Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Wedges with Avocado Crema (PALEO!)

Sunday Funday! Except not, because we can’t really do anything.

Guys, I still have yams that I can’t seem to get rid of. When I bought so many, I really didn’t think about how creative I’d have to be to find ways to eat them… that weren’t super boring. Cue the bacon…

Though this year has been a lot different, I love going to the Kennett Square Farmers Market to get stuff like local produce, meats, etc. Though I don’t try to eat a lot of meat, I do prefer to know that it was responsibly farmed and that the animal lived as best a life as it could have. I like buying from Canter Hill Farm out of Malvern, PA – they take organic and animal welfare to the next level. I had some bacon in my freezer, and hot damn, it was the perfect thing to use with sweet potatoes. I’ve done a vegetable hash before, but I wanted to be ready with a great snack idea, once we’re all allowed to party again. Without further delay….

 

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Wedges with Avocado Crema (PALEO!)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 30-40 min

 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes, cut into about 8 wedges each
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 lb thick cut (preferably local!) bacon

for the crema:

  • 1 small container of Greek-style dairy free yogurt, or regular Greek yogurt if not strict paleo
  • 1 avocado, ripe/bright green
  • Juice from 1 lime, or 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt, to taste

Important supplies – a wire baking rack for your sheet (so the bacon doesn’t get soggy)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease/spray your wire backing rack, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet (foil for easy clean up!).
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your paprika, garlic and chili powder, with just a pinch of salt. On each wedge, sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of the wedge, and wrap the bacon around the wedge like a spiral, starting at one end and working your way to the other end.
  3. Repeat this for each of the wedges, placing them evenly spaced on the wire rack/baking sheet.
  4. If you have any leftover seasoning mix, sprinkle over the wedges.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bacon starts to brown. It’s best to flip them halfway through, so that the bottom side is able to brown just as the top does.
  6. Meanwhile, while they’re baking, mash your avocado in a mixing bowl, so that no chunks remain. If you like particularly smooth avocado puree, you can do this step in a food processor. Quite frankly, I did mine by hand because it was 8:30pm and I didn’t want to dirty another dish, so it worked just fine.
  7. Once the avocado is mashed or pureed, mix in your Greek yogurt, lime juice and pinch of salt. Continue to mix until smooth. Place in refrigerator until use.
  8. Once your sweet potato wedges are cooked, serve immediately while hot, with your crema on the side.

 

Enjoy!

-S

Paleo Sausage Gravy Over Biscuits… and it’s DELICIOUS

Victories come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you get the job, sometimes you almost miss a step on a staircase but don’t and catch yourself. Sometimes, you thought you forgot your phone charger at home but find it in your workbag. And then… sometimes you make sausage gravy over biscuits and it’s gluten free, dairy free, and DOESN’T SUCK.

This is a great time to be alive. Honestly.  I can’t even explain the joy I get from making this, because now I can share it with people who’ve never enjoyed the salty tasty goodness of sausage gravy.  You can bet your bottom I’ll be making this again.

This weekend is my hometown’s big annual event, the Mushroom Festival. Thousands of people gather to see artisans, crafts, food, antique cars and demonstrations about how mushrooms are grown and distributed. It’s a really fun time, and the whole town shuts down so that everyone can enjoy it. If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you should definitely check it out – more into at www.mushroomfestival.org.

Since this is just one big post about me talking about what I DO like, I realized I haven’t complained about the heat yet. It’s still really hot, guys. Fortunately, it’ll be in the high 60’s this weekend, so… I suspect I may be wearing a flannel to the mushroom festival….. 🙂

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits (PALEO!)

Prep Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yields about 8-10 biscuits

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 2/3 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½  tsp finely ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tbsp) of cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk, fully mixed/shaken
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 2 Eggs

For the gravy:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 heaping tbsp. tapioca or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of chili powder, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. First, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with your preferred oil/cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together your coconut milk and lemon juice. Stir in your eggs and continue to whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix in your butter cubes with your hands, and press the mixture together until it starts to get a sandy, coarse meal-y texture. Continue this until butter is no longer in large chunks.
  4. Fold in your buttermilk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir until fully mixed. Allow it to sit so that the flours can absorb the moisture, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. With your hands, take a rough handful of the biscuit mix and place on the baking sheet. So  that it resembles a flakier biscuit shape, I pinch and poke the top with my hands so it isn’t a perfectly round shape. Continue to form biscuits, placing 1-2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, while your biscuits are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your onion and sausage. Continue to saute until browned, breaking up large bits of sausage. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  8. Using the remaining fat in the pan, turn the heat down to medium low and add your arrowroot/tapioca flour and whisk to combine. Once it thickens, add your coconut milk (remember to shake the can well to ensure it’s mixed!) and  continue to whisk. Add your herbs and salt and pepper, to taste. Add your sausage back in and continue to stir occasionally, allowing the gravy to thicken.
  9. Pour over your biscuits…. Or just eat it out of the pan. Or smother it on your face. I love gravy, do what you want.

Enjoy!

-S

Chorizo-Stuffed Baby Bella Mushroom Bites (Paleo!)

I’m in vacation prep mode! Also known as that hypervigilant, excited  and stressed out stage of trying to wrap things up prior to leaving for an extended period of time. AKA walking around in circles hoping I get something done.

The end of last week was nice. I did a really good yoga workshop — a Full Moon Yoga session on the rooftop of Hockessin Athletic Club. It was beautiful — not too hot, not too difficult, and really grounding. Friday, during the actual full moon, I enjoyed a nice dinner at a friend’s house, right before the storm came. There was fun, there was wine, and I sprayed a lot of Full Moon Mist on everyone’s heads. Obviously, the last part was the icing on the cake… heh.

I’ve been trying to get the last bit of ideas out of summer cooking before I go into full Fall-Mode. My second job (White House | Black Market) is starting to get their new clothes in, and it HAPPENS to be my favorite color… RED! and then LEOPARD! If y’all only really knew how I love clothes… you’d know that every new season that comes in is like Christmas for us that work there. And then the actual holiday clothes come, and we all get hysterical.

In the spirit of embracing my KSQ roots, this recipe is all about the mushrooms. My personal favorite appetizer bite! I feel like these even go one step further to highlight the strong Latino presence with some spicy chorizo… definitely a crowd pleaser. Bring to your next summer BBQ!

Chorizo-Stuffed Baby Bella Mushroom Bites (Paleo!)

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 2 containers of baby bella mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry; stems and gills removed
  • 1 lb of ground chorizo
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stems and seeds removed and diced
  • 1 heaping tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. on a greased cookie sheet (or cookie sheet with wire rack), scatter mushrooms face up. bake for 15 minutes to allow the juices to release.
  2. Once semi-cooked, remove from heat, drain any water that has shed from the mushrooms, and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, as your mushrooms are cooking, heat 1 tbsp of your preferred fat (I like olive oil) in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add your onions and peppers, and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally — about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Leave oven on.
  4. Once your onion/pepper mixture is cooled, add to a large mixing bowl with your chorizo and mix thoroughly. Add your parsley and garlic powder, continuing to mix.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, grab a bit of chorizo mixture that matches the size of the mushroom you’re looking to fill — the diameter should be no wider or thicker than your mushroom, so the ratio is even. Press into the mushroom to secure the chorizo mixture, and reshape if need be. Space mushrooms evenly on another greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake in oven for 25 min, or until chorizo is cooked thoroughly and starts to brown Don’t worry if the mushrooms sweat further — this won’t impact their flavor, and they typically dry out a bit once removed from heat. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

-S

Egg Roll Bowls Without the Roll! (Paleo, Whole30)

I woke up from a particularly unusual dream this morning. It wasn’t unusual in that it was crazy, wild, impossible… it was actually very possible. I was driving in my car on my morning commute, listening to a particular song. I was rushing, because I left my house late, and I came across a slow car in front of me. It was the Kia Soul that’s always in front of me in real life, on my morning commute (that I’ve noticed, because he has vanity plates, drives like cold molasses and I’m cursing him out, normally), and as he put-putted along the road, a giant deer jumped out in front of him. I thought to myself, “wow! had I been speeding like I normally would, I totally could’ve hit that deer.”

And then I woke up.

I have a wild imagination and have weird dreams just about every night, so I thought nothing of it. I thought nothing of how I forgot pretty much everything I needed upstairs, having to take my shoes off and run up 2 flights of stairs about 4 times and adding several minutes to my departure time. I momentarily forgot I had a dog, who needed to be let out and fed — which added even more time. I found myself rushing, throwing my things into my car, and speeding away, late. And there he was, Mr. Kia, tinkering away down the road about as fast as a sloth in an Arctic relay race (are you liking these visuals about the cold? it’s 8 degrees outside). As we’re doing about 30 in a 45, I consider passing him, because I am an asshole driver. Instead, I think better of it and stay put. Wouldn’t you know it that just then, a fairly large deer jumps across the road and is gone without a moment’s notice, several car-lengths ahead? I thought it was weird, until I remembered how my dream went almost exactly like what had happened.

One could think this is a coincidence — you can continue to think that, if you’d like. I took this as a tangible message to stop rushing through things, both literally and figuratively. The interesting thing about the universe is that you get what you give, always. If you’re into science and need proof for everything, Isaac Newton has a law that for every action taking place, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If this applies to matter that we can see, it surely shouldn’t stop there, should it?

Have you ever thought of a song, only to have it immediately come on the radio? How about thinking of an old friend who hasn’t called in years, only to have your phone ring with them on the other line? Have you ever had a “feeling” that something was going to happen, and shortly thereafter, you find yourself in the middle of that “something”? My friend, this is not just a Spidey-sense… you are manifesting what’s happening. This is very important to consider, because this can involve both positive and negative things in your life.

Let’s back it up for those that aren’t into the whole cosmic world unseen. Have you ever come across someone with a bad attitude that just can’t catch a break in life? What are they doing? Are they anti-social — pushing away help and resources when they need it? Are they always down on themselves, convinced nothing good will ever happen to them? As much as people don’t  want to admit, their attitude and actions within themselves is the problem — everything starts internally with this low-vibration energy.  Think about it — changing their inward thoughts about themselves and their world precipitates their external behavior. When they are kind to themselves, those around them start offering their help. The more encouragement they’re given, the more optimistic they become — and with optimism comes confidence, all of which is a significant lift in vibrational energy. Like begets like, and that’s something everyone knows. If you are putting out positive energy, you will get it back in some way, shape or form. This happens both ways.

I’ve just oversimplified this greatly, but it truly does not need to be more complicated. See for yourself — start channeling your thoughts on what you truly want or need in life as specifically as possible. Think about how it would feel to have exactly what you’re thinking of — where are you? What are you doing now that you have it? What does it feel like? What does your life look like now that you have what you have? Keep it positive, open and optimistic, and keep an eye out for messages in response to that. These messages may shift your priority, or even point you towards the realization that you don’t actually  want what you think you do. All that matters is that you do what you can to live your best life 🙂

Onto food… in the spirit of using up what I had in the kitchen and trying not to indulge in some Chinese food for lunch, I decided to make my own twist of a pork roll (without the fried shell, of course!) Try it for yourself… it’s pretty yummy.

Egg Roll Bowls (Paleo, Whole30)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 30 min

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of organic ground pork
  • 1 large red cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ cup broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup julienned carrots (about 2-3 large carrots)
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 inch peeled ginger, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add your coconut oil.
  2. Add your onion, and sauté until translucent – about 5-6 minutes. Add ground pork, and break apart with your spatula. Sauté until it’s fully cooked, about 10-15 minutes, continuing to stir.
  3. Next, add the cabbage, broccoli and carrots and cook until tender, stirring often- another 10 minutes. You want it cooked but not super soggy – just a bit of crunch left!
  4. Meanwhile as it cooks, whisk together your ginger, garlic, coconut aminos and sesame oil in a small bowl, and set the sauce aside.
  5. Once your main ingredients are cooked, Add the sauce and stir thoroughly but  gently.. you don’t want your sauce to muddy the veggies!
  6. Serve immediately with some hot sesame chili oil, or sriracha.

Enjoy!

-S