The Best BLT Salad Recipe Ever

How to Get Your Family Eating Their Vegetables

The Best BLT Salad Recipe Ever

BLT Salad
When is a salad like a sandwich? When it's this deconstructed BLT Salad recipe—a bowl of homemade crunchy croutons, tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado, tossed in a creamy basil dressing. 
Crunchy Croutons
8 slices French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
Creamy Basil Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil 
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
10 cups romaine lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 avocado, peeled and diced
 For the croutons, preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with olive oil. Add Parmesan and salt, tossing well. Spread pieces on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, stirring frequently. 
 For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, basil, and vinegar. 
 In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, and croutons. Add dressing and toss to coat. 
(Serves 6)

For more family-friendly salads, try this Chinese Chicken Salad, this Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad, or this Nutty Noodle Salad Recipe.



Easy Brownie-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

An A+ Lunchbox Dessert that's Doubly Delicious

Easy Brownie-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
What could be better than a delicious chocolate chip cookie? One stuffed with a moist and fudgy brownie, that's what. These impressive brownie-stuffed chocolate chip cookies are surprisingly easy to make, and serve as further proof that it's what's inside that counts!
Brownie Filling
1 cup butter
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
½ tsp kosher salt
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
 For the brownies, preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and lightly spray again.
 In a microwave safe bowl, combine butter and unsweetened chocolate. Melt on high heat for 1 minute, stir, and melt for 30 seconds more or until the chocolate and butter are smooth and melted. 
 In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs. Whisk in melted chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt, just until flour disappears. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch squares—you will only need half the batch for the cookies, so use the rest for another dessert.
 For the cookies, preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until well combined. On low speed, add flour mixture and chocolate chips, mixing just until flour disappears.
 Using ¼ cup of cookie dough at a time, place 1 brownie square in the center and enclose the dough around it, add more dough if needed to cover completely. Place 2 inches apart on to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack.
(Yield: 12 cookies)
For more delectable dessert recipes, try this Ultimate S'Mores Layer Cake or these Triple Chocolate Coffee Brownies.

A Great Dinner Twist: Easy Italian Sloppy Joes Recipe

How to Serve Up (Sloppy) Smiles

A Great Dinner Twist: Easy Italian Sloppy Joes Recipe

Italian Sloppy Joes Recipe
Looking for an excuse to dig in? These scrumptious Italian Sloppy Joes might be a mess-of-a-meal (three napkins required), but they're also chock full of richly flavored beef that's sandwiched between crisp garlic buns and topped with cheese (three kinds!) and basil. Yes, this Italian twist on the American classic is guaranteed to serve up (sloppy) smiles!


Sloppy Joes

1½ lbs ground beef
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp herbs de Provence
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup red wine
¼ cup whole milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce

Garlic Rolls

6-8 bread rolls
3 tbsp butter
1 large garlic clove, minced 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Ricotta cheese
Provolone cheese slices
Fresh basil leaves


 For the Sloppy Joe filling, in a large skillet, sauté ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Cook the beef for 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain in a colander and set aside. Wipe out skillet and heat vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic and cook stirring until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute and add ground beef back to the skillet, stirring well to combine. Stir in red wine and milk and cook until wine and milk are almost completely absorbed. Add chicken broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

 For the garlic rolls, preheat broiler to high. Place bread rolls cut open on a baking sheet. In a small saucepan, melt butter with minced garlic. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Spread on both sides of bread rolls and place under broiler until lightly toasted. 

 To assemble Sloppy Joes, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the base of each roll. Spoon meat over Parmesan, followed by a spoonful of ricotta cheese and finish with another spoonful of meat. Top with a slice of provolone cheese. Place back under the broiler briefly to melt cheese. Remove from oven and top with fresh basil leaf and the top of the roll. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

If you prefer your chili on fries (try these Chili Cheese Fries) or vegetarian (Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili recipe), we've got you covered.