Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bacon avocado cups

One of my favorite Paleo appetizers/mini-meals is bacon avocado cups. I picked up this recipe from Primally Inspired, and it's always a crowd pleaser not to mention delicious and filling.

2 avocados, halved, seeds removed (roll avocados on counter prior to cutting to pull flesh away from skin)
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (strain and save your bacon fat for later!)
3 tbsp grass-fed butter
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp minced garlic
Fresh wedge of lemon

  1. Place avocados on a serving tray.
  2. Rub lemon wedge against exposed avocado to prevent browning.
  3. Fill each avocado with bacon.
  4. Combine butter, balsamic and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir well and continuously. Kill the heat once the mixture comes to a boil.
  5. Drizzle glaze.
  6. Place any leftover glaze in a small decanter or cup (Iike to eat half of the avocado cup then add more glaze).
  7. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe is easy to scale up. The photo above shows a triple batch.

*Variation: I have also cut up avocados into chunks, added the bacon and glaze, and served it as a side. This could also make a nice topping for chicken or beef (perhaps a burger topping).

Oh, to hoe

I planted my garden between mother'a day and Wednesday, May 13, in accordance with the Farmer's Almanac's recommended planting days. Kevin had tilled the "new section" of the garden last fall, but as I learned, spring tilling would be ideal. I hoed the new beds by hand, which was an immense workout. I found the physicality of it to be enjoyable although demanding, but I'm thinking I might invest in a rotatiller for future planting seasons. Here is a few photos of the prepped beds. 
This is a 10x10 (or so) bed.
Ready for planting!
I only managed to prep about 1/3 of the other 10x10 bed (far side of the photo, next tot he tarp--the tarp is covering the un-prepped portion of the second 10x10 bed). I intend to prep it for a late planting of cold leafy crops.
I will follow-up soon with progress photos, including some of my fruit garden, where strawberries abound!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mediterranean pizza with cauliflower crust

The only Paleo-ish baked good that's a staple in our household is the Civilized Caveman's Paleo Banana Bread. I make it for the kids; they have a thick slice (I typically make four mini-breads per batch) for their 3:30 snack. I like that there's no added sugar (sweetening is from bananas), and it's a high-fat snack to satiate the kids until our 6pm dinner time. It's also fast and easy (I make one batch every week or two). But every once in a while, it's nice to experiment with a new food, something different to spice things up a bit. My husband had heard about cauliflower pizza crust, has been mentioning it for months, and I finally looked through recipes and decided to try it out.

I'm actually really impressed (and surprised) with how absolutely delicious this pizza is! Prior to "going Paleo" in April 2013, I would have thought a pizza without traditional crust and gobs of cheese to be plain and unappetizing. Yet, while eating this concocted pizza, I had not the slightest interest in pizza-as-I-knew-it-pre-Paleo. I know that my palate has changed significantly since eating a predominantly Paleo diet, and this is one testament to that.

On to the cooking! I started with this recipe, and modified it to my liking.

2 1/2 C cauliflower, riced
1 C blanched almond flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
Pinch of salt
Olive oil for greasing pan/stone

6 baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C garlic, sliced
1/3 C red onion, sliced into rings
1 jar (3/4 C) marinated artichoke hearts, strained and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 tbsp sundries tomatoes
Olive oil for sautéing
8 ounces prosciutto (sliced in half, then rolled up--next time I will cut the rolls into thirds because I felt the size I used was too big)

1/2 C tomatoes or pizza sauce, or 1 C sliced tomatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F (if using a baking stone, put it in the oven to warm while prepping the dough)
  2. Heat some olive oil in frying pan, add cauliflower and cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently (medium-high heat). Keep the frying pan for sautéing the toppings later.
  3. Place cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients
  4. Mix well (I used medium speed on a stand mixer for about 3 minutes)
  5. Remove stone from oven, and brush with olive oil (or grease a baking sheet with olive oil)
  6. Place dough mixture in middle of stone. Use hands to flatten and spread mixture, being careful not to burn oneself. I used a 16 inch stone and the dough didn't take up the whole thing (doubling the recipe would make a full 16 inch pizza)
  7. Place in oven, and bake 25 - 30 minutes
  1. While the crust is baking, heat some olive oil in the frying pan, then sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms until somewhat translucent (about 10 minutes). Add sundered tomatoes and artichokes, push around to coat, then turn off heat and let everything in the pan. 
  2. Once the crust is finished baking, remove from oven and add the sauce.
  3. Spread the sautéed toppings evenly across dough, and then add the prosciutto.
  4. Bake 10 more minutes
I served this pizza hot, and found that the crust broke apart a bit and was even somewhat soft. We ate it using knife and fork, but it was absolutely delicious!!