...based on my hot-weather-necessitated adventure in How Many Ways Can You Vary A Salad—in which I have discovered that broccoli salads are an awesome variation of their lettuce-based siblings.
Some of you might agree with this awesomeness because you get bored with lettuce after a while.

I hear ya.

Some might agree because broccoli salads usually include bacon.

I hear ya.
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mmm...bacon!
(I put up a classic Jim Gaffigan bit on the Laugh a Little page, fyi! It's a must see.)

Many of the broccoli salad recipes I found called for a crazy amount of mayonnaise, so I definitely wanted to make a lighter dressing for mine. Substituting plain yogurt plus a smidgen of mayo (olive oil mayo's my fave) goes a long way in making dressings lighter while keeping the familiar taste.

Fresh broccoli, crunchy veggies and pecans, crispy bacon—all tied together in a light, tangy-sweet dressing. Include some bowtie pasta and sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese on top, and you've got a complete dinner that should delight any crowd!

 
 
...based on my recent happy accident of purchasing fresh basil
and my recent/current/constant obsession with walnuts.
I have recently been using a lot of fresh basil in my cooking endeavors. There was a slight line-separation discrepancy in the please-pick-this-up-at-Trader-Joe's list I quickly jotted down for the husband a few weeks ago, and instead of having basil Italian sausage in our fridge we ended up with Italian sausage and fresh basil. 

Not complaining! Some miscommunications work out for the better, don't you think? 

One of these days we will start growing fresh herbs on our patio since it is sunny ALLTHETIME, but until then, this purchase will now be intentional. 
I'm also obsessed with walnuts lately. Usually we have pecans around but I have rediscovered that I think walnuts are the king of the stone fruits. (Which is the family nuts as a group apparently belong to...lock that little gem away in case you're ever on Jeopardy.) 

Missing protein on your plate? Try walnuts! Getting bored with your hot breakfast cereal? Try walnuts! Tired of chocolate on your sundae? Try walnuts! 

I'm kidding, that's crazy talk. Keep the chocolate--add walnuts.
To get the full recipe, click the button below!

 
 
...based on the time I ate meat several times in one weekend and just.needed.veggies.


I'm a fan of the "Meatless Mondays" trend around the interwebs. The kitchen in our house, though, tends to be Meatless Mostdays.

And why not, when dinner is this colorful?
I have long been what you might call an accidental vegetarian. I get protein from so many other things (dairy, legumes, nuts, etc.) that occasionally a few weeks will go by before I realize I haven't had meat on the menu in a while.

Since getting married, I do find myself using meat a lot more often. The time it takes to prepare it is a lot more rewarding when there's someone sharing it. (Let's be honest---a busy, single girl living alone has little reason to cook a pot roast every Sunday, amiright?) 

This Meatless Mondays/Meatless Mostdays dish is hearty and delicious. Full of fiber and protein, it includes wheatberries, kale, feta cheese, plenty of veggies, and just the right blend of sweet and tart flavors in the light dressing.  
For anyone wondering what the heck a wheatberry (also called a red winter wheat berry) is, it's the whole grain form of wheat, unprocessed and loaded with fiber. It has a nutty taste and a chewy texture. 

Wheatberries are also super versatile and work well both in savory dishes like this or as a sweet, warm breakfast cereal (or even baked into bread). 

They're pretty tough, so they take about an hour to cook. To save time, cook them the night before and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you're ready to throw your salad together. 

To get the recipe, click below!