Bacon fat, avocado and Dijon egg salad

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if that doesn’t get your attention, I’m not sure what will. Apparently my crowning achievement in dinner preparation came last night with 30 minutes to prepare dinner and an odd assortment of ingredients on hand. Let’s be honest, it was a Thursday, usually a day we are skidding into home plate on fumes.

I had 3 hard boiled eggs, 4 raw ones, an avocado and a pack of bacon. My one tip to all, never run out of bacon. It can turn a dinner around in no time! Anyhow, I knew the quickest way to cook the bacon would be to chop it up. Through trial and error, our current bacon cooking method is on a baking sheet lined with foil, in its own fat. Mmmmm. It’s usually going at 350 in the oven so that I can get the other items in place, and then I end it with the broiler when I’m ready for it. Keep an eye out when broiling, it can quickly go south!

Once the chopped bacon was in the oven, I decided to hard boil the remaining 4 eggs. Throw (read place gently) in a pan, cover with water and put the lid on. Bring to a boil, then shut off and let sit for 12 minutes. Drain the water and run cool water over it to stop the cooking. I then quickly and painfully peeled the very hot eggs. I don’t recommend this as a normal practice, but I was desperate!

Put the now 7 boiled eggs in a bowl. Stir in 3 T Dijon mustard, 2 T lemon juice, an avocado, salt and pepper. Mash well. Then the gloriousness (aka bacon) is ready to come out of the oven. Scoop all of the bits into the bowl as well as the bacon fat. Fold in and serve!!! 

       We served this with mixed greens, pepper jack cheese and Jilz gluten-free crackers!

Scrambled

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Since we have started receiving our weekly delivery from Johnson’s Backyard Organic, our vegetable consumption has increased dramatically. I’ve heard it can be stressful to figure out how to prepare them all or having them piled up in your fridge. For me, knowing what has gone into providing this box makes me value it more and want to eat those foods rather than reaching for something less than ideal. ! Some of the veggies can be intimidating, some I’ve never seen or heard of. Then there’s fennel, whose taste to me makes me so angry I can’t stand the sight of it. Thanks, Whitney, for taking it off my hands!

I digress…most odd veggies can be utilized in a shake (that’s you, daikon radish) or completely transformed by roasting (cheers…rutabaga, kohlrabi, cabbage and turnips). Then there is just the plethora of the goodies that there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for. Who comes to the rescue, but a scramble. They are delicious, easy and get everyone to try a wide variety of new veggies and flavors! And, these are budget friendly!

Basic formula…pick the 3-4 veggies you need to get rid of and dice them up. Add an onion and chopped garlic and some sort of ground meat. Sauté until thoroughly cooked. Toss on some cracked eggs and voila!

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Tuesday’s scramble involved bulk chorizo from Whole Foods (1 pound), onion, rutabaga, yellow bell pepper and red potatoes. Sauté, add salt, pepper and turmeric. Then crack 4-5 eggs in a bowl to beat, or have your hubby ready to stir and crack them directly into pan with meat. Delish!

Tonight was egg Scramble…9 eggs cracked and beaten in a dish, throw in half of a diced red onion, a chopped sweet potato, garlic, salt, pepper and sage. Mix and toss in a 350 degree oven for 30 mins. I then topped with grass-fed buffalo mozzarella, grated parm from my new Magic Bullet, an avocado and salsa. Wow!

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I also served this with a side of bacon, because what goes better with anything, but bacon! To top it off, we each had mugs of mushroom sherry beef broth to keep our immune systems up during flu season. What a perfect comforting and nourishing meal!

Meatless Monday!

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I want to keep things fresh around here, and expand my kiddos palates. Not all of my dishes are successful, but we explore flavors as a family which leads to some great conversations and lots of new describing words. There may not be a more base way of connecting with your family as through food. It connects us to the past, to other cultures and to each other.

Tonight we inadvertently participated in Meatless Monday. This is a rarity as we almost always incorporate meat or seafood. We attempted a dish called Shakshuka! It sounded interesting…eggs, tomatoes, feta. I doubled the recipe as we are a 7-9 egg family and the recipe called for four. Here is the link:

http://dine-dash.com/food/shakshuka

I cooked my eggs a little longer, but it was still great! Also used fire roasted tomatoes when choosing canned tomatoes. Organic Valley block feta was our cheese of choice. Block over shredded cheese omits the anti-clumping fillers and you can crumble or shred yourself! This cheese had great flavor!!

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End result was a host of clean plates!

Quick and easy fridge raid (under $15!)

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It’s the night before we embark on the trip of a lifetime. With triple checking lists, ensuring tracking on our Amazon snack box and charging cameras/phones/Leapsters, the last thing we wanted was to make an elaborate meal. We also didn’t want to eat out as we’ll have plenty of those opportunities in the next 8 days. So…we had a good old fashioned fridge raid!

With some Applegate little smokies, Pederson’s bacon, and leftover bits of fresh bell pepper and carrots, we made a one pan meal! Add in the last of our Pure Indian Foods ghee with a little Kalona butter for added flavor, we were on our way to dinner in 15 minutes while simultaneously cleaning out the perishables in the fridge. We have Applegate hot dogs awaiting us the night we return home ;-).

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Note: when sitting bacon into thirds, I find it easier to use kitchen shears rather than a knife!

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I placed the ghee, butter and bacon in the pan. What an enticing smell that combo creates! Let that get cooking so your bacon can brown.

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After several minutes, add your veggies!

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After another 5 minutes, add in the pork links and cook until all looks sufficiently cooked through and the bacon is to your liking.

We scooped onto plates, added pickled carrots and sauerkraut for some good gut bacteria and finished off our jalapeño cheese on the side. Wowza and under $15!!

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Fermentation!

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I’m sure you were hoping for a beer topic, but that is for another day. I keep grabbing the Omission IPA gluten-free beer packs instead of their other offerings. I can’t stand IPAs, so I will keep my review of this beer option until I can give them a fair shake.

Foods can also be fermented! There is the obvious sauerkraut and pickles, but here in Texas, pickled okra is a delicacy (even if I can’t get over their furriness). Pickles are fermented, but any other veggie can be as well. Fermented foods have more vitamins and the nutrients are more bioavailable.

As such, we try to incorporate them wherever we can. Take our super simple meal we made around our friend’s latest creation…a line of fermented veggies.

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Go Drew! So, while we have a few crazy weeks left of dual sports, we made a meal of Applegate The Great Organic hot dogs and Drew’s assortment of Texas hot sauerkraut, pickled okra and pickled carrots. Even better that all are made from Johnson’s Backyard Garden organic veggies. The kids ate them all gone and couldn’t believe how the flavor of a carrot could change. It was almost like pulling over for a hot dog with kraut in Yonkers, NY! Mmmmm…

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The best side dish…really!

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It is Brussels sprouts! That’s why I didn’t put it in the title, otherwise you may not have gotten further into this post. Last year’s New Year’s resolution was to figure out how to prepare these veggies with the reputation of liver. There had to be something good about them. I set out to order them at every restaurant that served them, looked up Pinterest recipes and quartered many, many containers of the little buggers in my quest.

While there’s no beating a chef’s take on these member of the cabbage/sulfur vegetable family, I have found one method that takes the cake. Maple and balsamic Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans. Even the name makes my mouth water. Mmmm…bacon.

First, quarter your Brussels sprouts and set aside.

Then,toast the pecans in a foil-lined baking sheet for about 5-7 mins. Remove, chop and set aside. In the same foil-lined pan (saves time, money and the environment!) bake your bacon for 15 mins at 350. When you remove from the oven, take the bacon off the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour your quartered Brussels sprouts into the bacon grease and toss to coat. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and place back in the oven. Cook for 25-35 mins. Meanwhile, chop up the bacon into pieces. I use my kitchen shears as they are so much easier!

When you remove from the oven, top with the bacon and pecans. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and pure maple syrup and toss to coat. Eat!!!

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Taco pie

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So, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed my 6 year old daughter up for t-ball softball. 4 meetings a week, plus a full-time job is keeping me on my toes (and away from this blog). We live in Texas, so love tex-mex food. Any way to give some semblance of a tortilla mixed with taco flavor and it’s a hit in this house! This was easy to pull together, reheated well and even traveled in my four-year olds lunch box to preschool. Give it a go!

Taco Pie

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 60mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Heat oven to 350.Melt your butter and add to brown rice flour with a pinch of salt. Mix and press into a 9 in pie plate. Dice and onion and sauté them in a pan with coconut oil. Once translucent, add ground grass-fed beef to brown. Add turmeric, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder. Pile beef mixture into pie crust and put into oven for 35 mins. We topped with raw pepper jack cheese and avocado. Yum!!

My inspiration: http://fastpaleo.com/recipe/taco-pie/

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