Slow Cooker Chili

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My last shift was on the first day of Autumn. My medic partner and I were craving chili. He volunteered to check in the truck if I searched the Internets for a solid Paleo chili recipe. Challenge accepted. I found THIS recipe and altered it a bit. This is what I came up with.

Ingredients
1# grass-fed beef
1# bacon
1 medium red onion
2 green peppers
1 can chili peppers
2-14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
1 small container mushrooms
4-5 large carrots
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Olive oil

Instructions
Brown the beef, set aside. Using the same pan, cook the bacon. Once bacon is crispy, set aside. Chop peppers and onions, brown in bacon grease.

In the meantime, peel and chop carrots into large chunks. Combine tomatoes, sauce, chili peppers, mushrooms, carrots, beef, and crumbled bacon into crock pot. Add peppers and onions once they are soft. Add spices. Season to taste. The 1 tsp is just a starting point. Cook on low for 5-8 hours.

Approx 1 hour prior to eating, peel and chop sweet potatoes. Pour them onto baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a little garlic and onion powders onto the potatoes, gently stir potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20-30 minutes, or until you can easily stick them with a fork. Stir every 10 minutes or so. Once they start to soften, add the sweet potatoes to the chili. Cook for about another 30 minutes, to combine flavors.

Enjoy! I like to serve sweet potato chips on the side.

I know, I know…”but what about the beans??!?” Legumes are not Paleo. The carrots and sweet potatoes are great substitutes for the beans. Honestly, you don’t even miss them. The sweet potatoes add a subtle sweetness to the spice of the chili. Really a brilliant ingredient for this recipe. And then there’s the bacon. This is another subtle ingredient that packs a punch. Every once in awhile, you get a bite with bacon and think “mmmm…bacon.”

The best thing about slow cookers is that you throw it into the crock pot in the, morning, let it cook all day, then have a delicious dinner waiting for you later that day. Prep work can easily be done the night before. This chili reheats really well. Also, the leftovers are even better the next couple days.

This recipe is loaded with vegetables. Tons of protein and a plethora of other nutrients with each bite. A perfect Autumn Paleo dinner.

Happy eating!

Portobello Burgers

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I have been hearing about using portobello mushroom caps in the place of hamburger buns quite a bit lately.  Thought I’d give it a whirl.  There are plenty of recipes out there with detailed instructions how to cook the mushrooms, but for this round, I just threw them on the grill as is.  I left them on there for oh, maybe 7-10 minutes. Just long enough for them to soften up a bit. 

For the insides, I used spinach, hamburger sprinkled with a little TJ’s 21 Seasoning Salute, grilled locally made maple bacon from the farmer’s market, and just a little smoked cheddar cheese that a good friend smoked for us.  Had my avocados been a little more ripe, I would have added some slices to my burger. Next time, I will also add a little homemade baconnaise.  This time, I just wanted to try it as simple as I could.  I was looking forward to the fun flavor layering. I was also trying to figure out which vegetable I should have as my side, then thought huh, I think I have enough veggies on this one. 

This was pretty delicious.  It just makes sense.  I like mushrooms on my burgers anyway, so why not use 2 big mushrooms instead of a handful of little ones.  The flavor was great, and the mushrooms really did a great job keeping the burger together.  I think that this will be my new favorite summertime meal.  In the near future, I plan to experiment a little with seasonings on the mushrooms.  The first one that I plan to try is THIS recipe. 

Try out some portobello burgers.  Great substitution.  Grain-free.  Extra veggies.  Good stuff.

Paleo Mayo Round 2

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The last paleo mayo that I made was pretty mustardy. My husband doesn’t care for mustard, so I wanted to find a recipe that was a little more mild.

This recipe doesn’t actually call for Bacon fat, but I decided to try substituting the olive oil with Bacon fat.

Here is what you need
Egg
Lemon juice
Mustard powder
White pepper
Sea salt
Light olive oil -OR- bacon fat

Mix everything, except for the olive oil/bacon fat, together in the food processor. Mix until the concoction is almost frothy. The recipe says to add the olive oil VERY slowly. With the bacon fat, I made sure that it was cool, yet still slightly liquidy. I’m trying to think of something to compare the consistency to, but finding it difficult. I suppose you could compare the consistency to that of butter that’s half liquid/half softened. Anyway, once the bacon fat was cool enough, I added it to the food processor maybe a tablespoon at a time.

This mayo actually turned out perfectly. The texture is spot on, just like the real deal. The flavor IA subtle. Big on the bacon, light on the mustard.

I mixed it with some tuna and a pickle. Pretty great actually. I recommend it.

Baconnaise recipe is HERE.

Baconnaise

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I have been meaning to make some Bacon mayonnaise for awhile now. Mayonnaise is something that I miss. Hellman’s, specifically. Now, there are tons of recipes for Bacon mayo. This one was one of the first ones I saw so I decided to give it a whirl.

Ingredients
2/3 cup Bacon fat (from approx 1 pound of bacon)
4 egg yolks
Cider vinegar
Dijon mustard
Salt
Pepper

The recipe says if you don’t have enough bacon fat, use vegetable oil. Well, I say, cook more bacon. I have been saving bacon fat for awhile now for just this reason.

I got a little too eager with this recipe and added everything together in a bowl and blended it all together. Turns out, you’re not supposed to do that. You are to add the egg yolks, vinegar, and mustard together then very slowly add the bacon fat in a thin stream until It’s completely incorporated and the mixture is thick and creamy. Then add the salt and pepper.  My bacon mayo isn’t quite completely creamy. That’s ok. It doesn’t have to look pretty to taste good. The Dijon mustard and vinegar make it taste a lot like deviled eggs, which I happen to love.

I think I will use this on burgers, in tuna salad, on lettuce wraps, as a Veggie dip…. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Like I said, there are many many bacon mayo recipes. Do you have a favorite?

HERE is the recipe.

Here’s to bacon!

Double Bacon Ceasar

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Of course I was drawn to anything with the words “double bacon.” I happened to have a hearty flank steak in the fridge so I decided to do double bacon grilled steak ceasar salads.

Dressing ingredients:
Bacon fat
Egg yolk
Lemon juice
Garlic
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Worcestershire sauce
Anchovy paste (I didn’t have any of this delicacy on hand so I had to leave it out.)
S&P

I placed a large bed of lettuce down, then a few pieces of grilled steak, then dressing, then crumbled bacon. I think this was perhaps one of the best meals I have had in a very long time. The dressing is pretty phenomenal. It tastes just like Ceasar dressing….but clean and guilt-free.

To try this goodness yourself, follow the recipe HERE.

Happy eating!