bacon-wrapped chicken thighs

Okay…so who doesn’t love pretty much anything bacon-wrapped?!  If you don’t then we probably aren’t friends and never will be…and you should stop reading this blog right now!  (Just kidding (not really)  Anyhoo…we are def bacon lovers over here.   Having said that…I am not a huge fan or promoter of eating crappy quality bacon.  Perhaps a bacon snob of sorts!  I fully admit it!  Hehe!!!  Trust me though…once you do away with the low-grade grocery store variety…you will taste and notice such a HUGE difference.

If you are able to make the change to bacon that is sourced from a local farm near you….DO IT!!!  This is what we do.  Sure it may cost a little bit more…or take a little more digging around to find a high-quality standard…but in our opinion it matters.  Worth every penny!!!  Check out the ‘Eat Wild‘ site for a farm near YOU!  Your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles.  If you frequent farmer’s markets, this is also a great opportunity to pick up some delicious swine.  Check out Evergreen Brick Works and the St. Lawrence Market if you are in the Toronto area.  We also buy some of our meat from The Healthy Butcher, Rowe Farms, Cumbrae’sFresh From the Farm and occasionally Fiesta Farms.

Happy bacon shopping!!!  If you haven’t yet tried wild boar bacon…I highly recommend you do!!!  OINK…OINK…

5.0 from 5 reviews
bacon-wrapped chicken thighs
appetizer, main
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • coconut/olive oil - a couple splashes (I eyeballed it!)
  • balsamic vinegar (good quality) - several splashes (again...I eyeballed it!!)
  • 9-12 chicken thighs or you could use 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic - minced/crushed
  • 1 package of white mushrooms (approx. 10-12) - chopped
  • bacon slices - quantity is dependent on number of chicken pieces used
  • sea salt and ground pepper - to taste
Instructions
  1. prepare the above ingredients and place everything into a large glass mixing bowl
  2. then add chicken thighs into the mix as well
  3. in the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  4. use your hands to combine and ‘massage’ the mixture into the chicken pieces
  5. one-by-one, remove chicken pieces from the bowl and wrap with a slice of bacon (I stretch the slice of bacon a little bit before doing so, to make it wrap more easily around the poultry)
  6. place the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs in a single layer, in an oven-proof dish (Corningware) or on a foil-lined baking sheet
  7. before placing in the oven, top with any of the extra marinade mixture that may be left behind in the bowl
  8. bake for approx. 45-60 minutes, until juices run clear and bacon is cooked (watch them, as you don’t want to overcook/dry-out)
  9. broil for an additional 3-5 minutes if you want the outside crispy (optional)
  10. remove, set aside and serve
  11. enjoy!
Notes
• The combination of the crispy bacon, onions and mushrooms is delightful!!!

 

warm mushroom and garlic salad

You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em!  No silly, I am not talking about  the blackberry/iPhone, or the Vibrams/lifting shoes debate!  But, what I am actually referring to here is good ol’ MUSHROOMS.  I think so many people are too quick to judge…and say “oh ya, no I don’t like them!”.  They tend to automatically get a bad rap for some reason?!?  Please people, give them a chance.  You won’t be sorry with this recipe, as they are to die for!

Tonight, again I tried something new!  Roasted garlic…to go along with the main dish!  Who would have thought….?  To be honest, I am always a little hesitant when trying something new for the first time, but have recently adapted the attitude of “just going with the flow”.  Be inventive, don’t be shy and just enjoy the whole cooking process.  The roasted garlic turned out better than ever expected.  Vampires BEWARE!!! LOL!

Someone emailed my this week asking where they could find a resource pertaining to the basic foods that are recommended on the Paleo diet.  I referred them back to the principles outline in the book, The Paleo Diet, by Lorain Cordain.  Sure there is always room for change, growth and development, but please don’t lose sight of the basics.  They are actually speaking to you quite clearly, if you are willing to listen..check them out,  maybe again if you are struggling with sticking to the Paleo lifestyle.  There are so many options that are often forgotten about, so sometimes a refresher is just what you may need. If you don’t have the book mentioned above, check out the link in my “what is Paleo?” section of my blog.

A couple months ago on the radio, I heard the idea that “you need to change your thinking from seeing cooking as a CHORE, to viewing cooking as an EXPERIENCE.”  This shift is crucial I think!  We all dislike doing things that we see as laborious or onerous.  If you do not enjoy cooking (which was me once upon a time, believe it or not), find a way to spruce things up; to peak or re-spark that desire you once possessed.  Try a recipe that you have been admiring for a long time, cook for friends or buy a new/cute gadget to enhance the mood in the kitchen.  Sounds silly, but it does make a massive difference.  Trust me on this one, I know!  (more to come on this…)  Also, check out some of my “fav stuff'” when you have a minute!

warm mushroom and garlic salad
main, side salad
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • olive oil (enough for dressing too!)
  • ½ box mixed greens
  • 2-3 packages of mushrooms- sliced (can use a variety here if you wish)
  • ¾ red onion- thinly sliced
  • roasted garlic- 6 cloves
  • 4 slices bacon- crispy (ISH)
  • splash of balsamic vinegar (ISH)
  • fresh ground pepper or sea salt to taste
  • can add various types of meat here, such as chicken or beef (I splurged and added bacon)
Instructions
  1. wash spinach or mixed greens thoroughly
  2. in the meantime, or before, roast garlic in oven (see separate directions) and fry the bacon on the stove top on medium to high heat, until crispy
  3. also during this time, take chopped mushrooms and onions and and saute in frying pan over medium to high heat in olive/coconut oil
  4. cook until caramelized and /or golden brown (until done)
  5. next, add in roasted garlic into the mushroom mix
  6. the next part is easy: grab a handful of the lettuce mix and put it on the plate, next spoon out mushroom mix and top with bacon, chicken, beef or any other meat that you may prefer (this mixture is better warm!)
  7. pour over any aceess juices as the dressing
  8. enjoy!
Notes
Roasting garlic is simple--- place peeled garlic bunches into a casserole dish or onto a baking sheet. Make certain that you cut off about ¼ inch of the top to make it even. Pour olive oil over the garlic cloves and add lots of fresh ground peeper and sea salt (optional). Roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes @ 350-400. The leftover garlic can also be stored in the fridge and used later on in the week in other dishes or as a spread.

steak and mushroom deep dish

When people initially ask me questions about the Paleo Diet, I can tell on their faces that words like “restriction” and “deprivation” are swirling through their mind!  Often looks of being overwhelmed and reluctant appear immediately on their faces as well.  As the conversations continue, some folks have even gone on to say things like- “So what do you eat?  Only nuts and seeds?” or “You must be tired of eating the same old dinner of chicken and steamed broccoli?”  or the best, which was “You must just eat lettuce and veggies right?”  What it boils down to is that healthy DOESN’T have to be boring, bland or time consuming for that matter.  Everyone leads busy lives; that’s why I like to try to create dishes that are low-maintenance, tasty and that can be stored and eaten in the days that follow.

Near the end of Robb Wolf’s nutrition seminar, I distinctly remember when he did a visual demonstration on the whiteboard based on the number of food combinations that could go together to make a Paleo meal.  The options were endless!  In this case, eggs are so versatile, they can be happily married with various veggies, different kinds of meats, spices and herbs.  It almost screams- GET CREATIVE!  I find that it’s exciting to experiment with different ingredients when making frittatas, omelettes or other egg dishes.  It’s the only way you will find out what works and what doesn’t, plus a large pan like this makes for loads of extra servings.  Enjoy this dish as breakfast, lunch or dinner…either or works forsure!

steak and mushroom deep dish
main, breakfast
many
 
Ingredients
  • coconut/olive oil
  • 12 eggs
  • splash of water
  • ½ lb steak- cooked and thinly sliced (I used inside round steak cutlets)- can add spices for more flavour!
  • ¾ large red onion- thinly sliced
  • 2 packages mushrooms- sliced
  • 1 red pepper- thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic- crushed
  • jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • fresh rosemary (1 sprig)
  • fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. begin by sauteing the veggies and grilling the steak in oil, in an oven-proof pan on medium to high heat
  2. when cooked, separate a small amount of grilled veggie mixture and set aside (this will be a topping later)
  3. then, crack all eggs into a large bowl, add some water, fresh rosemary and ground pepper
  4. whisk together thoroughly (adding water and rapid whisking helps make them fluffier)
  5. pour egg mixture on top of steak and veggies in the pan
  6. cook in oven at 350-400 degrees for 30 minutes- may have to adjust time depending on oven
  7. if you want the top a little crispy, you can set to broil for the last few minutes
  8. when cooked, let stand before slicing into portions
  9. add warmed topping and serve
  10. enjoy!
Notes
Try it yourself- have an open mind...take a look at the following combinations and see what appeals to you! Possible veggies include: bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green), tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, leeks, peas, roasted eggplant, olives, green/white onions and avocado. Possible meats include: shredded or ground chicken, turkey, pork, beef, sausage and bacon. For extra flavour perhaps try using: dill, basil, cilantro, parsley, ginger, chives, cumin, curry powder, cayenne, turmeric, coriander, paprika and sage. Don't forget about trying it with: tuna, shrimp, crab and salmon.