Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato stuffed with bacon, onion, mushrooms and spinach.

I LOVE sweet potatoes, I would probably eat them at every meal if I could.  I like them baked, fried or sautéed, diced, sliced or even pureed but I am really loving them stuffed!  The recipe and photo shown here is currently my favorite way to stuff them but the possibilities are endless (think any great pizza toppings and you’re set!), you can top them with anything you like and customize them to meet your dietary needs.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, about 8 to 10 oz each and scrubbed clean
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 ounces cheese (I like to use raw Monterrey Jack)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake on the middle oven rack.
  2. Bake until the sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a knife and cooked through, about 45-60 minutes depending on size. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, make the topping. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crispy.  Remove from pan, cool and crumble.  Add the mushroom and onion to the pan with the bacon drippings and saute until tender, add spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.
  4. Slice sweet potatoes in half lengthwise to expose cooked insides, slightly press down the meat of the potato to flatten.  Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between the four halves, top with cheese and crumbled bacon and place under the broiler until melted.  Finally, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Serve half a stuffed potato as a side dish or a whole one with a mixed green salad as a meal.

This post is shared at:

5 Ingredient Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays

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Bacon, Egg and Blue Cheese Asparagus

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Bacon, Egg and Blue Cheese Asparagus 

2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

  • Lay the asparagus spears in a large skillet and top with 1 inch of water. Lightly salt the water and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain off the cooking water.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and blue cheese until well combined but still chunky, set aside.
  • Place asparagus on a serving platter, top with chopped eggs and bacon.
  • Drizzle the entire dish with the blue cheese dressing or serve on the side.
  • Enjoy!

This post is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Friday

Italian Bacon~Spinach~Tomato Mini Frittatas

This a simple recipe that uses fresh and flavorful ingredients and it’s easy to put together.  I used raw milk cheese in mine but if you are dairy-free you can simply leave it out.  Enjoy this high protein, low carb dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a nice side salad or even some oven-roasted sweet potatoes.

Pastured eggs, nitrate-free bacon, vine ripe tomatoes, baby spinach and raw milk cheese…beautiful!

Italian Bacon~Spinach~Tomato Mini Frittatas

This recipe makes two servings (the photo above was for one).

Ingredients:

4 pastured eggs

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 large tomatoes, sliced thin and seeded

1 ounce baby spinach

2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 4 ramekins or 2 individual size serving dishes, set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together eggs and Italian seasoning.

In each dish layer tomatoes, spinach, cheese and bacon…depending on the size of your dish you should have enough room to repeat the layers.

Pour the whisked eggs over the layered ingredients evenly (about 1/4 cup in each ramekin).

Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Baked to perfection!

You can pop these easily out of the ramekins or serve them directly in the baking dish.  Either way…Delish!

This recipe is shared at:

Fill Those Jars Fridays, Fresh Bites Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Made From Scratch Mondays

Easy Summer Salads Series…Carnitas Ensalada

I love salads.  Summer is the perfect time of year for them, too.  I live in Colorado and I do not have air conditioner in my home (when we built the house the builders assured us we didn’t need it, they were wrong!!!)  so there are several weeks during the hot months that I just don’t want to turn on the oven… A refreshing summer salad is just the way to go!

Here is the next summer salad I am loving, how can you go wrong with pulled pork (my favorite recipe coming soon!)…

Carnitas Ensalada

This recipe is adapted from Paleo Periodical.

Ingredients for 4 salads:

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

6-8 ounces mixed green salad

4 ounces red cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

12-16 ounces shredded pulled pork (3-4 ounces per salad)

2 avocados, sliced

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

  • In bottom of large salad bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, jalapenos and S&P. Add lettuce greens, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
  • Divide the tossed salad evenly between 4 salad bowls or plates, top with warmed shredded pork, avocado and pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Summer Salad Sundays

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Easy Summer Salads Series…Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

I love salads.  Summer is the perfect time of year for them, too.  I live in Colorado and I do not have air conditioner in my home (when we built the house the builders assured us we didn’t need it, they were wrong!!!)  so there are several weeks during the hot months that I just don’t want to turn on the oven… A refreshing summer salad is just the way to go!

Here is the second salad that I am LOVING this summer…

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

This recipe adapted from Prevention Magazine.

Ingredients for 4 salads:

6 strips of nitrate and sugar-free bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 T. pine nuts, toasted

6 ounces baby spinach

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

8 ounces shrimp, peeled and de-veined (or 8 ounces other protein)

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon pieces until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon (leaving drippings in pan) and drain on a paper towel
  • Add onions and mushrooms to hot skillet and cook until onions begin to brown
  • Add shrimp (or other protein), salt and pepper to taste and pine nuts.
  • When the protein is cooked thru remove from heat and stir in vinegar and Dijon mustard.  If the skillet becomes too dry add additional fat (bacon grease, coconut oil, or avocado oil).
  • Divide spinach among 4 plates or bowls, evenly top each bed of spinach with onion, mushroom and shrimp.
  • Garnish with sliced eggs and crumbled bacon.

In the salad pictured above I substituted green olives for the pine nuts and left out the additional protein and add more eggs, feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your taste and pantry ingredients!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Summer Salad Sundays

Easy Summer Salads Series…Classic Cobb Salad

I love salads.  Summer is the perfect time of year for them, too.  I live in Colorado and I do not have air conditioner in my home (when we built the house the builders assured us we didn’t need it, they were wrong!!!)  so there are several weeks during the hot months that I just don’t want to turn on the oven… A refreshing summer salad is just the way to go!

In the next few posts I’m going to share a few recipes for my favorites right now…

Classic Cobb Salad

This recipe is adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients for 4 salads:

8 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 scallions, sliced

24 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (or 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped)

1 large avocado, chopped

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

8 ounces, cooked chicken breast or thighs, chopped

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

8 ounces chopped lettuce

Dressing of choice… I like cheater homemade ranch (recipe to follow) or if you eat dairy the traditional dressing for a Cobb salad is blue cheese (recipe to follow).

  • Prep ingredients as instructed in the above ingredient list.
  • In a large bowl toss the lettuce with your dressing, season with salt and pepper and then divide evenly between 4 plates.
  • To garnish each salad, make a row of each on top of the lettuce; avocado, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, bacon and eggs.
  • Serve immediately.

Cheater Homemade Ranch Dressing:

1/4 cup homemade mayonnaise

1 T. Penzey’s Sunny Paris Seasoning

2 T. cold water

In a small bowl combine seasoning and water and allow to set for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, pour reconstituted seasoning into 1/4 mayo and mix until well combined.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Classic Cobb Blue Cheese:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

4 ounces blue cheese or Gorgonzola

In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.  Whisk in blue cheese until well combined.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Beyond the Peel, Tastetastic Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Summer Salad Sundays

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites…Oh, Yes I Did!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes…Could there be anything better?

Bacon.

That is all.

Really, does anything more need to be said?  Seems like everything just tastes better wrapped in bacon…dates, jalapenos, asparagus, scallops, filet Mignon…I’ve tried them all, why not sweet potatoes?  This lovely little bit of heaven did not disappoint!  Great as an appetizer, side dish or even a light meal with a salad!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

1 Large sweet potato, peeled

4-6 slices sugar-free bacon

olive oil

chili powder

toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a rimmed baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  Cut the sweet potato into 1″ chunks.  Slice the bacon in half crosswise and then lengthwise to yield 16-24 strips, use enough bacon to have one strip per sweet potato chunk.  Wrap each sweet potato chunk with a strip of bacon and secure with a tooth pick, place on baking pan.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and flip over.

Place back in the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is crispy and sweet potatoes are browned.

Remove to paper towel lined plate until ready for serving.  These are best served warm with sour cream (if you eat dairy), homemade ranch or guacamole for dipping.

This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Beyond the Peel, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Bizzy Bakes, Tastetastic Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie

There have been a ton of Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie recipes making an appearance in the Paleo blogosphere lately.  They all look so tasty and like a wonderful, warm comforting food…today it was snowing in Colorado so I thought it would be the perfect day to try to make one.  Elana’s Pantry posted this recipe for Paleo Shepherd’s Pie recently using cauliflower mash for the topping and a few months back Jan’s Sushi Bar posted this Sweet and Spicy Cottage Pie using mashed vanilla sweet potatoes on top.  Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Cookbook has a fabulous recipe with many variations for Shepherd’s Pie using the traditional ground lamb as well as recipe on her blog for Cottage-Flower Pie.  My version pulls things from all three recipes and I will have to say it was FABULOUS!  This was the first Cottage Pie I have ever made and it sure will not be my last!  I was pleased with the photos of the Cottage Pie before it went in the oven and with the ones of it dished out in my bowl…the one of the final product after it was baked is not the best simply because I think I used too small of a casserole dish so the filling bubbled up over the sides of the cauliflower mash (and made a huge mess in the oven!)…now in my defense, I’ve never made this dish before so this could very well be a normal occurrence!  I am calling this “Spicy” simply because it is just that, SPICY…I like it that way but if you prefer a milder flavor I would omit half of the black pepper and all of the red pepper flakes.

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie (Serves 4)

1/2 pound nitrate/nitrite free bacon, coarsely chopped

1/2 pound ground organic grass-fed beef

2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

1/2 large onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

2 cups chopped kale, stems removed

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 recipe Mashed Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large skillet heat butter or oil over medium-high heat, saute onion until soft.  Add chopped bacon to the pan and saute until cooked, add carrots, celery and garlic and saute in the bacon fat until soft.  Add the ground beef to the pan with the bacon and vegetables and saute until browned.  Season the meat and vegetable mixture with the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika.  Stir in the tomato sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.  Add the chopped kale and cook until the greens are wilted.  Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to a casserole dish (the one I used was a 1.7L Pyrex…I’d go a bit bigger!).  Carefully spread the cauliflower mash (recipe follows) evenly over the top of the meat mixture.  Using the tines of a fork, lightly create some texture on top – the peaks and valleys make nice brown spots in the oven.  Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the top begins to brown (I would have browned mine more but it was splattering all over the oven!).  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Mashed Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. heavy cream or coconut milk

salt and pepper, to taste

Place ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Make Ahead Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Meat and Vegetable Mixture

Topped with Cauliflower Mash

The not-so-pretty finished product

Looks aren't everything...it tasted GREAT!

Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin & Oven-Roasted Green Beans

I rarely eat out…which means I cook A LOT!  Don’t get me wrong, I love it but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to create a new recipe so I head to the internet for inspiration…these recipes are inspired by two great chefs from the Food Network, Ina Garten and Emeril Lagasse.  Both original recipes can be viewed at http://www.foodnetwork.com by clicking on the recipe title, I only tweaked the measurements slightly and of course added some bacon!  This was essentially a one pan and one baking sheet meal, easy prep and quick clean-up!

Herb-Marinated Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, ghee, butter or lard

Directions

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloin and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloin from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoons coconut oil (or your fat of choice) in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloin on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloin for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloin to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it’s just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

Oven-Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed
  • 3 slices sugar/nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat fry bacon until crisp, remove to paper towels to drain, once cool crumble and set aside.  Reserve bacon grease by straining into a bowl and set aside to cool.  In a large bowl combine green beans, shallots, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease.  Add salt and pepper and toss, making sure all the vegetables are coated evenly with the bacon grease and spices.  Spread onto the prepared baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 18 – 22 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.  The green beans will be slightly caramelized and wrinkly when done, some will be crispy.  Serve warm and topped with the reserved crumbled bacon.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Make Ahead Monday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,

Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Easy, Elegant and Healthy.

Asparagus.  Bacon.  Need I say more?

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus:

1 1/2 pounds asparagus (24-32 stalks), ends trimmed

4 slices organic uncured bacon, prosciutto or pancetta

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Trim stalky ends off the asparagus, wash and pat dry.  Lightly coat asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap 6 – 8 stalks of asparagus with one slice of bacon and place bundle on a broiler or sheet pan, repeat with remaining asparagus and bacon.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning bundles once halfway through.  Bacon should be crisp and asparagus tender.

***Asparagus can also be cooked on a hot grill…place bundles directly on grill and cover, cook 10-12 minutes.

***If your asparagus bundles won’t hold together secure bacon with a toothpick or kitchen twine.

I used an oven proof pan this time...worked beautifully.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday & Fat Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays

Fight Back Friday

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