Fantastic Pear and Cheese Ball Salad

I recently was reading a friend’s Facebook post, and he was sharing that he detests vegetables and any kind of salad.  I, personally, think that is madness!!!  And have to wonder if he would change his mind if he tried this beauty!!  In fact…the last time I made this (yes, I have made it multiple times its so good!!) was on a day we were helping out at church.  Those days are tricky…being there by 7:30, leaving at 2:30…and full of food temptation.  Our pastor is generous enough to provide food for all the volunteers…and, seeing as he owns the local Cici’s Pizza restaurant…it is always greasy, cheesy, fantastically tempting pizza.  In DROVES!  Occasionally, they also provide a salad from Cici’s…but it usually includes processed dressing, meats that I am certain contain pork and nitrites…lots of fun stuff.  It really does look tasty.  But here is the best part…as everyone else was downing pizza and the fancy processed salad, I brought in this fresh salad for Mr. Rodgers and I…and everyone stopped, looked…and said things such as “Now that’s a salad,”  “You are such a good little cook,” (which cracked me up, cause there is obviously SO much cooking involved in making a salad,) and “WHAT?!  You got avocados?!”  It cracked me up, and made me feel proud.  Especially as their forks kept entering our bowl, to pick off avocados and cheese balls.  The memory still makes me smile 😉

Are you intrigued?  I swear by it…it is definitely worth trying 😀  And making…again and again and again!  Let’s get to it!

This recipe was so good as is, I stuck pretty close to the directions!!  So I must admit, it is just ever so slightly adapted from perfectweightamerica.com.

Note: this is a recipe that requires a bit of planning ahead!  For best results, go through your first 3 steps an hour before serving 🙂

Here’s what you need:

For the Salad:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Pear
  • 2 Hearts of Romaine (Or lettuce of choice!)
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 12 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 Green Onions, sliced
  •  1/2 C Almonds

Dressing:

A recipe of your favorite vinaigrette, or if you want to keep it simple and healthy, you can make the “Maker’s Diet Basic Vinaigrette” with

  •  1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Herbamare Seasoning

If you have never heard of Herbamare Seasoning…it is quite magical and you should try it!!!  It is like salt kicked up a notch…and totally natural!!  Here’s what you’re looking for 🙂

Grilled Chicken Chickpea Salad 1

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Take your almonds, and place them in a small food processor, and pulse until they are very finely chopped.  Dump into a shallow bowl.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mustard, cheddar, and green onion.
  3. Take small spoonfuls of the cheese mixture, roll it into balls.  This works surprisingly well..I expected it to get all over my hands.  But it was barely messy and rolled very well!!
  4. Take each cheese ball and roll it in the almonds to make a coating 🙂  Place them in a single layer on a platter and put them in the fridge.  Let chill for an hour or so.
  5. Get your romaine, and chop into bite sized pieces.
  6. Whisk together your vinaigrette!
  7. Slice the avocado and pear right before serving, or if you are using a vinaigrette with lemon juice in it…you can slice the avocado and pear earlier in the process, and cover them with the vinaigrette to prevent browning.
  8. Place the lettuce on your serving plates, top with avocado and pear slices and your crusted cheese balls…drizzle on some dressing…and impress the hungry people at your table 🙂  Enjoy salad like you have never had it before!!

Start by processing your almonds, so they will make a nice fine, crunchy coating for your cheese balls.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad

Put the Ricotta, cheddar, Dijon, and green onions together in a bowl.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 2Stir it together till combined well.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 3

Roll mixture into balls, and roll in the almonds to create a coating.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 5

Place in a single layer and let  chill in refrigerator for about an hour.  This is about half of what my recipe made.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 4

Thinly slice avocado and pear.  If you are not serving immediately, cover with a vinaigrette that has lemon in it.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 6

Place your lettuce on serving plates and top with avocado, pear, and cheese balls, and drizzle with dressing.

Pear, Avocado, Cheese Ball Salad 7

Isn’t it pretty?!  Here’s a close up of the deliciousness that you NEED to partake in 😉

Pear, Avocado, Chees Ball Salad 8

So fresh and tasty!  The sweetness of the pear against the creaminess of the cheese.  You know…sour cream and onion is one of my favorite junk food flavors…perhaps that is why I love these cheese balls…the green onion with the Ricotta is reminiscent of a healthier version of it.  And of course, the avocado is a gem…which was evidenced by the thieves sticking their forks into our salad bowl 😉  I do so hope you enjoy!! 🙂

Green Apple Smoothie (No Crap Included!)

     This…was pretty tasty. It was born of desperation. Aren’t most wonderful things? 🙂 I was at work…and was out of frozen fruit. Woe is me! See here’s my issue…lately, I have been eating 2-3 breakfasts a day!! Don’t judge me!! It’s super weird because I used to hate breakfast with all my being. It made me feel sick. But since trying to eat better…it doesn’t make me feel sick any more. In fact, I wake up STOKED to scramble my eggs and blend my smoothie!! Or make my frittata. Or omelet. Or my Greek yogurt and fruit. But most often, for simplicity’s sake, it is scrambled eggs and a smoothie. So this morning, I had eggs…no fruit. Even though I eat 3 whole eggs…it just doesn’t leave me satisfied and I knew I would crave more food until I slipped up and ate something full of processed crap, unless I could find a way to satisfy my maniac of a metabolism.

     Then I turned around and saw a huge bowl of green apples. I thought to myself “nooo, those won’t work in smoothies! That would be weird.” And yet, as I walked away…a thought stopped me. What is one of my favorite martinis? Green apple. Favorite candy flavor? Green apple. Why couldn’t I make a green apple smoothie? Why the heck not? So I turned back around, and began to experiment. I was so excited about getting it just right that I drank one for breakfast and lunch. Hehehee. Care to see this adventure I embarked on? Please, proceed…

 Green Apple Smoothie 3

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 small green apples (mine were really small)

  • 1 Tbsp honey

  • ½ C coconut milk

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 small glug of vanilla (I love vanilla, but it can be overpowering in stuff like this. So be careful!)

  • ½ C ice cubes (just a handful!)

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Perfect Meal Powder

Note: Perfect Meal Powder is a product from the man that created “The Maker’s Diet” that we try to follow. He has a health food brand called “Tree of Life.” It is similar to a protein powder…seeing as it has 19 grams of protein in one serving. However, unlike most of the other powders, it doesn’t have a bunch of unnatural weird stuff in it. Another nice thing is that it expands in your tummy and makes you feel nice and full. It’s perfect to hold you off between meals!! You can find it at most health food stores. But honestly…that is the expensive way to do it. We got it about half price or less here on this link. (Sidenote…if you want a small discount, you can comment to let me know, give me your email…and if I send you an invite, we’ll both get a discount!) It’s a great product that you should check out if you are looking in to a losing weight or healthy snack/breakfast ideas!! Now!! On to how you do it!

How it’s done:

  1. Rinse your apples. Core and slice into small pieces.

  2. Combine everything in your blender.

  3. Blend.


WOW!!! That was difficult! 😉 Now taste and adjust to your taste and consistency preferences! I hope you enjoy!!!    

Slice into small pieces.

Green Apple Smoothie 1

Plop everything into your blender…this was me halfway through 😉

Green Apple Smoothie 2

Blend blend blend until it is the texture you desire 🙂  And sip.  And slurp.  And gulp.  Ahhhhh!

Green Apple Smoothie 3

Mint Ice: Super Easy, Fun Idea

Who out there often falls short of reaching their suggested amount of daily water intake?!

I know I haven’t been doing too good the last few weeks for sure!  But guess what helps me?  Having MINT in my water!  Now usually I will call up my mamma and see if she can send me some Peppermint Essential Oil…cause it’s so good for you, soothes the tummy, and makes it always smell like you just brushed your teeth!  But let’s face it…essential oils are kind of expensive…and shipping them from Washington to New York is a pain.  So I have discovered the next best thing!!!  It saves my extra fresh mint from going bad…it makes me happy because my water tastes like mint again…AND it keeps my water cold!  I love having super cold water 🙂  It’s the easiest thing ever…I am more sharing this blog so you can discover the idea…not for the instructions.  It’s pretty self explanatory 😉

Sidenote:  Do this with other herbs for different uses…and I do believe it will be a good way to preserve them too!  You could do basil for mixed drinks!!!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Filtered Water
  • An Ice Cube Tray

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse your mint and make sure it’s clean.  Pull the leaves off of the stems.
  2. Rub your leaves a bit to release the flavor.
  3. Place leaves in clean ice cube tray.
  4. Top with filtered water.
  5. Put in the freezer, leave for a few hours…then use as you please!  Yay yummy water! And though it is not as concentrated as the essential oil…it will still help your breath and probably your tummy too!!!

 

See my pretty ice cube tray that my wonderful husband bought me at Ikea?  It was only a dollar…and he loves me.  ❤  It’s green!  I love green.

Mint Ice 1In go the leaves…

Mint Ice 2Close upppppp…

Mint Ice 3Fill with filtered water and freeze!!  Great for parties too 🙂  Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

Turkey Sausage Fritatta

This is an “omg” meal!  Remember the Two Pepper Fritatta?  That was really good.  This one…is even better!!  I’m usually not passionate about breakfast…but when I made this, I fell in love.  And I rarely repeat recipes because I am so excited to try new ones that I don’t have time to do both.  Not so with this one.  Definitely have already made it twice.  Definitely can’t wait to make it again.  There is just something about turkey sausage…that makes me really happy!  🙂  As some of you may remember, I have realized that there is a certain way to make these…and if you get it just right…you are going to have a crispy, golden brown “crust” with a super fluffy wonderful inside!  And of course…what could make it better than to top it with a little melty cheese? Have I peaked your interest?  Read on, my friends….

Tweaked from perfectweightamerica.com.

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 oz Cheddar Cheese (I use raw milk cheddar from Aldi)
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 4 oz Turkey Sausage, not the links…the ground stuff in a roll 😉  (Try to find some without sugar!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (The sausage does most of the flavoring)

And here’s how you do it!!!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a CAST IRON SKILLET, or closest oven safe pan you have (but really…you should use the cast iron one), brown your turkey sausage.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Whisk your eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Go light on the salt, cause sausage is salty.  You can add salt later, you cannot take it away!!  Make sure this part gets nice and fluffy looking 🙂
  4. Add your browned sausage to the egg mixture and mix it up.
  5. Melt the butter in your same cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Let it get nice and warm!
  6. Pour in your egg mixture and let cook for 5-7 minutes…so that the edges are getting nice and set, but you aren’t burning its butt.
  7. Top with shredded cheese and plop in your 400 degree oven.  Cook until the eggs are nice and fluffy but set, the cheese is melted, and the edges are getting brown.  Probably another 5-7 minutes.
  8. Serve!!  We ate it just as is and it was perfect!  But feel free to top with what you like, ie some fresh herbs, hot sauce, sour cream, avocado, etc… Let your imagination have its way 🙂

Brown your turkey sausage in a cast iron skillet.  CAST IRON SKILLET I SAY!  Set aside 🙂

Turkey Sausage Fritatta

Eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Whisk it till its smooth!

Turkey Sausage Fritatta 2

Add sausage to the fluffy mixture and stir in 🙂

Turkey Sausage Fritatta 3Melt butter in the same cast iron skillet and let it get decently hot (medium heat.)  Pour in the egg/sausage mixture and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Turkey Sausage Fritatta 4

Top with shredded cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.  Tabby love cheese!

Turkey Sausage Fritatta 6

Plop into your oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until the middle isn’t runny any more, the sides are getting golden brown and crispy, and your cheese is melty!

Turkey Sausage Fritatta 8

Yeah baby!!!  Don’t you just want to dive in to that beauty?!  Mmmm!!

Turkey Sausage Fritatta 9

Sausaaaaaaage!  Thank you Jesus!! 🙂

SO delicious!  I seriously love sausage.  And the mixture of the fluffy and crispy…I can barely stand it!!!   In a good way of course.  This is FANTASTIC with a nice refreshing fruit smoothie!!  Perfect breakfast 🙂  Enjoy!!  Let me know if anyone tries it 🙂

Fall Apart Butter Roast

This.  Was.  So.  Wonderful.  Like, really.  It was the most satisfied we were with a meal in a long time.  We love a lot of them.  But we REALLY loved this one.  Probably cause it just felt so good to bite into a huge slab of meat.  Hallelujah pot roast!!!!  It was so tender and flavorful….aahhh my tummy is growling.  I haven’t had dinner yet!  This is torture to remember, it was so good haha!  Please try it out!!

Note:  I used a crock pot, but it can also be cooked low and slow in the oven!

Here’s what you need:

  • Chuck Roast, about 3 lbs (this recipe should work with just about whatever size of roast will feed your family)
  • 1 C butter, melted
  • 1 C Worcestershire Sauce (Check your label!! I was so sad to find out that mine had corn syrup in it 😦  But I know there are some without it!)
  • 1 Small Onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic, minced (I think more is better with garlic…but know that not everyone agrees 😉 So garlic it up to your tastes)
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

And here’s how you do it!!!  Are you ready?!  It’s reallllly difficult:  (That’s sarcasm, in case you haven’t figured me out yet 😉 )

  1. Generously salt and pepper both sides of your roast.
  2. Place half of your onion in the bottom of a 6 qt crock pot (or whatever size fits your roast).
  3. Lay your roast on top of the onion slices, and sprinkle with the minced garlic and remaining onion.
  4. Whisk together your melted butter and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the roast.  Cook on low until it reaches your desired amount of doneness.  I believe that mine was in the crock pot for about 8 hours, and it was just slightly pink and absolutely FELL APART it was so tender!!

I am going to show you my pictures, even though…it is really stinking hard to make a “falling apart” roast look pretty haha!  But that’s okay…cause I think you know that means it was tasty…and tasty is good! 🙂

Here it is, waiting its sauce so that it can cook all day and make my tummy happy!  See the ridiculous amount of garlic I put on it?  It makes me happy 🙂  Confession…I was in a hurry and my mother in law had jarred minced garlic in the fridge…so I was lazy and just dumped a bunch of that on it instead of mincing fresh garlic.  Hehehee…so if you want to go that route, feel free to join me 😉  Obviously it worked well!

Butter Roast 1

Can you see that garlic?!  I went crazy!  You should too!

Butter Roast 2

After you season it with salt and pepper and place it in the crock pot with garlic and onions, simply mix your Worcestershire sauce and butter and pour it over the roast!

Butter Roast 3Cook on low for about 8 hours, till its tender and reaches the desired amount of “doneness” that you so desire 🙂  Then take it out and try to make it look pretty…good luck!  Then feel free that it is the addictingly delicious taste that matters 😉

Butter Roast AServe with some wonderful veggies!  Seen here is my recently posted Roasted Brussels Sprouts 🙂

Butter Roast CSoooo yummy!!

Butter Roast BTry plopping this super simple roast into the crock pot before church this weekend…and let me know what you think!  Your family will loooooove you! 😉

Easy (And Tasty) Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Little brains!!!  Not a lot of people enjoy them.  They seem to be the black sheep of veggies…the ones that adults and children alike shudder in terror when you mention.  Well.  That just will not do.  Because they can be delicious!  They have so much potential…they’re just misunderstood! 😉  Now that we have given them our psychiatric evaluation…let’s explain one way they can be absolutely delightful!  This one, I must admit…I didn’t change a thing so don’t give me credit!  Perfectweightamerica.com had it, well…perfect! 😉  Sweet from the honey, tart from the mustard, flavorful from the thyme and garlic…and a little zing from the vinegar!

I LOVE roasted veggies.  Definitely my favorite way to eat them.  Warm…so comforting.  Crunchy…so the perfect texture.  And simply delicious, cause their natural taste is the star!!  So, without further a do:

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 C Brussels Sprouts (Sidenote: they sell bags of them at Sams Club that end up being exactly 4 C, and pretty cheap!)
  • 5 Cloves Garlic (You know its gotta be good when there is that much garlic!)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 *generous* tsp Honey
  • 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

And here’s what you do (seriously, I don’t think it could be easier):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash your sprouts and chop ’em in half.  Trim if needed.  I started trimming the ends off of mine and they just started falling apart and not working well..and I realized that there was nothing gross or weird about them, so they probably didn’t need to be trimmed.  And they worked much better when I made that realization.
  3. Peel garlic (give it a little squish to help.)  Run your fingers down the thyme sprigs to remove the leaves.
  4. Put your Brussels sprouts and garlic in a large bowl.
  5. Mix everything else in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  6. Pour the sauce over the sprouts and toss to coat.
  7. Lay out the sprouts on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Pop into the oven for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.  That’s it!!  Yummy browned crispy sweet and tangy goodness!  And soooooooooo good for you!  🙂

What’s your favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts?!  Any good healthy recipes for me to try?

Washed and sliced in half, waiting to be dressed and roasted!

Brussels Sprouts 1Roasteeeeeeed!  So toasty 🙂

Brussels Sprouts 2And served along side a beautiful roast!  Yummy!  That one is soon to come, and it is one of our new favorites!!  So be watching!!

Brussel Sprouts 3