I love summer….everything about summer. I love the heat, the sunshine, the smell of fresh cut grass. I love cookouts and picnics too. During the summer, my In-Laws usually have a fire outside and we cookout for Sunday dinner… at least when it’s not raining. I really like having a hotdog cooked over an open flame and….. the best part… S’MORES!! Are mountain pies a regional thing? I feel like they are but I hope I’m wrong for all you non-PA-ers because they’re good too! Something that goes hand-in-hand with summer and picnics are the sides.
I enjoys “salads” of all kinds. Pea salad, broccoli salad, coleslaw…. really, it’s pretty much any vegetable with some sort of mayo based dressing on top. My husband HATES mayonnaise so he’s really left out of the picnic food game. He doesn’t like condiments either…so no ketchup or mustard or onions or relish or…. you get it 😉 . Aside from him, and his one brother, the rest of us like this stuff.
I try to stick to a low carb diet most of the time and some of these salads can have hidden sugar… (think fruit like raisins or sugar added to the dressing). I make and take my own because a. I know what’s in it and that it abides by my way of eating and b. who wants to be the person that doesn’t bring something to the picnic.
Sometimes I make this just for me to eat for lunch for the week. It’s easy and delicious and quick!
Please summer, hurry up!
Here is my recipe for easy, low carb broccoli salad:
- 2-3 heads broccoli
- 2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( dependent upon your cheesy love)
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion ( I prefer red onion)
- 1 lb. bacon, cooked into crispy bits
- 1 cup full fat mayonnaise
- 2-3 TBLS Vinegar ( I use apple cider vinegar)
- 2 TBLS sugar substitute (sugar if you’re not low carb)
- freshly ground black pepper ( I love black pepper so I use a lot)
Crispi-fying the bacon…mmmm, delicious bacon. This (and the cheese) may be the best part of these types of salads….and the best part of being low carb instead of low calorie lol
I buy irregular slices bacon because it’s cheaper and, for a recipe like this, I’m just going to chop it up anyway so it’s doesn’t matter. The only problem I have with the irregular cut is that there is MUCH more fat on this than the nicer, more expensive bacon, which, makes sense. You can use any kind of bacon you choose, I just want to point out that it’s not necessary, at all, to buy the expensive stuff for a recipe like this. If you eat low carb, it gets expensive living on mainly meat, cheese and veggies, so I try to save where I can i.e. cheap(er) bacon. Ok, there’s that.
Cut bacon into “bits”. I cut mine long-ways and also across. I also removed the largest areas of fat. Not all the fat but areas that were just fat alone.
I use a dutch-oven to crisp my bacon bits. I like the even heat of the enameled cast iron as well as the high sides to help prevent splatter. This is probably the longest part of this recipe. I advise you to cook your bacon over medium-low heat. The slower the cooking, the better the fat renders out and the crispier it gets. Also, with a slow heat, you don’t get bacon grease splatter all over the place (as much) so it saves clean up later… I’m all about preventing clean-up as much as possible. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to many things…including a giant mess in my kitchen.
Wash and cut broccoli into bite size pieces. Trust me. This isn’t rocket science.
Place all ingredients in a bowl
Mix together dressing ingredients in separate vessel ( I used a measuring cup)
*remember I said I like lots of black pepper 😀
Pour dressing over salad ingredients, toss to coat and refrigerate for a few hours before serving
That’s it… Happy picnic-ing!!!!