Tag Archives: bacon

Bacon Love Fest: 35 Porktastic Paleo Recipes

Bacon Love Fest: 35 Portktastic Paleo Recipes

This Valentine’s Day, show a little love with everyone’s favorite Paleo treat-meat, bacon. Instead of putting together a collection of traditional chocolatey desserts, I thought I’d compile some of the most nom-worthy bacon recipes from some of my favorite Paleo bloggers.

Here’s my personal take on bacon: I think of it as a condiment, a topping, a savory-salty flavoring agent meant to enhance the flavor of a dish. Personally, I can’t sit down and eat a pound of bacon in one sitting. Perhaps there’s a button broken in my brain somewhere? No matter what your personal bacon tolerance limit is, ensure you pick a high-quality brand with minimal ingredients. (I suggest looking for a brand that contains ingredients such as pork, salt, brown sugar, celery salt and not much more than that.) Why? Pastured animals have healthier fat profiles than factory-raised animals.

But isn’t pastured meat more expensive? Absolutely, but you’re getting what you pay for. Since I only eat a couple strips at a time, I make my high-quality bacon last much longer…*wink wink*.

Now, on to the food!

Bacon Love Fest: Breakfast

Bacon Pancakes from The Paleo Mama

Chocolate Bacon Smoothie from The Paleo Mama

Bacon Guacamole Deviled Eggs from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Frisee Salad with Bacon and Eggs from Stupid Easy Paleo

Apple Cinnamon Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash from Stupid Easy Paleo

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche from Stupid Easy Paleo

Bacon Love Fest: Appetizers & Snacks

BLT Bites from Meatified

Bacon and Guacamole Sammies from Nom Nom Paleo

Bacon Berry Bites from Meatified

Pear and Bacon Bites from The Clothes Make the Girl

Bacon Gremolata from Stupid Easy Paleo

BLT Bites with Chipotle Mayo from Stupid Easy Paleo

Bacon Love Fest: Main Dishes

Stuffed Bacon Guacamole Burger from Meatified

Twice-Baked Cheeseburger Spaghetti Squash from Popular Paleo

Chicken Club Avocado Boats from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Super Porktastic Bacon-Topped Spinach and Mushroom Meatloaf from Nom Nom Paleo

Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs from Stupid Easy Paleo

Spicy Bacon, Lettuce and Roasted Tomato Zucchini Pasta from Ditch the Wheat

Bacon Wrapped Crab Stuffed Prawns by Popular Paleo

Bacon Tuna Boats (Mayo-Free) by Popular Paleo

Zucchini Noodles with Scallops and Bacon from Meatified

Bacon Love Fest: Veggies and Sides

Paleo Alfredo from Meatified

Quick and Simple Stir Fried Kale with Bacon from Nom Nom Paleo

Poblano Bacon Chicken Chowder from Paleo Cupboard

Salty Sweet Broccoli Salad from The Clothes Make the Girl

Easy Collard Greens with Bacon from Meatified

Paleo Sweet Potato Soup from The Clothes Make the Girl

Cantaloupe Bacon Salad from Meatified

Cashew Green Beans with Bacon from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus from Paleo Cupboard

Bacon Love Fest: Treats

Chocolate Covered Bacon from Healthy Living How To

Salted Caramel Bacon Bark from The Spunky Coconut

Bacon Love Fest: Cooking Tips

How to Bake Bacon from Stupid Easy Paleo

20 Recipes Using Bacon Fat from The Paleo Mama

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Bacon Love Fest: 35 Portktastic Paleo Recipes

What’s your favorite bacon recipe?

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche | stupideasypaleo.comThis Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche is incredibly easy to make and uses up leftover meat you may have in your fridge. What makes this Paleo? First, it’s crustless. You *could* make a gluten-free crust but that takes time, and I wanted this to be as quick as possible. Second, unlike regular quiche, this has no dairy (no milk, cream or cheese). Rest assured, it’s still ultra-tasty!

Wondering what makes a quiche different from a frittata? Technically it’s the amount of liquid you add: A frittata has very little while a quiche has more, resulting in a more custard-like texture to the eggs. I did cut the amount of liquid down to 1 cup so if you’re a quiche purist, go easy on me! You can change up this Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche in a variety of ways…check the bottom of the post for some suggestions! Bon appetit!

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche:

Directions for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche:

  1. If using dried mushrooms, soften them by covering them with boiling water in a heat-proof bowl for about 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190ºC). Grease a casserole dish or glass baking dish with coconut oil. I used a 10″ round casserole. If you use a smaller one, you may have to bump up the baking time a few minutes since the quiche will be thicker.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, render and brown the bacon. Add the leftover chicken, mushrooms and sage to the pan and cook for a few minutes, making sure there is no moisture left from the mushrooms (if not, your quiche will be soggy…no bueno). Dump this mixture into the greased casserole dish, and set aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the coconut milk, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the casserole dish.
  5. Bake the quiche for about 30 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly.

Change it Up:

  • Instead of dried mushrooms, use about 2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind. Be sure to fry them down before you use them so they don’t add a lot of moisture to the quiche.
  • Don’t have any chicken? Use any leftover meat you’d like or just go meatless. If you don’t add meat, I recommend adding a veggie in its place.
  • Don’t like coconut milk? Use another nut milk of choice (homemade almond milk is great…I would make it extra thick by cutting the water down to 3 cups instead of 4).
  • Double the ingredients and make a mega-sized quiche for the week ahead.

Pin this for later…click here!

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche | stupideasypaleo.com

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Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing from Paleo In Comparison

Say hi to my guest blogger, Laura! I first stumbled upon Laura’s recipes via her Instagram account (@paleo_in_comparison) and quickly came to admire her creativity when it came to food and her genuine nature. She’s a wife, homeschool mom of two rambunctious boys, and the Paleo blogger behind Paleo In Comparison and a growing Facebook community of the same name. In November of 2011, after years of yo-yo dieting and eating disorders, she stumbled into the Paleo lifestyle. With a total weight loss of 60 pounds (27 kg), and a complete change in her physical and emotional health, she’s never looked back. Paleo gave her life and health back, and helped her form a healthy relationship with food (I can relate!). She’s passionate about sharing her story, and believes that clean eating and living are essential to lifelong health and wellness. I know you’ll love her approach to food and her sense of humor.

Laura from Paleo In Comparison, Before & After | StupidEasyPaleo.com

If you’re looking for a tasty salad for your holiday table, I think this is perfect and the thought of the hot, sweet dressing makes my mouth water! With no further adieu, here’s Laura and her Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing…

Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing | Paleo In Comparison & StupidEasyPaleo.com

“But salads aren’t sexy.”

That’s what I said to my husband when I told him I was considering making a salad for this guest post.

Salads are often neglected in the Paleo / Primal community for the glitz and glory of a rare steak, “Paleo” cookies, and bacon-wrapped…well…anything! But there are a lot of benefits to eating salads.

First, while I don’t subscribe to a raw food only diet, there most certainly are huge benefits to consuming our fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible. It’s just science – cooking can destroy and break down some of the vital nutrients and fiber in our foods. Cooking is a process – albeit a harmless one – but eating foods raw is the closest to unprocessed that we can get. Salads are a great way to get a lot of different veggies into our diets in their purest form.

On the more practical side, raw foods like salads are super convenient and easy to take with us anywhere. Cold travels better than hot, and you don’t need a microwave or oven to reheat it.

Whenever someone wants “a light lunch,” they go for a salad, but I would argue that nothing will fill your belly faster than raw veggies! Because all of that fiber hasn’t been broken down in the cooking process, you’re going to feel fuller longer – just be sure to drink plenty of water to help your tum-tum digest all that fibrous goodness!

Salads? Not sexy? Boy, did I change my mind fast! Healthy is sexy. So, if A=B and B=C, then A=C. It’s Logic 101. Salads are healthy, healthy is sexy. Therefore, salads are sexy!

The result of my salad revelation was this chicken thigh salad inspired by the colors of the Holiday season. Don’t worry, I was a good Paleo / Primal cook, and threw a little bacon grease in there for good measure. I hope you enjoy this sexy salad as much as my family did!

Collard and Brussels Salad with Seasonal Fruit, Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing & Crispy Chicken Skin Crumbles (serves 4)

For the Collard and Brussels Salad with Seasonal Fruit…

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 8 cups raw collards, shredded or finely chopped
  • 4 cups raw brussels, quartered
  • 1-1/3 cups raw cranberries
  • 1 large green pear, sliced (or two small)
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in with skin on (if you have a hungry set, make double for 2 thighs per serving)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Special equipment: parchment paper

Directions for the Salad:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove skins from raw chicken thighs. This should be very easy. You may need to use a small paring knife in some spots, but the skins should come off easily just by hand. Once removed, cut the square-like pieces of skin in half. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper – this will help absorb the grease as the skins bake, making them crispier. Place on the cookie sheet and bake until deep golden brown and crispy, approximately 15 minutes. When finished remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool completely, uncovered.
  • Remove parchment paper from cookie sheet, use the grease from the skins to coat the bottom of the cookie sheet. Place chicken thighs onto cookie sheet and coat with remaining grease (if you don’t have enough grease, you can coat the thighs with a little fat of choice – duck fat or ghee is always great with chicken). Season simply with a little salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until internal temp reaches 160°F (80°C), approximately 20-30 minutes depending on how many you cook. Allow to cool. Remove meat from bones & shred with your fingers.

For the Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing…

 Ingredients for the Dressing:

Directions for the Dressing:

  • Melt bacon grease in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. Reduce liquid until it starts to thicken and the fat and vinegar are incorporated. Stir mixture occasionally with a rubber or wooden spatula while cooking. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Keep in mind the dressing should be served warm. Refrigerate leftovers and simply reheat to serve. The fat in the dressing will cause the dressing to harden when cold, so don’t be alarmed. Reheating will bring it back to proper consistency.

Plating the salad (4 full dinner salads)…

  • On each full-sized dinner plate, make a base with 2 cups of raw collards and 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts. Place 1/4 of the pear slices on greens. Top with meat from 1 chicken thigh (2 if you doubled the chicken). Top with 1/3 cup of cranberries and some crumbled crispy chicken skins. Serve dressing on the side, or simply drizzle over the salad before serving.

Change it Up:

  • You can use any leftover white meat you have for this salad.
  • If you want to make it with leftover meat, and do not have the crispy chicken skins, simply replace them with crispy bacon crumbles.
  • You can also make a quick and cold sweet dressing with honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, and a little salt and pepper.

Do you have any questions for Laura? Let her know in the comments below!

Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing | Paleo In Comparison & StupidEasyPaleo.com

 

 

Tasty Topping: Bacon Gremolata

Yes, I said bacon.

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But before I get to the bacon…

I’m over the moon because I just found out I’m nominated for a Paleo Magazine Best of 2013 Award: Best Savory Recipe (Online) for my tangy Carolina-style Kickin’ BBQ Shredded Chicken! Voting for all your favorite Paleo blogs, cookbooks, podcasts and products only takes a couple minutes. Click here to vote >> VOTE! (And a huge, huge thank you for all your support!!)

Now, back to your regularly scheduled bacon…

You’re probably wondering what the heck a gremlinolata is. It’s an Italian condiment traditionally used to sprinkle on top of osso bucco, but I’d argue it’s good for putting on pretty much anything savory. Consider it like a fancy alternative to bacon bits that’s super easy to make and has a pretty rad flavor profile. You know why this one rules? If you saw my post on 5 Paleo Flavor-Making Juggernauts, this magic topping has four of the five: salt (from the bacon), fresh herbs, citrusy lemon zest and aromatic garlic.

It’s as versatile a garish as you can imagine. Sprinkle on soups, stews, veggies or meat for an extra pop of flavor. Guests will be so impressed. No guests? You’ll impress yourself. Just keep in mind, it’s potent so wield your new flavor-weapon carefully.

The key to a nice gremolata is to make the pieces all uniform in size. There’s nothing worse than biting into a huge chunk of raw garlic so it’s time to work on your knife skills.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 strips of bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced finely or crushed
  • 4 Tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions:

  • Before you get the rest of the ingredients working, start cooking the bacon. [I like to bake my bacon in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 15-20 minutes at 350°F / 175°C or until it's crispy. Feel free to cook using your preferred method.]
  • Meanwhile, peel and mince or crush the garlic (fine pieces). Finely chop the parsley. Zest the lemons, removing the outer yellow skin but not the white pith (I like a microplane for this job). Combine these ingredients in a small bowl.
  • When the bacon is done cooking, allow it to cool and either crumble with your hands or chop into fine bits. Add to the bowl.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil and then adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Let the ingredients marry for about an hour before using for best flavor.

Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts

DSC_0720 2 More veggies, please!

This is a pretty simple side dish that compliments virtually any main. To save cooking time, I sliced the Brussels sprouts thinly, but if you’re crunched you could either buy them pre-sliced (I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s) or halve and steam them, then throw them in the pan. I don’t recommend putting them in whole because they’ll take forever to cook. Adding a splash of coconut aminos at the end of cooking is a nice compliment, but if you don’t have it, salt will do just fine. Just taste before adding depending on how salty the bacon is.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. (500 g) Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0732 Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, render the bacon until it’s crispy.
  2. Add the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and carrots. Cook on medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes or until the sprouts have begun to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking and stir to combine (adding the garlic at the end reduces the chance it’ll burn and taste bitter).
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Red pepper flakes are also good instead of black pepper.

Paleo Smashed & Loaded Sweet Potato

41c75aad24e7dde300b846f350af9535One of my favorite things to do with leftover roasted sweet potato is to smash it and brown it in a pan with ghee. It gets all caramelly and crispy and drool-worthy. I wanted something different for breakfast today, so I smashed my sweet potato then loaded it with pan-fried eggs, leftover shredded kalua pork, buttery avocado and crispy homemade bacon bits. Get creative and use any leftover meat that you want! Is your mouth watering yet? [Hint: roast a bunch of sweet potatoes on a foil-lined sheet in a 400°F oven for about 45-60 min. Refrigerate. When cold, the skins come right off.]

Prep time: 5-10 min     Cook time:  10 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 roasted medium-sized sweet potato, peeled
  • Ghee, coconut oil or fat of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • Toppings: leftover shredded or cubed meat (I used shredded kalua pork), avocado, bacon, jalapeño rings, etc. Get creative!

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high (I like cast iron for this job). Add ghee or your fat of choice. 
  2. Put the pre-cooked sweet potato in the skillet. Press flat with a fork or spatula. Fry on each side for 2-4 minutes or until the sweet potato caramelizes (but doesn’t burn). Remove to a plate.
  3. In the same pan, add more ghee. Fry two eggs (or more if you’re hungrier) in whatever style you’d like. I made mine over-easy so the yolk would run all over my potato. Tasty.
  4. Stack your smashed and loaded sweet potato: add the eggs on top of the sweet potato then layer with your toppings of choice.
  5. Rejoice in how tasty your breakfast is. Consume.

Note: great for post-workout if you go easy on the avocado and bacon.

Frisee Salad with Bacon and Eggs

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Bacon and eggs just went to a whole new level.

Want to knock people’s socks off at your next brunch? Serve this.

Want to make yourself feel extra special? Make this.

Want a dish that’ll make every part of your palate sing glorious hymns? This is the dish for you.

DSC_0611 This recipe was inspired by a dish my friend Claudette ordered when we went to the closing night of The Linkery in San Diego. I took one look and was so impressed I went home and tried to replicate it just a couple days later. The frisee (a curly, slightly bitter vegetable related to endive) makes the perfect mop for the yolk and the lemon basil dressing.

Ingredients per 2 servings:

Directions:

  1. *If the bacon is raw, get that cooking first. I like to bake my bacon but use whatever method you prefer. For baking bacon: line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Bake for ~15-20 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you’d like. Remove from oven and set aside. DSC_0618
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing using the hot, melted bacon fat that collects in the baking sheet. You can also use olive oil if your bacon is precooked and there’s no melted fat. DSC_0615
  3. Arrange the frisee on a plate. Drizzle the dressing over the frisee.
  4. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt bacon fat or another fat of choice until it’s shimmering. Fry the eggs until the yolks are as firm as you’d like. I went for sunnyside up with a runny yolk because I wanted yummy yolk all over the salad.
  5. Place the eggs on top and the bacon on the side. Try not to eat it so fast that you don’t enjoy it because it’s goooooooood! DSC_0632

 

 

 

3 Reasons to Get “Beyond Bacon”

Southwestern Chorizo Burger with Fried Eggs (p. 108)

Southwestern Chorizo Burger with Fried Eggs (p. 108)

Paleo has almost become synonymous with a group of crazy bacon-lovers who shout their affinity of crispy pork goodness from every rooftop [and would you blame us?].

It seems that the rest of the swine has almost become an after-thought though, but thanks to the Paleo Parents – Matthew McCarry and Stacy Toth – there is so much porcine potential left to discover.

I was lucky enough to get a preview of their drool-worthy new book “Beyond Bacon” which will be released on July 2, 2013.Without further adieu, here are three reasons to get yourself a copy:

#1 It’s part reference book, part cookbook (two for the price of one).

Nestled inside the covers are dozens and dozens of tantalizing recipes which cover everything from the basics – like rendering your own lard – to the sophisticated foodie-esque desserts such as Prosciutto and Roasted Peach Ice Cream. But beyond that, the front part of the book is jammed with all sorts of useful information and [much to my ultimate delight] SCIENCE. Questions like, “Will pink pork kill me?” are answered with straight-to-the-point information. You’ll also find helpful advice on standard pork cooking techniques like making your own sausage and smoking, among others.

Cracklin' Pork Belly (p. 136)

Cracklin’ Pork Belly (p. 136)

#2 It’s definitely more than just a book to cram on your bookshelf and forget about.

The feel and design of the book reminds me of so many of the cool, farm-to-table restaurants that are becoming more popular these days. It’s like you’ve stepped inside the hand-drawn chalk board menu into a complete world of hog heaven. The photos leave you wanting more and honestly, I had a hard time deciding which recipes to make first! Displaying this book on your coffee table for guests to thumb through is an absolute must.

#3 The food is damn tasty.

Of the recipes I’ve made so far, the Mexican Chorizo (which I then turned into Southwestern Chorizo Burgers with Fried Egg) and the Cracklin’ Pork Belly were standouts. The book takes you through sweet, savory, smoked, grilled, and every other porky preparation you can think of. Stews, carnitas, a whole section on fried goodies, desserts…you name it, “Beyond Bacon” definitely lives up to its name.

Convinced yet? To preorder “Beyond Bacon” on Amazon, click here. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Braised Mustard Greens with Bacon

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I try to eat as many greens as I can, and this is gives a nice smoky flavor to the mustard greens which can have little taste on their own.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 15 min    Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of mustard greens
  • 4 slices of bacon (sugar free bacon if on Whole30)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and roughly chop the mustard greens.
  2. Chop the bacon.
  3. Heat the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat to render out the fat. Once the bacon is crisp, add the mustard greens in batches, stirring until it’s wilted enough to add more. Continue until all the mustard greens are in the pan.
  4. Add the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 10 more minutes until the greens are tender.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

BLT Bites with Chipotle Mayo

dsc_0225 copyGrowing up, we used to eat BLT sandwiches a lot and the other day I got a hankering for one, sans bread of course.

What resulted was nothing short of the tastiest thing I’d put in my mouth in a long while.

I used mini muffin tins but you could use regular tins and end up with something bigger than bite-sized. These little morsels were the perfect size for finger food and would be fun party eats. You can make as few or as many as you’d like…it’s really up to you. Depending upon the bacon you use – how thick it’s cut, how wide the pieces are, etc – you may have to adjust your layering technique or the cooking time. Bottom line…have fun with it!

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 30 min    Makes: 4 pieces

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Grease the bottom of one muffin tin and the inside of the cups of the other with a thin layer of coconut oil. Start with one muffin tin upside down.
  3. Cut each strip of bacon in half (again, it depends on the size of the bacon…remember that it’ll shrink when cooked so some overhang is okay). On one of the inverted cups, cross the bacon pieces, one on top of the other. Repeat until you’ve used up all the bacon. See the gallery for a photo.
  4. Now place the other muffin tin on top of the bacon and press down firmly. I weighted mine down with a cast iron skillet.
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Carefully remove the top muffin tin and bake for 5 more minutes or until the bacon cups are as crisp as you like them.
  6. Let cool and then fill each one with tomato and lettuce and a drizzle of chipotle mayo!

Pete’s Paleo Review

Imagine a Paleo chef cooking you plates of amazing food each week – a variety of high-quality, sustainably-raised meats, locally-sourced vegetables, scrumptious snacks, and the most amazing bacon you’ve ever tasted -  and all you’d have to do is place your order online.

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Open Spaces braised brisket with roasted butternut and greens

Go ahead. I’ll wait as you wipe the drool off your keyboard.

If you’re in California, this daydream can actually be a reality, and Pete’s Paleo – owned by Pete and Sarah Servold – is the company making it happen. They ship all over the state or deliver to different local businesses here in the San Diego area. For those of you outside California, don’t despair! Pete’s is planning to expand into a national program soon. Score! Watch their website for more details, and get on their mailing list.

Back to the food…and let me tell you, it’s delicious. Ever since Pete’s started offering delivery to Invictus Fitness, the CrossFit gym I train at, I’d been curious about ordering. I love to cook and create recipes of my own, but sometimes even I need a break! Having someone cook for me – especially awesome Paleo food – is rare, so I decided to treat myself with an order from Pete’s. That’s right…some girls pamper themselves with new clothes or a mani-pedi, but I do it with food! It couldn’t be easier to order: after a few clicks on their site, my order was placed and all I had to do was wait. Pete’s lets you customize your order by selecting the number of meals (5 or 10 plus snacks), or adding extra veggies or protein for an additional charge.

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Roasted abodabo chicken with asparagus and country yams

I excitedly opened my order on Thursday to find the drool-worthy menu and neatly labeled individual bags with tasty bites tucked  inside. Each component – meat, veggies and snacks – is separately packed in vacuum-sealed pouches to keep it fresh and can be frozen as well…ultra-convenient if you are going out of town or want to stock up.

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Pete’s weekly menu complete with inspirational quote

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All neatly packed and labeled

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Individually sealed components

Even though I love to cook, I often find myself rotating through the same meats and veggies. Hello, food rut! One of the things I appreciated the most about Pete’s was the variety: grass-fed beef; chicken, duck and turkey; pork and lamb; game meat like elk and bison; and seafood all make their way onto the menu. Produce is no different with a wide array that is mindful of seasonality and freshness.

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Persian spiced pork cheeks with spinach and Susie’s Farms spring mix

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Jidori chicken breast stir fry with carrots, snap peas and roasted squash

Not only that, but Pete’s culinary training clearly shines through in the masterful combination of flavors, perfectly adjusted seasonings and well-executed cooking techniques – all the meats were fork tender and succulent, for example. Perhaps the crown jewel in Pete’s menu is his sugar and nitrate/nitrite-free bacon. I know, I know…many of you will claim allegiance to other brands or suppliers but I must say, I’ve never had any quite like this. It was perfectly seasoned and subtly smoky and rendered so the fat layers were light and crispy. Heaven.

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Pete’s bacon on top of my slow-cooked scrambled eggs

Mmmmm. Now I’m hungry again.

Definitely go check out Pete’s Paleo’s site. I dare your mouth not to water!

Apple Cinnamon Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash

sweet potato hash Sometimes inspiration can come from anywhere if you’re open to it, and this one is no exception. I stopped by the local Whole Foods yesterday after stalking looking up the calendar of my favorite food truck, Not So Fast Food. The owners, Bob and June, 1) cook some damn tasty food; 2) completely get the Paleo / Primal way of life; and 3) are the nicest freaking people on the planet. After chatting with Bob, he gave me a taste of a new dish he’s working on and while I can tell you this isn’t exactly same, this recipe is inspired by what he gave me. Consider it a little treat of those of you who may never get to San Diego to visit.

I *did* add a dash of pure maple syrup as a finishing touch, but please feel free to omit if you’re on a Whole30, 21 Day Sugar Detox or similar. One way to speed this dish’s prep time is to shred a few sweet potatoes and store them in the fridge. I used a shredding blade on my food processor but you could use a box grater or even dice them very finely by hand. I prefer to cook my bacon separately; instead, you could render the chopped bacon and then use that fat to fry the potatoes. Ghee makes it taste better to me so that’s what I use instead.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time: 10 min    Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shredded sweet potato or yams
  • 1/2 of an apple, chopped
  • 3 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup, optional
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Ghee, bacon fat or fat of choice

Directions:

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, render / cook the bacon until it’s crispy. You can save the fat to cook the rest of the ingredients or pour off the fat and start over with a spoonful of ghee, coconut oil, etc. 
  2. Add the sweet potato to the pan, cooking on medium heat until they begin to get golden brown.
  3. Add the apples and stir until they soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Season with the maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt, to taste.

Bonus: For a one-skillet meal, remove the hash to a plate, then quickly wilt some spinach. Remove the spinach to the same plate, then fry or scramble eggs in the same pan.

Super Bowl Bites: Pineapple Bacon Poppers

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I’ll be the first one to admit, I don’t watch football and I’m not going to any Super Bowl parties (I probably just lost some faithful readers with that admission). I will, however, make it all up to you with a super-simple appetizer bite with everyone’s FAVORITE food: bacon! That’s right, I can sense I’m forgiven already. These little morsels of goodness were inspired by my friend Stacy who brought bacon-wrapped pineapple to a brunch last weekend. Immediately I started dreaming about making something that tasted like Hawaiian pizza on a skewer and these came into being. Genius!

Prep time: 20 min     Cook time: 25 min     Makes: 18-24 pieces

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 of a fresh pineapple
  • 6-8 mini bell peppers (or 1-2 medium bell peppers – red, yellow or orange are sweetest)
  • 6 slices of bacon (I like Applegate Farms or Nieman Ranch)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Toothpicks

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Peel and core the pineapple. Cut into moderately-sized chunks (take half the pineapple and cut it into quarters, then chunk). 
  3. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds. Cut the peppers into pieces that are roughly the same size as the pineapple chunks.
  4. Cut each slice of bacon in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise to get 4 strips (or you could wrap half a piece of bacon around if you prefer a meatier bite).
  5. Wrap the bacon around (ends at the bottom) and secure with a toothpick.
  6. Arrange the yummy bacon morsels on the baking sheet and dust with smoked paprika.
  7. Bake for 25 min or until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are softened.

Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs

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One thing that continues to fascinate me is how it’s virtually impossible to get American-style bacon here in Glasgow. Sure, there are rashers and even streaky bacon (which looks like American bacon) but nothing tastes quite the same. It doesn’t have any of the sugar normally added to the bacon in the States, but even the no sugar added sizzle strips I’ve tried back home weren’t like what’s available here. No matter, I wanted to make baked chicken thighs and decided to make them a bit more special. Smoked paprika – one of my favorite spices – adds another layer of savory flavor.

Ingredients for Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs: 

Directions for Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Trim the skin and excess fat from the chicken thighs.
  3. Season the chicken with smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap one piece of bacon around each chicken thigh and place on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.

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Bacon Jam

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I know this sounds bizarre: smoky bacon simmered down with sweet maple syrup, tangy apple cider vinegar, dark coffee and of all things, chocolate to create a thick jam-like texture. This recipe is modified from one I found on allisoneats.com, but I really wanted to cut down on the amount of sugar and add some cinnamon and nutmeg to give the jam another dimension of flavor. The result is pretty awesome on just about everything and goes extremely well on top of a nice, juicy grass-fed burger. It takes a bit of time due to the simmering but other than that is pretty simple to make. You could also create this and leave out the chocolate which would make the bacon jam pair nicely with some sunny side up eggs.

Ingredients: 

1 pound good quality bacon (organic if you can find it)

1/2 an onion, diced

1/2 cup strong coffee

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut crystals (or dark brown sugar)

1 oz dark chocolate (at least 80%)

Directions:

1. Chop the bacon into large pieces. Sautee on medium in a heavy-bottomed pan until the pieces get brown but not crispy. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and drain.

2. Reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat (pour the rest into a small container and put in the fridge for future use). Sautee the onions for about 5 minutes until softened.

3. Add the remaining ingredients (including the bacon) to the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to simmer on very low heat for about 2 hours. Stir every 20-30 minutes.

4. When the mixture has thickened considerably (~2 hours), pour into a food processor and pulse until the consistency is still a bit chunky (think bacon bits).

5. Store in a container in the refrigerator. The jam may need to be heated before use to soften it up.