Bacon-Wrapped Pickles & RB Float

‘Twas a beautiful afternoon for a snack outdoors! I whipped up a sugar-free root beer float and these adorable bacon-wrapped pickles to enjoy a bite in the sunshine.

Bacon Wrapped Pickles with Buffalo Dip

As my pickles were fairly small, I split them each in two and let them sit on a paper towel to drain well. For larger pickles, I would suggest cutting them into quarters.

Slice uncooked bacon lengthwise then wrap each piece around a pickle spear. Secure with a toothpick.

Place pickles on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined cookie sheet. I cooked mine for 8 minutes at 350 and then broiled on high for 4 minutes to crisp them up. Serve with your favourite dip. Mine is a mixture of ¼ cup mayo and 2 tbsp Frank’s buffalo wings sauce.

Sugar-free Root Beer Float

In the blender, combine ¾ can sugar-free root beer (I used Diet A&W root beer), ¼ cup heavy whipping cream and 6-8 ice cubes. Slowly pour into large glass (it will be very frothy!) and top with remaining root beer before serving.

bacon wrapped pickle

Cucumber Salad

This salad is one of my all-time favourite summertime sides; it’s a make ahead dish so it’ll be cold and crunchy and ready to nestle in beside your meaty entree. I particularly like it with grilled pork tenderloin or spicy wings!

1 English cucumber, sliced thinly and halved

1 small packet artificial sweetener

3 tbsp cider vinegar

2 heaping tbsps mayo

2 heaping tbsps sour cream

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp dried chives (or 1 tsp fresh chives or 1 minced green onion)

salt and pepper to taste

Put cucumbers in bowl; top with remaining ingredients and mix well until combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The longer it sits, the better it gets! Stir well before serving.

cucumber salad

Strawberry Shortcake in a Mug

So BERRY easy to make! Ingredients: 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/2 packet sweetener. In a mug, microwave butter until melted. Add dry ingredients and mix <vigorously> until blended. Add 1 egg, 1 tbsp heavy cream, 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well then microwave for 3 minutes. Remove from mug immediately and let cool before slicing in half. Add fresh strawberries (I crushed mine a bit to make them juicy) and sweetened whipped cream.

Strawberry Shortcake

Tabbouleh Salad with (Surprise!) Cauliflower

A taste of summer! Start by ricing 1 head of cauliflower; microwave for 3 minutes and drain it very well, squeezing out all excess moisture in a towel. Stir in: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Add in: finely chopped cucumber, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, green pepper and 1/2 cup chopped mint. Toss until well combined and chill for 4-6 hours. It’s one of those salads that get better and stronger with time. Makes a great side dish with burgers!

Cauliflower Salad

Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa

I know you know how to grill chicken, but this summertime salsa takes things to a whole new level!

You’ll need: 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and diced; 1 jalopeno pepper, seeded and minced (leave a few seeds in if you want more heat); 2 green onions, chopped; 1 lime, juiced; 1/2 orange, juiced; 1/4 cup fresh cilantro; drizzle of honey OR artificial sweetener of your choice.

Toss ingredients together and serve over grilled chicken (or pork or fish). You can make this ahead of time as well.

Strawberry Salsa