For the love of BACON!!!!

Who doesn’t love bacon?! (okay, vegans, but if you are one then you may not be reading anyway)

It makes everything taste better…hell bacon can down right make you happy!  Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Chop bacon in your favorite dish, mix in salads, make bacon-wrapped asparagus, top your burger or just pre-cook some slices for a snack with an avocado.  I’m even going to try a recipe for bacon brownies (gluten/grain free of course).  Really, bacon has endless possibilities.

Bacon is not the food enemy it was made out to be.  Dietary saturated fat and cholesterol are good for us and not just in moderation.  It’s important to keep in mind that fat is a great source of fuel and bacon’s excess fat should not be feared. Of course, when it comes to fat, some choices are better than others. Pork’s fat, or lard, is approximately 40% saturated, 45% monounsaturated and 12% polyunsaturated. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are the ones that should be consumed liberally, while polyunsaturated fats should be kept to a minimum. The only bad thing about bacon and/or pork is that it is higher in Omega 6 than our wanted Omega 3.  So what?  have more fish and grass-fed beef that week then your “Omega’s” will be in-tune.  Another concern is the levels of nitrates in bacon. It’s true that most bacon, other than the nitrate-free versions, will contain varying amounts of nitrate, but this is often an unfounded concern and should not hinder your consumption.  So what? There is nitrate-free bacon available everywhere these days.  High sodium? choose lower sodium.

I made this last week: Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf, aka: Bacon Bomb or Touchdown Bacon or Bacon is F-ing Awesome Wrapped Around 2 Pounds of Ground Beef…that’s what I’m talking about.  Serve with some sautéed vegetables and a sweet potato topped with a little coconut oil, cinnamon and chili powder for a nice well-rounded meal.

BACON-WRAPPED MEATLOAF

1 medium onion chopped

4-6 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 red bell pepper chopped

6-8 fresh mushrooms chopped

2-3 Tbsp coconut oil (unrefined) or bacon grease

2 lbs grass-fed ground beef

1 lb fresh pork sausage (I used butcher made green onion pork sausage or use any)

1/4 lb ground grass-fed calf liver (I had my butcher ground it in the ground beef and used it for this, chili, burgers, etc…) – optional

2 eggs

Seasonings: Cayenne, sea salt, black pepper

12oz package of bacon (nitrate free and low sodium if possible)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Saute onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms.  Mix meat ingredients together (except bacon) and eggs.  Then mix in sautéed vegetables and add into meat mixture.

Form the meat mixture into a loaf in a pan larger than the loaf so you can form the bacon around it.

Next separate the bacon slices and place over the loaf in a basket weave or slightly overlapping diagonally.  Whichever way you choose leave at least 1/2 inch overhang on the sides to accommodate shrinkage.

Bake for 50-60 minutes then put under broil for 5 minutes to crisp up the bacon.

The loaf will be sitting in bacon grease but that adds to the flavor.

Cut into slices.  Will make 6-8 servings.

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Tailgate Food!

It’s football season ladies and gentlemen!!  I absolutely love football…live for it this time of year!  And if you know me well, you know when it comes to Michigan Wolverine football or New Orleans Saints Football…I am in full football fan gear and ready for the game.  Feed me, give me drinks and do not bother me for 3-4 hours!

That being said, lets talk food!  My Paleo lifestyle screams tailgate!…I mean it’ consists of a lot of M-E-A-T!

No, you don’t need chips and dips and processed cheese to make a good tailgate.  Plan a little and it will be outstanding, whether you are at the game or at your house.

DAD’S BBQ SAUCE (PALEO STYLE)

My dad made an awesome BBQ sauce, mostly spicy with a little tang.  This is perfect for your ribs, chicken wings, hamburgers and sausage on the grill.  And it makes enough for a few games.  I’ve taken out the sugars and replaced it with pureed fresh pineapple for the sweetness.

1 cup mustard

1 1/2 cups sugar free ketchup or organic tomato paste

2 1/2 cups pureed fresh pineapple

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Blend all the ingredients well and refrigerate.

PALEO MAYONNAISE (Or as I call mine COCO-BACON-NAISE)

Oh yes, the basis for most dips for the tailgating season.  There are many recipes on the internet and I combined what I had and made my own version.  You can make this using a whisk to stir, but if you don’t want a cramp in your hand, just use a blender, but still be patient.  This should make enough for a big dip or salad.

4 eggs yolks

2 teaspoons of mustard

5 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup bacon fat melted at room temperature

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

Salt and  white pepper to season

Put the yolks in a bowl with mustard and 1/2 the lemon juice and beat with mixer.

Mix the 3 fats/oils together. While still on high speed, drizzle the oils mixure slowly in with the egg yold mixture.  Mix non-stop and you will notice it starting to thicken like mayonnaise.  Keep up this process and after all oils are mixed in, add the remaining lemon juice and cider vinegar. Refrigerate and enjoy!

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN SALAD

Serve in lettuce wraps cold and top with some avocado.  Great starter for the early fall games when it’s still hot.

4 chicken  breasts and 4 chicken thighs grilled lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, cumin and chili powder

1   yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped

1/2 red onion diced fine

1/2 cup  green onions sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3/4 to 1 cup Paleo mayonnaise (see above)

1/2 cup canned chipotles in adobo sauce, puréed or finely chopped (this is not usually Paleo, but is not that much compared to the dish – use organic or one with no sugar or oil)

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup of grape tomatoes halved

Dice your cooked chicken.  Mix in the bell peppers, cilantro and onions.

Mix the mayonnaise with the lime juice, chipotle and salt and then stir in the chicken mixture.  Put in a bowl and top the salad with the halved grape tomatoes and more chopped cilantro and/or green onions.  If anyone wants added heat, use Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce to taste.

AL PASTOR IN THE CROCK POT

Ok, not really Al Pastor, but it has similar flavors.  It picks up the heat of the peppers and the sweetness of the pineapple. Use butter lettuce wraps instead of taco shells and top with fresh avocado.  Use leftovers to stuff and omelet the next day.

6 or 7 lb pork shoulder roast

Dry rub: 3 Tbsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper.

Mix together and coat the pork roast and put in the crock pot.

Dice a fresh pineapple or get a large container in the produce section of fresh chunks of pineapple.  Dice 3-5 chipotle peppers. Add both on top of the roast.  You will cook the pork roast for approximately 8 hours on low.

In the meantime, saute 2 medium sweet onions, 1/2 each green, red and orange bell peppers in larger chunks, 5 fresh garlic, 2-3 chilis (hatch, Anaheim, jalapeno, poblano – or a combo), 1- 8oz package of white mushrooms – sliced.

Add the sautéed mix to the roast after a few hours cooking time. (roast will still pick up the flavors, but veggies won’t cook down too much)

The pork will fall apart with some amazing flavors.  If you want a little extra carbs or veggies, add a couple sweet potato chunks and/or baby spinach to the crock pot.

GRASS-FED BEEF ROAST WITH BACON AND MUSHROOMS
Here is this weeks football tailgate.  The crock pot is the best kitchen tool to have…slow cook easy recipes.

5-6 lb chuck roast (grass-fed if possible)

12-16oz bacon – or more if you want (good nitrate free, low sugar), partially cook, keeping the bacon fat. Chop.

2- 8oz packs of white button mushrooms

3-4 Portobello mushrooms whole and sliced

2 onions, chopped and sautéed

7-8 garlic cloves

Slice notches in the roast and put a garlic clove in each.  Season the roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper. Put in the crock pot and top with onions, bacon and mushrooms.  Cook for 6-8 hours until the roast falls apart.  Serve with mashed or French fried sweet potatoes and a vegetable of course (check out the mashed cauliflower from a previous post).

More recipes to come!  Let us know what you are making for the game this week.

So get ready for some football…Put your eye-black on, wear your lucky shirt, pull on those game-winning socks….GO BLUE….AND GEAUX SAINTS!!