Last week’s Greek Breakfast Casserole does not exactly fall within Craig’s wheelhouse since my significant other has an egg aversion. So I’ve been thinking about foods that he likes and I am really pumped to share this week’s recipe with you. But first, some background.
I’ve heard stories from Craig’s Grandma Blean – and echoed by other family members – about how he used to be such a picky eater as a child and what a long way he’s come since then. I wouldn’t call him picky per se, but he is awfully particular about what he likes and doesn’t. Wait…does that constitute being picky? I guess we all are to some degree. Just some more than others.
Before I moved to Illinois, dinners at his bachelor pad consisted of sandwiches, heavy snacking, or frozen pizzas on the Pizzazz. Ever heard of a Pizzazz pizza oven? I sure hadn’t until I met Craig. It’s a frozen pizza cooking contraption which requires no pre-heating and promises “freezer to perfect in minutes” as its “rotating tray continually turns the pizza to assure even baking, top and bottom.”
In fact, Craig relied so heavily on the Pizzazz, that he didn’t use his actual oven.
Well, that’s not quite true. He did use his oven, but he used it as a storage unit. He placed his running shoes on top and Lily’s dog treats inside.
But by the time that I moved to the farm, he had cleared out the dog treats, found a new home for his running shoes, and plugged in the oven once again. And most evenings we cook dinner at home. Though sometimes we’ll even fire up the ol’ Pizzazz for Sunday HBO nights. I’m a Pizzazz-convert, I admit it.
Last week was busy for us and we didn’t eat as many home-cooked meals as we typically do. Tuesday we saw Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Adler Theater in Davenport and ate out before the show. And at a charity fashion show on Thursday night, I modeled outfits from MIVA, my friend Morgan’s boutique.
I ran errands after work on Monday and Wednesday, but I still wanted to make dinner those nights since we weren’t out, albeit something quick and easy. And what’s easier than a BLT? I knew I’d get Craig’s approval for that. If a menu ever lists a BLT, there’s really no need to ask him what he’s ordering – it’s a given. So Monday night we had BLTs.
Over the weekend, I started thinking about what to make for this week’s Game Day Grub. I still had most of the simple ingredients for a BLT, so I came up with a different take on the classic sandwich – one that is easy to bring to a picnic, feed to picky eaters, or share when you have company over to watch the game. The Mini BLAT-Salad Sandwich. I love a BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) sandwich. And if you can make a chicken salad, tuna salad, or ham salad sandwich, why not a BLAT-salad sandwich? Here’s how to do it.
Cook bacon until crisp. I had always fried bacon in a skillet and thought there was nothing better. But years ago a friend suggested baking it in the oven because the bacon comes out more evenly cooked, crisp, and the clean-up is easier. Blasphemy, I thought. Until I tried baking it. Now I’ll never look back. I use center cut bacon to make it a tad healthier and bake it at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until desired doneness/crispness. (Note: my oven takes longer to cook, so check yours often and use your own judgment on timing.) But you’ll likely want crisper bacon so it doesn’t get soggy in the dressing.
In a large bowl, combine mayo with apple cider vinegar and honey. Whisk until well combined. Stir fresh or dried chives into dressing. I’m a big fan of Penzey’s spices and love their freeze-dried chives when I don’t have fresh.
Mix greens into the dressing. I used kale as my L for the sandwich. Romaine would also work. But, raw kale is such a fibrous green that it stays crisp and crunchy in the dressing – I highly I recommend using it.
After blotting grease from the bacon, roughly chop bacon to about ½ to 1 inch long. Then add bacon pieces to dressing and stir.
Chop half a tomato and half an avocado. Add to bowl and set aside.
Cut mini sub rolls in half with a vertical cut. Open the pre-cut section of the roll and place cut-side up on baking sheet or rack and bake for 3-5 minutes until toasted.
Assemble sandwich by spooning 2-3 tablespoons of salad mixture in between sandwich rolls halves. Hold sandwich together with a toothpick if needed.
1 Mini BLAT-Salad sandwich = 8 WW Freestyle Points.
BLAT-Salad Mixture without bun = 5 WW Freestyle Points
(Note: there’s a little salad mixture leftover. If you wanted to, you could get away with using 3 subs rolls cut in half to make 6 mini sandwiches. Spoon approximately 2 – 2.5 tablespoons of salad in between sandwich halves in this case. WW points for 6 servings = 6 Freestyle Points per mini sandwich. Or you could just eat the leftover salad with a spoon like I did.)
Mini BLAT-Salad Sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Yields: 4 servings
WW Totals: 1 mini sandwich = 8 Freestyle Points
BLAT-salad (no bun) = 5 Freestyle Points
8 slices center cut bacon
6 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 cup of raw kale, chopped
½ medium tomato, seeded and chopped
½ avocado, chopped
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp chives
¾ tsp apple cider vinegar
2 mini sub buns (I used Aunt Millie’s Whole Grain Mini Sub Rolls)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a medium-sized baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay bacon slices on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until desired crispness. Place bacon on a paper-toweled lined plate to absorb grease.
- While bacon is cooking, prepare dressing in a medium-sized bowl by whisking mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey and chives. Stir in kale.
- Blot bacon with a paper towel to remove any excess grease. Roughly chop bacon pieces to approximately ½ – 1 inch in length. Mix bacon, chopped tomatoes and avocado into dressing, and set aside.
- Cut mini sub rolls in half vertically to create 4 mini sandwiches. Open roll along the pre-cut section and place roll open-faced onto baking sheet or rack. Bake in oven until toasted, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- When ready to serve, assemble sandwiches by spooning about 3 tablespoons of salad mixture into each mini sandwich. Use a toothpick to hold sandwich together and serve.