Bacon Butternut Fries

No I did not wrap these fries in bacon! I did however cook them in bacon fat (YUM). Butternut is my go-to. I personally am not a sweet potato fan. Nor do I really like pumpkin. Anytime the recipe calls for one of these two I generally try to substitute butternut. My friends have been on a sweet potato fries (apparently sweet potatoes are a good break-up food). Although they’re good, part of me yearns for butternut instead. So today I made butternut fries in their stead. They are just as good. The smooth, buttery taste of the butternut lends itself well to the recipe, plus I could make it savory or sweet. I decided to do both naturally, seasoning it with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and sea salt.

Bacon Butternut Fries

  • Butternut Squash
  • Bacon fat (or lard or tallow or coconut oil or ghee or coconut ghee or grass-fed raw butter or duck fat)
  • Sea Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger

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Bacon Plantain Wraps

004 (1)I may or may not have a problem with wrapping things in bacon, but what can I say it’s bacon. I partly blame my own infatuation with bacon and I partly blame my friends who are newly single. Apparently bacon (and sweet potato fries) are the best break-up food. Talking about my sweet potato bacon wraps at work the other day, I was struck with brilliance: let’s try plantains. And so I made them. I’ll note here if I had to alter this recipe I would flash fry the plantains in coconut oil for like a minute on each side before wrapping them. If you’ve never tried plantains, this may be a good first effort in giving them a shot. Even though they may look like bananas, they are not sweet. They are more starchy. They pair nicely with coconut oil and salt.

Bacon Wrapped Plantains

  • Plantain
  • Bacon

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Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

2014-03-24 11.37.43Last market I added Girl Scout inspired cookies to my menu. Working on the thin mints inspired me to make some muffins. So here are the results of my experimentations with thin mint influenced muffins!

Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

Girls Day, Grill Day

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Having single friends means lots more girl time lately. These, the girls in the onsies having fun, are my friends. I love a day like yesterday. A simple day with us chilling, watching basketball (we are Hoosiers after all), and then dancing and singing around the house as they clean and I cook. Pretty much a great example of why I value those small moments in life. Because truly life is spent mostly in these moments, rather than the big, grand gestures we plan and look forward to. These carefree moments. Just three girls being ourselves, nothing fancy. No makeup. No extravagent clothes. Just us. Want to fire up the grill? Yes. Laid back and easy. We compile an amazing meal, so we can sit around the table together and eat. These moments, these food moments, cooking for people I love bring joy into my life. And oh how good the food tastes on our first grilling session of 2014! Plus I’ve been seeing avocado fries all over my networking sites lately and I had to give them a try.

IMG_3701Burgers and Fries Continue reading “Girls Day, Grill Day”

Blueberry Chicken Salad

005As I stood looking at what was left of my beautiful whole roast chicken, I thought: what now? With just a little bit left, what can I create? So much potential. Which route to take? What do I want to munch on post bike ride and yoga flow morning? Intuition: let’s make chicken salad. And here you have the result. A yummy salad, snacked on with celery sticks, post yoga. This is another one of those great go-to recipes because you can tailor it for your own liking. It is pretty open to interpretation. You can make it just with eggs. Or maybe with tuna. Or maybe with salmon. Or maybe turkey. You may cut out the celery. You may add peppers. You may replace the almonds with pecans. You may add bacon. You may change-up the spices you use. You may spread it on Paleo bread. You may scoop it onto a granny smith apple. You may just shovel spoonfuls of it into your month. Get creative!

Blueberry Chicken Salad

Rosemary Whole Roast Chicken

009Of all the things I’ve cooked (things like tongues), I was a little astounded to realize I had never roasted a whole chicken. I was so pumped at the March Farmer’s Market to walk away with a beautiful pasture-raised chicken. Today I finally got around to roasting. I’ve done Thanksgiving turkeys with my sister, surely I can rock a chicken. I decided to keep it nice and simple. It is amazing how just a few seasonings can make the room smell delicious. Some lovely rosemary from Carol who runs the booth across from me, really made the bird flavorful. Recipe coming soon for my side dish:  butternut mash. A scrumptious little bird that I can eat from all week.

Rosemary Whole-Roasted Chicken

A Spiel on Sugar

Why don’t you eat sugar? I admit I was a little affronted the other day when prompted with this question. It’s been so long since I determined to cut sugars and that refined sugars are a health killer. Just one of those things I do (like not eating gluten), that I forget about the why. So I looked back at some of the research I’d done in the past and some of the blogs I used to write for my parents and found this gem. Warning: it’s sciency because I used to be a dork and enjoyed this stuff (hello my degree is a Bachelor of Science). So let’s start with hormones, so instrumental to good health, yet I feel a little under respected.

We shall start with insulin. Your body needs insulin, but the problem is that most of us don’t utilize or benefit from its anabolic effects, but suffer at the hands of its catabolic side. Yes we are out of balance, life is a fragile teetering of hormones and a lot of the population is on the wrong side of the scale, dipping into the unhealthy habit sector. When you eat food, notably carbs, your pancreas secretes insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. When we become resistant the insulin, we keep pumping more and more insulin to handle blood sugar. Your poor pancreas can become exhausted and the doctor will claim you have ‘pancreatic exhaustion’ (bet you didn’t see that one coming). Your blood sugar will then continue to rise, turning into an undisciplined child, wild and out of control. Next up will come the diabetes. Now not everyone that is insulin resistant is diabetic. And not all people that are insulin resistant are fat (although we’ll see that an expanding waistline is usually an indicator). These chronically high levels will take a toll, though. You really can’t hide from increased risk of: