dairy-free

Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Curly Kale and Curly Pasta Salad

I love making pasta salads when entertaining because it’s easy to make a lot, not too pricey, filling, and they are great at room temperature. This pasta salad recipe is nicely balanced with beans and greens, and a store-bought pesto makes it so easy! I adapted BHG’s Italian Pesto Pasta Salad recipe by adding kale and pecans.

I pull the kale off the stalks and shred them into pieces by hand. After boiling the pasta, I throw the kale in that same pot, with a bit of olive oil, and saute´ briefly until wilted and bright green. I then toss the hot pasta with the greens, canned beans and pesto.

Chopped green scallions and toasted pecans can be sprinkled over the top before serving, or mixed in, for an extra crunchy kick.

This dish is great served warm or at room temperature, and is easily made ahead.

For the full recipe, click here. I simply substituted kale and pecans for the suggested arugula and pine nuts. The dish could also be made vegan by leaving out the cheese and using a dairy-free pesto. It could easily be made with gluten-free pasta as well. Enjoy!

Recipe adaptation and photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a cookbook and food blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods. 


BHG Guest Blogger

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops – Guest Blogger: Jennifer Chong

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops / Jennifer Chong for BHG

Early this month the weather in SoCal was really hot – since I moved here from Atlanta, I’ve grown incredible comfortable to 70º year round perfect weather but there are those occasional weeks where it’s just really hot like an oven. I know I shouldn’t complain about the weather, but when you don’t have AC and it’s 90º outside – it makes for a painfully hot apartment.

Inspired by these frozen chocolate banana bites and these banana crunch pops, I decided to beat the heat with these chocolate dipped banana pops. Great treat to cool you down, not to mention a tad bit healthier than the ice cream you’re probably reaching for!

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops / Jennifer Chong for BHG
Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops / Jennifer Chong for BHG
Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops / Jennifer Chong for BHG
Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops / Jennifer Chong for BHG

Ingredients
2 Bananas
1/2 cup of dark chocolate pieces
1/2 cup of crushed almonds
1/2 cup of toasted coconut
3-6 sticks

Recipe
1. Peel bananas. Slice bananas into 1 1/2 inch-thick pieces and insert sticks.
2. Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Arrange banana pieces on baking sheet and freeze bananas for at least 30 mins.
3. Once bananas are frozen or firm and cool to the touch. In a heavy small saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat (you can also microwave it too, but slowly and watch your chocolate!). Place melted chocolate in small bowl for dipping.
4. Dip the frozen bananas into the warm chocolate and quickly top with crushed almonds or toasted coconut. The chocolate should firm up pretty quickly.
5. Place the dipped bananas on a waxed baking sheet when complete.
6. You can enjoy these right away or store them in the fridge for up to three days. If they are completely frozen I’d recommend leaving them in the fridge for 10-15 mins before serving.

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops / Jennifer Chong for BHG

If you guys make these at home – would love to know how they turned out! Share your pictures with me using #bhgdippedbananas :) Happy week everyone!

Jennifer

Follow me on on Twitter and Instagram, @jchongstudio


Jennifer Chong is a designer and photographer with a big heart (and stomach) for all things food! She is also the author of a lifestyle blog focused on travel, food and design – blog.jchongstudio.com. When she isn’t working, she can be found playing beach volleyball, continent hopping (four so far!) or searching for some delightful treats to devour! You can also follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more!


Delish Dish Editor

Make-Ahead Holidays—Now’s the Time to Start!

Seasons greetings, everyone! Jessica Christensen, senior editor with Better Homes and Gardens special interest titles here to welcome you to December—the busiest baking time of the year. I love baking during the holidays (and any time, really) but with my 9-month-old son demanding the majority of my time this year, my baking is going to be more structured and organized—as in make-ahead everything!

Which leads me to last weekend. When my son’s nap time rolled around, I set to work on a batch of rolls to freeze for Christmas dinner. My choice: Feather Rolls, a time-tested recipe from our BH&G archives. Like the name implies, these rolls are soft, tender, and light as a feather (thanks to the secret ingredient of mashed potato!).

However, since I don’t eat dairy products (long story), I had to find a substitute for the butter. My solution to that problem: Earth Balance margarine, the best non-dairy, high-fat margarine on the market for baking. It contains 100 calories per tablespoon, just like butter, so it behaves in much the same way. It’s also free of hydrogenated oils, which is not true of most margarines.The dough came together beautifully—made from flour, sugar, margarine, mashed potato, water, salt, and yeast. Once the ingredients were mixed together, it was a simple matter of kneading the dough until it formed a smooth ball.

Now here’s a big perk of the Feather Rolls recipe—the dough can rise in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours. So when I got completely distracted for the rest of the day playing an endless game of peekaboo, it was no big deal. The next day I turned the dough out, cut it into 16 pieces (the recipes says 15 pieces, but it’s much easier to get equal sizes from an even number of bread pieces), formed each piece into a rough ball, and placed the pieces in a 13×9 pan to rise for 40 minutes. The awkward 16th piece of dough had to squeeze in on one end of the pan, but I’m OK with that. Then it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to hot and yeasty baked rolls.

Once the rolls were cool, I wrapped them up in a layer each of plastic wrap and foil, and then placed them in a larger baking dish with a tight fitting lid. Then off to the freezer they went, where they will stay until the big holiday festivities later this month. I plan to pull them out of the freezer the morning of the feast to thaw and then bake them for about 10 minutes at 350°F to warm them up.

Then, because I was “on a roll” I decided to make up a double batch of Mini Focaccia.  I used half of it to make a large focaccia round, and then split the other half of the dough up to make mini focaccia. I topped it with fresh rosemary (from a summer plant I brought inside that is now struggling to survive in my window). I learned long ago that this recipe needs to either be eaten immediately or frozen to keep it from getting tough and dried out. Fresh bread doesn’t last nearly as long as store-bought. So after it was baked off to the freezer it went.

Three cheers for planning ahead! What baked goodies are you going to prep and freeze for the holidays this year?