Roasted Asparagus with Bacon

Roasted Asparagus with Bacon

Courtesy of "meal prep Sunday", I give you... the easiest most delicious Asparagus recipe known to man kind!! 

Growing up I was a freak when it came to veggies - broccoli was my crack. Carrots were my second in command, and all others third... except for asparagus. The only vegetable I was never excited about my mom making was asparagus. I mean, I'd eat it of course, it was green and a vegetable. (I never said I was a "normal" child). Now, if my mom prepared asparagus like this - I think carrots would be given a run for their money (Broccoli can't be touched ... It's on top that pedestal with a trophy in one hand and medal around it's tree-trunk neck).

I wasn't even sure if I should post this as a recipe since it is so straight forward, however, after living with several people that needed instructions on boiling water and making pasta, I thought "Hey, why not! I'm sure there are people that this would interest!" SO - hopefully my awkward internal dialog was correct. Please let me know. 

Back to business - try this on for size and let me know how you find it.

Serves: 2-3 people (or 1 if you are me)
Prep time: 3 minutes
Total time: 25-35 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb asparagus spears
  • 3 pieces bacon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch pepper

*parchment paper
*baking tray

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Rinse the asparagus and cut the very ends off, the thick bottoms, not the tree-like tops.
3. Lay them out on a parchment lined backing tray. Make sure they do not overlap one another.
4. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and then place the bacon strips on top.
5. Pop them into the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the asparagi(?) and your preference for doneness. 

Cauliflower + Turnip Mash

Cauliflower and Turnip Mash

Don't these look heavenly? Like pillowy soft little bites of happiness. No? They don't look like that? Welp, I'm trying to work on my photography "skills", so just pretend that's what this looks like! ;)

"Weird" is what you are probably thinking. "Why do I want a mashed potato-looking dish with cauliflower and turnips and no potatoes?" Why thank you for asking. Turnips have significantly less carbohydrates and calories than potatoes (If you care about that sort of thing). Cauliflower also has over 6.5x as much Vitamin C... so eat cauliflower if you're sick! There is also 3x as much fiber, more than 2x as much protein, and twice as much potassium. Iiiiiiinteresting. I didn't make this recipe because of said facts, I just don't buy white potatoes and wanted something potato-y ;) 

These are definitely going on my Thanksgiving menu!

Cauliflower Turnip Mash

Serves: 6-8 people
Hands on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped turnip (roughly 1 medium size turnip)
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets (ratio should be twice as much cauli to turnip)
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (mix of coconut milk and coconut cream)
  • 2.5 tablespoons grass-fed butter (you could also use ghee but I find the flavor to be a bit overpowering)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper

Instructions:

  1. Steam cauliflower and turnips. This took me 10 minutes to get the cauli and turnips fork tender. Once your fork pierces the veggies easily, it's done.
  2. Blend the veggies either by using a hand masher for a chunky consistency, a stick blender for a smoother consistency, or a food processor for a super smooth consistency. I used a stick blender.
  3. The mixture should be plenty warm still for the butter to melt on it's own. So add the butter, coconut milk, salt and pepper and mix with one of those three kitchen tools mentioned above.
  4. That's it! Enjoy 

P.S. This has been approved by Mr. I'd Rather EatReal Potatoes, so you know this recipe is a winner! ;) 

 

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Music on the menu for:
Cauliflower + Turnip Mash

Pressure Cooker Holiday Brisket

 Don't worry, no bacon was used in the making of this dish ;)

Don't worry, no bacon was used in the making of this dish ;)

Are you tasked with preparing the brisket for break fast on Yom Kippur this year?

Are you dreading it because A) it makes your house smell delicious for 5 hours while you're fasting?
Or B) you'll be at temple all day and hate leaving your oven on while you're out?

Well I have the solution to your woes!

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement for Jews and on that day you fast; from sunset the previous day to sunset on Yom Kippur that always follows Rosh Hashanah, the new year. Normally when you make brisket you put it in the oven for several hours. A 3lb brisket could take 5+ hours to cook, therefor you are either leaving your stove on while you are at temple or smelling up the whole house with wonderful brisket smells for 5 hours while you cannot eat… (self inflicted torture if you ask me). This solution gets the job done in MAX 2 hours from start to finish. GIve it a go! And yes pressure cookers are scary and loud you might need moral support of someone else ;)

 

Total time: 90-120 minutes
Hand on time: 30 minutes
Severs: 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs brisket (mine was actually 2.8lb)
    (Had to cook in two pieces because too big for my pressure cooker wompwomp)
  • 3+1 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil, separated (an oil that does not oxidize at high heat)
  • 3 small onions thinly sliced
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons + ¼ teaspoon (separated) fresh cracked salt rubbed on meat
  • ½ teaspoon +¼ teaspoon pepper (separated) fresh cracked pepper rubbed on meat
  • ½ large can (3 oz) tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated (about 1 ½ teaspoons grated)
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½-1 cup water

Instructions:

1. Make sure that most (not all) of fat is trimmed off. Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and rub salt and pepper on meat

2. Ghee in pan on low heat, once melted add sliced onions (I did this in the pressure cooker pot to save on cleaning pans- the worst!)

3. Cook onions for about 20+ minutes (I only had patience for 20 minutes, ha) You want the onions to be lightly browned- or at least translucent.

4. While the onions are cooking, mix your tomato base. Combine tomato paste, grated garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ginger powder, onion powder, garlic powder and beef stock.

5. Once onions are cooked, add the tomato mixture and mix well. Add ½ cup of water. If it is not runny, add more water. (You don’t need it to be as thin as water, but you do want it to be runny).

6. Add the bay leaf and brisket.

7. Turn the burner on high and wait for the pressure to release. Then turn your burner on low so that the contents remain at a simmer. *Follow your pressure cooker instructions!*

8. Pressure cook for about 40-45 minutes (for 1 ½ pounds, probably about 80 minutes for 3 pounds).

9. After 40-45 minutes, turn the burner off and wait about 10-15 minutes for the pressure to automatically release.

10. While the pressure is releasing naturally, put a cast iron pan or a stainless steel pan in the broiler to heat up.

11. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee or avocado oil and place the meat (without tomato sauce) on the pan.

12. Put the pan with the brisket in the broiler for 2-4 minutes. Flip brisket and again broil for another 2-4 minutes.

This might sound more complex than "dump everything in a pan and leave it in the oven for the day", but I swear it's worth it!! Also, you could totally skip steps 10, 11, and 12, however it just gives the meat a bit of crispness which I love. Do you! Whatever way you prefer!

ENJOY.

 

Pro Tip: Make extras!! This brisket is even better the next day! It is egggggsellent with eggs for breakfast as well as sautéed greens for lunch. For reals.

Brisket and Eggs
Brisket and Green Beans and Kale
Music Note

Music on the menu for
Pressure Cooker Holiday Brisket*:

*One might disagree with this song choice as it is quite peppy, happy, and all "celebration of good times" even though Yom Kippur is quite the opposite since it is the day of Atonement and reflection of the not so good things we may have done during the past year. Well Atone during the day and all the days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and then listen to this jam while you break fast and begin to look forward to all your upcoming awesomeness. Ok? Ok! 

Thumbs up

Sweet + Spicy Nuts

Sweet + Spicy Nuts

These are a great munchy snack or treat. I made these and kept them in a mason jar on the kitchen table for all the roomies. It is a great guiltless nibble. I had a handful one morning on my way out the door when I didn’t have time to eat breakfast. Another night I was at the table with roommates online shopping and we had some for dessert. It would also be great to have around the house as accompaniment to appetizers for a dinner partay.

The recipe is very versatile as well. I didn’t want the nuts too sweet or too spicy. They, to me are a great basic balance. If you want nuts with a kick, double the amount of chili powder, but if you want super sweet nuts, then remove the chili powder and be generous with the coconut sugar.

Let me know how your nuts come out!

 

P.S. I got belay certified yesterday! Yippeee! I can go rock climbing now and not have to go with 2 friends that are both belay certified and feel like the helpless 3rd wheel along for the ride but doesn't have her license to split the driving duties! ha! 

 

Makes: 2 cups of nuts
Prep time: 4 minutes
Cook time: about 20 minutes + additional cooling time

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup almonds
  • 1 Cup walnuts*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of allspice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar

*You can use any kind of nuts you prefer!

 

1. Whisk egg white in a large bowl and mix in spice

2. Mix in the sugar evenly

3. Fold in the nuts and evenly coat them

4. Place the nuts on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper. Don’t pour the leftover egg white and spices mixture over the nuts on the pan unless you do not care if the nuts come out clumpy. If you’d like the nuts to look prettier than mine in the picture, then leave the remainder of the mixture behind.

5. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, flip the pan 180 degrees and pop it in for another 10 minutes. The nuts should be dry and crispy, but not burnt.

6. Wait to eat them until after they have cooled so that the seasonings can further harden on the nuts.

 

Swoon Worthy Bacon Caramel Chocolates

Bacon Caramel Chocolates Bite
Bacon Caramel Chocolates.jpg

So basically this is the ultimate:

"I really like you but I don't know how to tell you"
"I want to tell you how much I love you but we haven't said the "L" word yet"
"I'm sorry I did/said __________ but I made these for you"
"I know you're on the Paleo Diet so I made you a Paleo treat"
"I know you don't like store bought chocolate"
"....because Bacon and Chocolate"

treat.
 

Let me know how your significant other.... (or hopefully significant other post Valentine's Day after you gift your love interest this treat) likes these bad boys.

FYI: do yourself a favor and double this recipe. I’ve just had three. I’m doing all that I can to force myself to stay seated and not pull another one or two out of the freezer right now….

 

So you have a couple of different options with this recipe:

1.     You can over stuff your chocolates (like I did) so that the center of the chocolates are saturated with bacon and caramel goodness

2.     You can put just a dollop of bacon and caramel in the center of the chocolates so that the edges seal and the chocolates are more esthetically pleasing

3.     You can remove the bacon from the recipe all together (I don’t suggest doing that unless you cannot or do not eat bacon because it’s magical ;) )

 

Swoon Worthy Bacon Caramel Chocolates

 

Makes: approx. 20 chocolates*
Hands on time: 15 minutes
Cook time/Refrigerator time: 25 minutes caramel, 25 total minutes fridge
      *of course this depends on the size of your molds, mine hold 1 ½ tablespoon of liquid so they are fairly large

 

Caramel

  • ½ batch of the Urban Poser’s Caramel recipe (1 can of coconut milk, ½ cup honey, 1 tablespoon ghee or shortening, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, generous pinch of salt)
  • 7 pieces of bacon

­Chocolate

  • 1 ½ cups of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips+
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
        +I suggest this brand of chocolate chips because they are allergen free. Free of dairy, nuts, and soy

 

1. Make a half batch of the Urban Poser’s incredible caramel recipe.*
*This recipe is insanely easy and delicious. The only comment I have, is to make sure you watch it like a hawk at the 20 minute mark. The first batch of mine ended up burning. It was reaching a golden brown color and I stepped away for maybe a minute or two and came back and it was dark brown. After cooling it tasted ok, but definitely more burnt than it should have! Also, I was generous with my pinch of salt as I love the salted caramel combination.
2. When you have poured the caramel into a glass bowl and are waiting for it to chill, begin with your chocolate.
3. Use a double boiler (or like me, use a makeshift double boiler using a glass bowl sitting on top of a sauce pan filled an inch or two with water- make sure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the bowl) melt your chocolate. So pour the chocolate chips and coconut oil into the glass bowl and stir until the chocolate has reached a smooth consistency. Once it’s nearly smooth, turn the burner off stir until its creamy. Add the salt and mix again.
4. Pour (or use a spoon) to fill the molds ¼ of the way up. Set them in the fridge for about 10 minutes until they harden.
5. While you’re waiting for the chocolate to harden, cook your bacon in a frying pan.
6. After your bacon is perfectly cooked (not too crunchy, not too soggy), finely chop it up and mix it into the caramel.
7. Remove the chocolate from the fridge and dollop the caramel in the middle of each chocolate, or do like I did- don’t be stingy and cover the whole piece of chocolate. Taste before beauty.
8. Then, using the remainder of the melted chocolate, cover the bacon.
9. Pop back into the fridge.
10. Eat them and swoon.