Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Grain-Free Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

I was going to post this recipe on Sunday but thanks to a delayed school opening Monday I was able to tweak it even more (and test it on my kids!).

The first batch I made used a combination of coconut and almond flour, and I found the resulting taste a little too sweet. I nixed the coconut for arrowroot, and was really pleased with the results!

I also found the muffins way too thick for my liking, but once halved and toasted they easily can be halved again to result in 4 pieces/ 2 sandwiches. This allows the egg and bacon to really be the focus, and shouldn't bacon always be the star?

You can cook your eggs any way you like, but I suggest baking in muffin cups because the resulting shape is perfect for sandwiches. Next time I make these I think I'll include some spinach or maybe season my muffin with a little garlic, just to kick the flavor up another notch.

Grain-Free Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

1/4 cup almond flour
1 tbs. tapioca or arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tbs. melted butter or coconut oil
2 tbs. water

4 strips nitrite-free bacon
2 eggs
salt & pepper, to taste

To make the muffins, combine the almond flour, starch, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Stir in egg, oil and water until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a greased microwave-safe ramekin.

Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until set in the middle. Allow to cool slightly, then pop from ramekin.

Slice in half and toast until slightly crisp. Slice two halves in half again (at this point you can retoast to get them more brown and crisp, if desired).

For eggs, preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 cups of a muffin tin. Crack eggs into tin and season with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Carefully pop egg patty out of muffin tin with a fork or butter knife.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Fill each muffin with 2 bacon slices and one egg and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Paleo Minty Green Smoothie (aka Shamrock Shake)

Confession time. I've never, ever had so much as a sip of a shamrock shake. This time every year, though, I receive multiple requests for a healthier, allergy-friendly version.

Based on the 50+ ingredients in the "real" thing, it's not too hard to clean it up. I've tweaked my recipe and method over the years, and think this is my best yet. Spinach and real mint give the shake its trademark green hue, and avocado boosts both the nutritional value and creaminess.

Hope you enjoy the minty goodness!

Paleo Minty Green Smoothie (aka Shamrock Shake)

1/2 ripe avocado
Frozen banana, cut into chunks
Handful baby spinach 
Couple of fresh mint leaves
3/4-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Splash of peppermint extract
Couple drops liquid vanilla stevia

Combine all ingredients in a blender until a smooth.

 If you want a super creamy texture and "do" xanthan gum, add 1/4 tsp. added to the mixture. The texture is great without it too, though.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Paleo Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Warm Bacon Dressing

I love Brussels sprouts, and I particularly love them with bacon. What's even better? Cooking the sprouts in bacon grease, the drizzling them with a warm bacon vinaigrette! Talk about making good use of good things!

You can use this dressing in other recipes as well; it goes particularly well with spinach salad. You can likewise put what you want in with the sprouts. I chose to include some raw chopped pecans and some diced apple and red onion. I liked the contrast of the sweet and crunchy with the tang of the dressing.

Paleo Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Warm Bacon Dressing

4 strips nitrite-free bacon
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. pure maple syrup or raw honey
pinch of ground cinnamon
salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste
10 oz. shaved Brussels sprouts (I use the bagged ones from Trader Joes)
2 tbs. raw chopped pecans
1/2 small pear, diced
3 tbs. diced red onion

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels. Pour off all but a couple tsp. of the grease into a measuring cup. You want to have about 1/4 cup of grease.

Whisk in vinegar, sweetener and seasonings. This is your dressing.

Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium heat and add the Brussels sprouts to the bacon grease. Cook until soft and starting to brown a little.

Put in a large bowl with pea, nuts and red onion. Drizzle with some dressing and taste for seasoning.

Store unused dressing in a sealed container the refrigerator. It will solidify, so simply put the container under running hot water until it liquifies again.