Mad Greens Inspired Brussels Sprout & Quinoa Bowl

We were driving home from the airport a few months ago and stopped at Mad Greens for a quick lunch. Jamie ordered the Belgium Bowl and has pretty much been obsessed with it ever since. So much so, that we now have driven out of the way to find a Mad Greens more than once. The Belgium Bowl has a number of ingredients, but is essentially a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa, and chicken bowl with some fun toppings like bacon, goat cheese, and pecans. It’s hearty and very filling, which is something we look for in a lunch salad. We started to make this salad at home and have mixed and matched our own variations to get it to the recipe we are sharing today. It has become a family favorite and a great recipe to transition from winter into spring.

Mad Greens Inspired Brussels Sprout & Quinoa Bowl

  • Servings: 4 entrée servings
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A hearty and healthy brussels sprout and quinoa bowl, inspired by the Belgium Bowl at Mad Greens.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups finely shaved brussels sprouts (you can do this in a food processor)
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the quinoa and cook on a simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until it is crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and set it aside on paper towel, reduce the heat of the pan to low and drain the fat from the pan. You don’t need to clean the pan completely – you can leave any fat that remains on the bottom of the pan. Add the pecans to the pan and toast them until they become fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, and honey together in a small bowl. This dressing is more on the mustardy side (our preference) but if you want the dressing to be a little sweeter, add the full 1/4 cup honey into the dressing. Once all ingredients are combined, add a little water to the dressing to thin it out to a drizzly consistency and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Add the quinoa and brussels sprouts to a large mixing bowl. Chop the bacon and add it to the bowl along with the toasted pecans and red onion. Dollop the goat cheese around the salad and add the dressing over top. Toss everything really well so that the goat cheese is spread throughout the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Breakfast For Dinner Bowls

“Breakfast For Dinner Bowls” used to be our fancy way of saying, holy crap we didn’t buy groceries and have absolutely no idea what’s for dinner. This is precisely what has happened on a number of occasions; so many, in fact, that Breakfast For Dinner Bowls have now become a request instead of an accident. What exactly goes into one of these bowls changes from time to time, but the general gist is bacon, soft boiled eggs, a grain like quinoa or farro, and lots of vegetables. The result is a hearty breakfast bowl that easily satisfies for dinner. No matter what combination of ingredients we use, it’s a crowd pleaser every time.

Breakfast For Dinner Bowls

  • Servings: 4
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A healthy version of breakfast for dinner, complete with all of our favorite breakfast essentials.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, farro, or your favorite grain
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2-3 springs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 cups lightly packed kale, large stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, feta, or goat cheese (optional)
  • your favorite hot sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a medium pot with 3 cups of water to a boil. Add your grain of choice and cook according to package directions, adding more water if your grain requires it. Cook until done and set aside in a separate bowl, covered.
  2. While the grain is cooking, heat a second large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to get crispy, about 8 minutes, flipping once half way through. Remove the bacon, leave about 2 tbs of the fat in the pan, and discard the rest. Keeping the heat on medium, add half of the garlic (2 cloves) and cherry tomatoes to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, and thyme to the tomatoes. Chop the bacon and add it back into the pan. Reduce the heat and cook another 5 minutes or so, until the tomato mixture has a jam like consistency. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and keep covered and warm until you are ready to serve.
  3. It is time to cook the eggs. Gently put the eggs into the boiling pot of water from Step 1. Depending on how you like your egg, cook the egg for 6 minutes for a thick runny yolk or 7 minutes for more of a jammy yolk consistency. Keep the water at a gentle boil while the eggs are cooking. Immediately transfer the eggs from the boiling water to a bowl of ice water. Peel the eggs when they are cool enough to handle, trying to do this process quickly so that they don’t over cool, and set the eggs aside until you are ready to serve.
  4. While the eggs are boiling, begin cooking the mushrooms. Using the same pan that the tomatoes were cooking, add the olive oil, remaining garlic, and mushrooms. Let the mushrooms and garlic cook for about 5 minutes before adding the kale to the pan. Give everything a good toss, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook the mushrooms and kale for another 3-5 more minutes, or until the kale is nice and wilted.
  5. Now you are ready to combine all of the elements to serve. Divide the quinoa or bulgur evenly amongst the four shallow pasta bowls. Add the kale and mushrooms to the plates, making a little nest in the center. Put a large spoonful of the tomato bacon jam into the nest and top with the soft boiled egg. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, and serve. We like our bowls with a little bit of hot sauce, as pictured.


Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast

We know that Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, and for the most part that means that our guest lists will be much smaller than previous Thanksgiving celebrations. For the past few years we have had so many people come to Thanksgiving that we make a traditional roasted turkey and our famous deep fried turkey. To mix things up this year we decided to try out roasting a turkey breast. Turkey breast is traditionally dry, so we are really doing things up and wrapping it in bacon! The result is an ultra savory turkey breast, with a crispy bacon crust that we cannot get enough of. This half turkey breast serves 4-6 people depending on the size of the rest of your dinner menu. It is a snazzy main course if you have just a handful of people at the table this year, but would also be a great addition to a whole turkey if you need a little something extra. We love this recipe because it takes just over 2 hours to make from prep to serving, compared to a whole turkey that can take 2-3 times longer to make. While the turkey breast is resting we heat the other side dishes, so that everything is warm and ready to go by dinnertime.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast

  • Servings: 4-6 servings
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A delicious alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving turkey!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 turkey breast, skin and rib bone removed
  • 4 tbs butter, room temperature
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 12 oz thick cut, applewood smoked bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the compound butter. Whip the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and lemon zest with a hand mixer until it is well combined. Set aside.
  3. Lay the bacon in a single layer on a clean cutting board, make sure the bacon is touching and there is very little space between the pieces. If the bacon has a thicker end and a thinner end, flip every other piece of bacon so that the width of bacon is even on both sides. Use a rolling pin to roll the bacon, thinning it out to make a layer that will easily surround your turkey breast. You want it at least 1/3 longer than it started.
  4. Season the turkey breast very well on all sides with salt and pepper. Use your hands to coat the turkey breast on all sides with the garlic and herb butter.
  5. Lay the turkey breast top side down on the center of the bacon. Criss cross and overlap the bacon, using toothpicks to help secure it in place, so that you have a full coating around the turkey breast and that as little of the turkey is showing as possible. Don’t worry about how ugly the toothpicks look, you will remove them in plenty of time before serving. What matters most is that you have thoroughly secured the bacon around the turkey.
  6. Lay the turkey breast skin side down (toothpicks up) in a Pyrex baking sheet and bake the turkey for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, flip the turkey breast and cook an additional 30-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160-165 degrees at the thickest part of the turkey. If the bacon isn’t crispy and brown when the turkey has finished cooking, remove the toothpicks and broil the turkey breast on high heat until the bacon is the color and crispiness you desire.
  7. Remove the turkey breast from the oven and gently tent with foil. Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before removing any remaining toothpicks, slicing, and serving. Any drippings from the turkey can be used to make a traditional gravy, if desired.


Wedge Salad with Avocado Lime Crema

Tate’s mom hates blue cheese. There, we said it. Despite many attempts to appreciate the stinky cheese in all of its glory, she just can’t get on board. A wedge salad has been one of the few dishes she hasn’t found a way to enjoy until now. Our version of this classic salad combines many of the OG ingredients but uses an avocado lime crema dressing as a substitute for the cheese. The result? An equally delicious salad that can be enjoyed as a weeknight dinner or a perfect starter to a fancy steak night at home. Even the blue cheese lovers can enjoy this by sprinkling the stinky cheese on top before serving!

Wedge Salad with Avocado Crema
Makes: 4 side salad servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 8 strips of bacon
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced

Directions

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If the consistency of the dressing is too thick for your liking, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and blend until it is the desired consistency.
  2. Cook the bacon until crispy. Leave the bacon strips whole and blot the oil away with a paper towel.
  3. Cut the iceberg into 4 wedges. Put the wedges on 4 dishes and dollop a large scoop of the dressing on top. Add the onion, tomato and bacon over the wedge. Serve immediately.