With the warmer and longer days, I’m finding myself gravitating toward lighter dinners. With the shedding of sweaters, long sleeves, and long pants, one might discover a little bit of weight added during the cold, winter months. Or at least I always do. Taking a walk or working in the garden after work, I’m finding dinners of late need to be easy to prepare, yet light, so it won’t add to the ever-expanding mid-section.
I came up with this recipe one night when it was dinner for one, although this can easily be a dinner for two. I don’t know if you could even call it a recipe; it’s a salad with eggs and ham, or in my case, bacon. A toss of a little homemade vinaigrette, and dinner is ready. Veggies and protein in one bowl!
Normally when I buy bacon, unless it’s purchased for a recipe, I will divide into two slices, wrap it in plastic wrap, and stick it in a bag and pop it in the freezer. That way, I have just two slices for recipes like this. Two slices of bacon thaws quickly, so while it’s still a little frozen, I chop it into dice-sized pieces to fry up. I always find if I chop a beloved food smaller, a little bit can go a long way flavor-wise. (Note, if you don’t eat meat, you can easily make this vegetarian by substituting beans for the bacon. Garbanzo or any sort of white bean would be tasty.)
My go-to vinaigrette isn’t really a recipe, I just make it. In a bowl, add some extra virgin olive oil. Add a couple of dashes of vinegar (my favorite is sherry vinegar, but a white or red wine would go really good with this, too). Whisk. Add some salt and pepper. One garlic clove, either minced or through the garlic press. And a dash of Dijon mustard. Whisk and taste to make sure all the flavors blend. Sometimes I’ll add a dash of white wine if I’m feeling like it.
So in a salad bowl, add any sort of green you like. That night I had green leaf lettuce, but a mesclun mix would be great, too. Take one hard-boiled egg and slice in half, length-wise. Add a few sprinkles of bacon. I like to add my dressing once the salad is made, but of course, you can always dress the greens before you add the egg and bacon. Either way, with a small glass of white wine or water, it was a satisfying meal that won’t add (too much) to the waistline!
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Also with the burgeoning spring, comes the call for rhubarb. I always buy extra to freeze, so I can have spring all year round! I’ve made cakes and pies, but my favorite way to fix it is by making a sauce. It’s really quick and very simple, no recipe required!
Cut up whatever amount of rhubarb you have into cube, about an inch long. Place in a saucepan with a little bit of water. You don’t want to cover it with water, eyeball it. Bring it to a boil, add more water if you need, and let it simmer. The rhubarb will break itself down, just stir on occasion. When it’s a thin sauce, add sugar. I’ve used honey in the past too, which lends a more complex flavor. I add the sugar by the tablespoon, stir, then taste. I like it sweet-tart, some people like it with more sugar. If you’re interested, you can add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or orange zest. But I love it just in its unadorned glory, with just a little bit of sugar to offset its sourness. I made a big batch last week and have been enjoying a little bit for for lunch each day. It makes the rain outside seem not so bad!