bacon broccoli salad

This is something I’ve wanted to start doing for awhile now…food blogging! I’ve gotten pretty into cooking in the past year or so and just very recently began contemplating sharing my creations. There are so many fabulous food blogs out there. Poor Girl Eats Well is my biggest inspiration: Her whole deal is creating gourmet, healthy meals on a budget. So smart, right? Anyway, I’m passionate about food–especially trying out vegetarian (sometimes vegan…although I like to add cheese to everything) dishes. This dish, however, is not at all vegetarian, and contains one of my favorite indulgences: Bacon! It was for a work potluck with a “Memorial Day foods” theme. This was picnic-like, still vegetable based but with cheese and bacon so everyone should enjoy it. (After my avocado chickpea salad, there’s expectation to fulfill!) So without further ado.

Ingredients:
2 large broccoli crowns
1/8 (approx) red onion
1 medium tomato
sprinkling of freshly grated carrot (optional)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (your choice; I used some Mexican blend I had in the fridge)
1/4 cup mayonnaise* (I prefer Kraft olive oil mayo)
1 cup light sour cream*
1 packet dry ranch dip mix
5-10 strips bacon

First, preheat oven to 400 degrees. I bake my bacon; it’s far the easiest and neatest way. I line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and raise the sides to contain the grease. I bake each batch for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it. For this dish you want the bacon to be crispy and crumbly.

Chop up the broccoli into small florets. You can chop the stems too if you want. Dice the onion and tomato. Add all the veggies, including the carrot (if you like) to a large bowl or container.

For the dressing, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Mix together until smooth and blended. Add powdered dip mix and stir together. By this time, your bacon should be done. Using tongs, remove from baking sheet onto a plate with paper towels; blot. (Tip: Drain the bacon grease into an empty tin can. Bacon grease once cooled can clog drains, and when it’s hot it will melt your garbage bags, so be careful.) Crumble and break the bacon into small pieces over the veggie mixture. Now spoon the dressing on top, stir thoroughly to combine and coat. Cover, refrigerate, then serve!

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