RASPBERRY-BACON-PEAR SALAD WITH ANGEL FOOD CAKE CROUTONS

Angel Food Cake croutons aren’t so odd, really. After all, this salad features raspberries and pears. And, er, bacon. And goat cheese. As for that last ingredient, it was the perfect addition. However, since my guys aren’t fans of delightfully tart goat cheese, I substituted feta for their salads. Verdict: fantastic!

Raspberry-Pear-Bacon Salad with Angel Food Cake Croutons

4-1″ slices angel food cake, cut into 1″ cubes

8 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

4 green onions, sliced thin

4 stalks celery, sliced thin

4 oz goat cheese log, sliced into 8 pieces

2 ripe but firm pears, cored, quartered, and sliced thin

4 oz fresh raspberries

Dressing (recommend: Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) Place Angel Food Cake cubes on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes until golden and toasted; remove from oven and set aside to cool (they should crisp up a bit more)

3) To large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon pieces and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until crisp; remove from skillet and drain on paper towel-lined plate

4) Divide romaine lettuce between 4 plates; scatter green onions and celery over top; place two slices of goat cheese in center of each salad; scatter pears, raspberries, and croutons over top; serve with dressing

Servings: 4

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BACON-WRAPPED SALMON ON AVOCADO-RED ONION SALAD

Once again, I turned to the Bacon Nation cookbook for dinner, tweaked (a little) their “Crusted Salmon with Avocado and Red Onion Green Salad” and served up this amazing meal to some very grateful plate scrapers–and me. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: fish is not my thing. However, this fish was amazing. Was it the bacon? Avocado? Lime-Dijon dressing? I can’t decide, but YUM!

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad

Bacon Wrapped Salmon on Avocado Red Onion Salad (2)

3 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

sea salt

ground black pepper

8-10 slices bacon (depending on length of salmon fillet)

1-1/4 lb skinless, deboned salmon fillet

4 cups baby spinach

1/2 red onion, quartered and sliced thin

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered, and sliced thin

2 tbsp shaved parmesan (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) In small bowl mix: olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard; lightly season with salt and pepper; refrigerate

3) On a 10″ to 12″ long sheet of aluminum foil, layer bacon strips horizontally, overlapping slightly; center salmon fillet on bacon strips and fold excess left side bacon strips over top of fillet, then right side bacon strips over bacon strips

4) Heat large skillet over medium-high; lift bacon-wrapped salmon fillet by aluminum foil and gently turn into skillet so that loose bacon edges are in bottom of skillet; cook 4 minutes, gently turn (I used 2 spatulas to keep bacon intact) and cook additional 4 minutes; remove from heat

5) Transfer bacon-wrapped salmon fillet to 13″x9″ baking dish and bake in oven 8-10 minutes until salmon is just cooked in center; remove from oven, place on cutting board, and let sit 5 minutes

6) Divide spinach between 4 plates and scatter onion and avocado over top

7) Slice bacon-wrapped salmon fillet into 1″ thick slices and arrange on top of salads; scatter parmesan cheese over top (optional), drizzle with lime-Dijon dressing, and serve

Servings: 4

CARAMELIZED PLUM-ONION-BACON SPINACH SALAD

Senior brought home plums in bulk. After several days of making little more than a dent in those lovely fruits, I decided to turn some of them into dinner. And so…Caramelized Plum-Onion-Bacon Spinach Salad. Good move! Great taste! Though I opted for chunks of fresh mozzarella and it was tasty, I’m thinking shaved parmesan or crumbled gorgonzola would be right up there with yum.
Caramelized Plum-Onion-Bacon Spinach Salad4 slices turkey bacon

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 red onion, chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 plums, sliced thin

1/2 cup Craisins

8 cups baby spinach

6 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped (or shaved parmesan or crumbled gorgonzola)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1) In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until lightly crisp; remove from skillet, chop, and set aside

2) To same skillet (don’t wipe clean) over medium heat, add olive oil and butter; when butter melts and begins to sizzle, add onion and sea salt and cook 15 minutes, stirring often, until onions soften and are lightly browned; add plums and Craisins and, stirring occasionally, cook 5 minutes; remove from heat and let cool 5-10 minutes

3) Divide ingredients between 4 plates in this order: spinach, onion-plum-Craisin mixture, bacon, mozzarella, and pecans; serve with a nice vinaigrette and enjoy!

Servings: 4