Bacon Brussel Sprouts and Yam

A couple months ago I had never had a brussel sprout.  I knew what they were, but I had never tried one.  Anytime someone describes the taste or brussel sprouts they say it’s gross and soggy and gross!  That might be why I had avoided them for so long.

Then I met PaleoJoe and for dinner one day his Mom made roasted brussel sprouts.  She explained that yes, depending on how you cook them they can get soggy and gross, but if you cook them right they’re crunchy and delicious.  I had her brussel sprouts and I liked em!  They’re just mini cabbages.  What was I afraid of?

For this recipe I decided to cook the brussel sprouts with bacon fat and when all is said and done, sprinkle the bacon bits over the finished product.  It gives it that much more flavor AND you’re using all of your food.  No tossing the bacon fat in the garbage, use it!

 

BACON BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND YAM

Ingredients:

2 strips of uncured bacon (diced)

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1/2 pound to 1 pound of brussel sprouts (washed, drained and cut in half)

1 medium yam/sweet potato (cut into the same size as the brussel sprouts or smaller)

salt and pepper

 

Directions:

1.  Grab a oven proof skillet big enough to fit all of your ingredients and put it on the stove to heat up on medium high heat.  Note: If you do not have an oven proof skillet then a baking sheet/dish will work fine.  Just trying to cut down on your dish washing.

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3.  Throw your diced bacon into the skillet and cook until crispy.

4.  Take bacon out of pan and set aside.  Turn off stove

5.  Put brussel sprouts and yam into the skillet.  Toss them so that they’re evenly covered with the bacon grease. (If using a separate baking dish then after you toss the veggies in the bacon grease, pour them into the baking dish.)

6.  Season with salt and pepper.

7.  Put skillet/baking dish in oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the veggies are to your desired level of cooked-ness.

8.  Take veggies out of oven and serve!!  Don’t forget to sprinkle on some those bacon bits for added texture!

Brussel Sprouts and Yam

Additions:  You can always add more to this dish if you like.  Perhaps dicing up a couple cloves of garlic and letting it roast with your veggies in the oven.  How about a small onion?  Fresh herbs are always a great way to go.  Oh and if you don’t want to cook with bacon grease then olive oil or coconut oil works just fine.  Entirely up to you.  This is just a guideline.  If you want to make it your own then I say go for it!  ENJOY!

Grilled Halibut served with a Purple Yam/Bell Pepper/Macadamia Puree

My boyfriend and I made this dish last night and it put us into a food coma.

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Grilled Halibut served with a Purple Yam/Bell Pepper/Macadamia Puree

I have been thinking about renaming dishes to something that would be shorter to say.  This is quite a mouthful.  Anyhoo… We started on the marinade for the Halibut first.  Please note that while cooking I do not make a habit of measuring things out.  I kind of just eyeball it.  The measurements below are guesstimates.  Please use your best judgment.  Recipes are below…

Grilled Halibut

Ingredients:

2 Halibut filets (1 pound)

3-4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1/2 lemon (You’re gonna squeeze the juice out)

2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped/minced)

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

1.  Place all ingredients except the lemon juice in a bowl or plate.  (Don’t worry…  you’ll use the lemon a little later.) Toss the fish so that it’s covered all over.  Let sit for about an hour or so.

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2.  After the wait, fire up the grill.  You want it to be medium high.

3.  While the grill is getting to the correct temperature you can go ahead and squeeze that lemon juice out over your fish.  (I put it on now so that the acid doesn’t cook the fish while it’s in the marinade.)

4.  Place the fish on the grill skin side down and let cook for 5-6 minutes.  Use a spatula to flip it over and cook for another 5-6 minutes.  You will know that the fish is cooked when the meat flakes easily with a fork.

Notes:  You can also pan sear the fish using butter (REAL butter not that fakey butter) or coconut oil (don’t use vegetable or canola oil.  Those are bad for you!) and it will cook at medium high heat for 5-6 minutes on each side. You can also bake it at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

Purple Puree (I definitely need a better name for this.  Any ideas?)

Ingredients:

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2 small – medium Purple Yams/Sweet Potato (I think it was about a pound)

1 small white onion (chopped)

4-5 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 Red Bell Peppers (Tops cut off, seeded and chopped)

2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1/3 cup of roasted unsalted macadamia nuts

4 tablespoons of butter

1-2 tablespoons of parsley (chopped)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

1.  Wash your purple root, peel it and chop it up.  Throw it in a pot and cover it with water.  Turn the heat to high and let it boil.  It’s done when you can stick a fork in them easily.  Drain the water.

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2.  While you wait for the purple stuff get a pan and heat it to medium/medium high heat and let your coconut oil get warm.  If you haven’t already prepped your veggies you can use the heat up time to do so.

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3.  Throw the onion in the pan and cook til they are nice and golden.  Add bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add parsley and cook for 1 minute.  Add as much salt and pepper to your taste.

4.  So by now the purple stuff is cooked and the other veggies have been sauteed nicely.  Grab a food processor and throw everything in.  (Purple stuff, veggies, macadamia nuts, and butter.)  Puree it all!  If it is too thick for your taste you can add a little milk til it is the consistency that you like.

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Notes:  I think for next time I will cook the purple yam in chicken stock or beef stock to give it a bit more flavor.  For you vegetarians out there you could even use a vegetable stock to cook it in.  

And there you have it!  Serve while everything is still hot/warm and ENJOY!

Inspired by Purple Yams…

Prepping meals.  I’ve talked about it in a previous post and I like the fact that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day.  It has already been prepared for me.  I thought about it ahead of time and it’s sitting in the fridge just waiting for me to take it to work.  Breakfast and lunch are good to go!  But then dinner…  Most days I know exactly what I want to eat.  I’ve thought about the different proteins that are out there.  I think about what’s in the fridge.  I will either look up a recipe on-line or I will make one up in my head.  It’s easy.  I don’t have to worry about it.  I’m good to go.

That didn’t happen last night though.  I had no idea what I wanted to eat.  Nothing sounded good.  I knew I was hungry or at least on the verge of getting hungry because I had just finished a back and shoulders work out at the gym.  What to eat?  A friend of mine sent me a text of what she had made for dinner and the picture looked good at first glance, but I felt like I had to make something way more epic.  But what?  On the way back home, my boyfriend and I stopped at a store called Sprouts to pick up some milk.  I wandered the protein section, which had a very lousy selection, and wasn’t inspired with anything that was there.  They had Bison, Elk, and Wild Boar, but they were ground meat and I wasn’t feeling it.  We decided to go to Whole Foods to see what they had there, but first I did a little wandering in the produce section.  That’s where inspiration hit!  I found this:

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Purple Sweet Potato or Purple Yam or what I normally call it:   Ube.  I’ve had it before, but usually in Filipino desserts such as cake or ice cream.  I’ve also had it cut up like french fries and oven baked with a little coconut oil and salt, but when I saw these in the store I was inspired to puree them and serve them as a side to some kind of fish.  I got my google on earlier and found that there are two types of purple yam.  There’s the one pictured above which has the darker skin and isn’t readily available in the US except for maybe some Asian/Oriental markets.  This particular yam grows on a vine above ground.  The second one has a lighter skin and grows underground.  It’s similar to the lighter sweet potato, but when you cut it open you’ll see the vibrant purple.  Both are Paleo friendly, high in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, etc.  In short, they’re good for you.  Boil em’, Mash em’, put em in a stew.  😛

We made our purchases and then headed to Whole Foods for the rest of the ingredients.  When we get there I  couldn’t decide if I wanted to get the Halibut or the Chilean Sea Bass.  Both are delicious, both are easy to cook, and both have great flavor.  I ended up going with the Halibut because the guy at the counter said it was fresher by three days.  SOLD!

Get back home after one more stop and dinner prep is underway.  In the end, the halibut is in a marinade of EVOO, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic and then grilled for 5 minutes on each side.  The puree took a bit longer to make as I added a couple of things to it.  After all was said and done, dinner was AMAZING!  Recipes can be found HERE.

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It was also pretty late when we finished eating and so we promptly went to bed.  Comfy bed…  snuggling…  food coma initiated…  🙂