken, beef or pork (sounds weird, but it's good, I promise). The key here is to be diligent in slicing the potatoes thinly - that's where you'll find the most success getting them crispy. No go ahead and indulge in some chippies that are so tasty you'll forget how nutritious and healthy they are!