Keeping Keto at Disney World

mk_crystalprerover_20170201_7938321358Last week we took Isak and met my parents at Disney World for the week.  We go every January near the end and celebrate Isak’s birthday early.  It is literally my favorite week of the year.  This year, I had lots of people ask me if we were breaking our food rules for the trip.  Nope, not at all!  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, I’m not going to lie.  Not because there were so many temptations, because at this point, temptations aren’t really a “thing” anymore.  Yay keto–cravings disappear.  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do because literally, 95% of the food found at Disney contains grains or sugar, which we avoid.  There was one night at Epcot where we each had a quarter of a gluten-free roll.  It was really good as far as gluten-free goes…but most of that stuff feels like wet sawdust in my mouth, so the texture wasn’t appealing.

The thing about staying keto at Disney is that you have to implement some preparation and research.  I did not find any acceptable snacks on the menus of any of the restaurants beforehand when I was researching, so I knew that we were going to have to keep easily portable snacks.  Also, there isn’t much in the way of breakfast food (that isn’t ridiculously overpriced), so we knew we were going to keep a bunch of compliant stuff in the fridge at the resort.  Typically I don’t eat breakfast because of the intermittent fasting (though as of this week I’ve flipped my fast over, but that’s for a later post), but when we’re walking 10-15 miles a day in the parks, I eat more often.

For the fridge and pantry in the resort, we kept: pre-cooked bacon, black forest ham, cream cheese, french onion dip, string cheese, pork rinds, and pepperoni.  If you haven’t tried pork rinds with french onion dip, you’re missing out.  Try it now.  For portable park snacks, my only requirement was that they didn’t need to be kept chilled.  I didn’t want to carry a cooler pack in the park.  We carried macadamia nuts.  Lots and lots of macadamia nuts.  I also kept a few Atkins bars in the bag, and for Isak we had single bags of nut/dried fruit mix.

Now for the fun part…the meals!

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Neither of us could remember where the turkey legs were sold at Magic Kingdom, but after asking 900 cast members, we finally got the right location: the tavern in Adventureland, across from Pirates of the Caribbean.  This was our first stop as soon as we got to the park.  Usually we fly in and wait until the following day to go to the parks; however, we were able to snag an extra day, so JR and I went as soon as we got off the Magic Express and got Isak situated in the resort with Gammy and GrandDan.  We split one turkey leg between the two of us and dipped it in a few packets of mayo.  Everything tastes better at Disney, you know.

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Breakfast on official day one: steamed heavy cream with sugar-free vanilla syrup from Starbucks at Epcot.  This is Isak’s favorite drink.  He calls it “warm chocolate,” no matter what sugar-free flavor it is.  The vanilla though…it tastes like hot-off-the-stove vanilla custard filling.  It’s delicious.  That and a handful of cashews kept him going until lunch.

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This one was my favorite table-service meal of the trip (and yes, I left the handful of fried wonton skins on–they weren’t enough to kick me out of ketosis and Epcot is always where we walk the most).  This is the Beijing Roast Duck Salad from Nine Dragons in China, in the World Showcase at Epcot.  One alteration had to be made: the hoisin sauce dressing was out because, well, hoisin sauce.  Instead, they gave me a small pitcher of the potsticker sauce, which was to die for.  Seriously, my favorite meal of the week.

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In The Seas, at Epcot, there is a restaurant called Coral Reef.  Honestly, we go here for the experience because you’re basically eating inside a giant aquarium.  In my opinion, the food is decent, but it’s not the best food ever.  I got the grilled New York strip steak with double veg instead of veg and mashed potatoes.  We had them bring out extra butter because it wasn’t nearly fatty enough.  This is where the gluten-free rolls were.  Like I said, as far as gluten-free rolls go, those were pretty good, especially when slathered with butter.  If you’re looking for that option, definitely hit up Coral Reef.  JR got the heirloom tomato salad thing here.  I gave him half of my steak and we pretty much ate off of each other’s plates.

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You can’t really tell what this is from the picture, as is frequently the case when making keto alterations, but this is a bacon cheeseburger from Cosmic Ray’s in Magic Kingdom.  They have a topping bar there where we added the mushrooms, onions, and (not pictured) some garlic ranch dressing.  It was a pretty good burger.  JR and I split the burger and…

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…the Greek salad, from the same place.  It was a pretty rockin’ Greek salad, in case you were wondering.  The chicken looks huge, but really it’s just pounded out thin.  The feta wasn’t as good as the stuff we get from Ali Baba; however, it was a decent substitute (and let’s be honest, if you don’t have a refined palate for Middle Eastern food, you won’t notice the difference).  We also put the garlic ranch on this salad.  Yeah, I really liked it.

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This was an Italian sausage without the bun from whatever that sausage company is at Disney Springs (what used to be called Downtown Disney).  The sausage was our least favorite thing of the trip.  It was just “meh.”  Those pickles were awesome though.  Seriously awesome.

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This is actually one of the meals we had at the airport in Atlanta on the way back to San Antonio.  I forget what the place was called, but it’s similar to a Chipotle-type deal.  It was a steak burrito bowl.  Why do deconstructed foods always look like a pile of stomach contents?  Regardless, it was tasty.

I didn’t remember to take pictures of all the food we ate in the parks, so here are the other items we had that I can remember:

Chili Cheese Coney without the bun from that Casey’s hot dog place on Main Street in Magic Kingdom (a delicious addition to our curbside seating for the Festival of Fantasy parade!)

Caesar salad with salmon at the Prime Time Diner in Hollywood Studios.  This restaurant was so fun!  The staff is a hoot and the decor is hilarious.  The salad was great.

If you have any questions about going keto-friendly at Disney, feel free to ask me!  Before going, I spent an hour on the phone with one of their dietary people, who helped me navigate all of the menus in order to find compliant food that wasn’t all burger-without-a-bun situations.  But really, if you’re only going to try one thing from this list, get the salad from Nine Dragons.  You won’t be disappointed.

Beef Kafta, Tabbouleh, and Batata Harra (Whole30 Compliant)

Beef Kafta

I’ve been reconnecting with my Lebanese roots through cuisine recently…and I think I’m going to continue at least through the end of the year.  Many of the dishes are already close to (if not fully) W30, paleo, or primal.  Well, at least half of them are.  Thirty percent of them are just hovering on the border (as in, they are entirely primal other than beans or lentils, or something like that).  The remaining 20 percent of them include hot, delicious, steaming loaves of pita bread.  To. Die. For.  I will eventually be making some, but I won’t include it as a main item on these blogs.  I’m really kind of teetering on the beans though: I mean, the husband is allergic to pretty much all beans except for maybe three types…so they will never be a “staple” in our household.  I’m thinking the occasional  inclusion of them isn’t a game-changer, but we’ll see.  I’m planning on a bean salad this week, so if I blow up after eating it, I’ll know I can’t include those anymore!  😛

Anyway, I’m still looking for the perfect Lebanese cookbook to use on my cooking journey.  I have a few in mind, but I want to look at a few of them at the store before I commit to one.  Besides Lebanese cooking, I also recently got a Turkish cookbook and a Moroccan cookbook.  All three countries have almost identical food, so that’s somewhat interesting.  A word on Lebanese food (or Middle Eastern food in general): if you don’t like the flavors of parsley, lemon, seven-spices, and natural yogurt, there is a lot of Middle Eastern food that you either (a) won’t like, or (b) will need to develop a taste for.  Just dropping that here as a warning!

Beef Kafta (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4

1 pound ground beef

1/4 C chopped parsley

1/4 C chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp Aleppo pepper

1/2 tsp Lebanese 7-spices (or allspice)

1 1/4 tsp dried mint

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 small onion, finely diced (liquid pressed out)

salt and pepper

 

1.- In a large bowl, mix beef, parsley, tomatoes, aleppo, 7-spices, mint, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, onions, salt, and pepper.  Use your hands to mix thoroughly.

2.- At this point you can either form them into small logs and grill them on small skewers, or form them into small meatballs and bake or pan-fry them.

 

Tabbouleh, minus Bulgur (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

1 C chopped parsley

1/2 C chopped mint

1/2 C chopped onion

4 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/4 C fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

 

1.- This one is easy.  Put everything in a bowl and mix it well.

 

Batata Harra (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in a 1/2″ dice

1 1/2 + 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp sea salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne (less if you don’t like a little kick to your food)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 C chopped cilantro

 

1.- Preheat oven to 450.  Peel potatoes and cut into a 1/2″ dice.  Toss them in a large bowl with 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt.  Toss to coat evenly and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Roast 40-45 minutes.  For even roasting, flip potatoes after 20-25 minutes–but this isn’t absolutely necessary if you forget about it or don’t have time.

2.- During the last 10 minutes of roasting, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and minced garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from heat and add cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper.  Stir together.

3.- In large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil and garlic mixture.  Coat potatoes evenly.  After coated, mix in cilantro and serve immediately.  Caution: these potatoes are like crack.  You might want to make enough to have leftovers for a few days.

 

Greek Salad (Primal–or Whole30 Compliant without the feta)

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I’ve been struggling to come up with some new stuff lately–partially because I’ve been super busy, and partially because I haven’t been as motivated to create.  I’ve been comfortable just repeating a bunch of recipes.  I mean, normally I have a few nights a week of existing recipes and a few nights a week of new stuff…I just haven’t felt like it.  Then, this weekend, I got a hankering (yes, hankering) for the food of my people: Mediterranean!  Well, it started specifically with Lebanese food and then branched out to Greek and other Middle Eastern.  This is a hard food to make primal-compliant…but I’m going to try the best I can.  That being said, there are certain things that I won’t change (e.g. I won’t eliminate the bulgur in tabbouleh…that’s just sacrilegious).

So if you have any favorite Mediterranean dishes that you’re looking for new ways to make, comment below and I’ll see what I can do!  Until then, my first recipe I tackled was a traditional Greek salad.  Sidebar: I don’t like olives, but this was traditionally be served with Kalamata olives.  But really, it hit. the. spot.  McYumYums!

 

Greek Salad (Primal–Whole30 Compliant without the Feta)

Dressing:

1/4 C chopped parsley

1/4 C chopped dill

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp oregano

salt and pepper

Salad:

6 C chopped or shredded Romaine lettuce

3 C diced tomatoes

1 C thin-sliced red onion

1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced

1 C (about 4 oz or so) crumbled feta

1.- Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well-combined.

2.- Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

 

This would be delicious with some grilled lamb or some chicken shish tawook!

 

Fried Chicken and Cauliflower Tots (Primal)

Fried Chicken and Cauliflower Tots

Man, I was planning on writing regularly starting in July, but we got CRAZY busy this summer!  Isak had ballet and soccer, everyone in the family had something to do for vacation bible school, I got sick, JR got sick, my bestie from KC came to visit, Isak and I went to Ohio to see the family, and I had jobs pretty much throughout the whole summer.  Now that school has started (for everyone else–Isak doesn’t go to school yet), we have “slowed down” to the fall schedule.  Isak has ballet, tap, hip hop, and tumbling/acro, he and I have started delivering for Meals-on-Wheels once a week, we go to SAMA on Wednesdays, throw a choir rehearsal in there somewhere, my jobs, and Isak loves to go to the park as much as possible.  Okay, so now that I just read that, apparently we haven’t slowed down, but have added MORE to the schedule.

Oh, and on top of that, I’ve BECOME A BEACHBODY COACH, which has been super fun!  I’m currently running my first challenge group and it’s full of some awesome people.  I’m looking forward to doing a lot more of this–I mean, who doesn’t want to get healthier, right?

Anyway, I’ve posted 700 recipes for fried chicken on here, so just pick whichever type of friend chicken you want to make with this.  Today, I’ll just be posting the recipe for the cauliflower tots.  Totally a delicious addition to any comfort-type meal!

Cauliflower Tots (Primal)

2 C cauliflower, finely chopped

1 egg

1/2 C finely minced onion

1 Tbsp finely minced parsley

1/2 C grated Parmesan

1/3 C cashew or almond flour

salt and pepper

1.- Put cauliflower into microwave-safe container with a couple Tbsp of water.  Cover with plastic wrap or loosely with a lid.  Microwave until tender (about 4-5 minutes).  Press with towels to pull out any extra moisture.

2.- Heat oven to 400.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  In medium bowl, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

3.- Spoon one Tbsp at a time into hands and roll into small ovals.  Place on sheet and bake 16-18 minutes.

BLT (and more) Salad! (Primal with cheese, paleo without)

BLT and More Salad

Who doesn’t love a BLT?  Seriously, give me their names, because they need convincing about the wonders that are bacon, lettuce, and tomato!  I felt like a BLT this week, but I try not to eat bread all that often.  Let’s face it, when I eat grains, I go all out and eat the good stuff: French pastries and New York style bagels.  I decided to turn the BLT into a salad, and add a few goodies to it.  I decided to add a little crumbled feta cheese to this.  It’s optional, but it is highly delicious.

The dressing is the same dressing I used the other night in our salad that we had with the maple mustard chicken (recipe to show up soon).  It was great with this as well.  Now that I’m typing this, I realize that I was also going to cut up grapes to put in this.  Boo, I’m disappointed that I didn’t remember!  Oh well, I’ll do it next time I make this!

BLT (and more) Salad

Serves 4

1 pound bacon, cooked to crispy and roughly chopped

4 cups chopped dark Romaine

1 C grape tomatoes, cut in quarters

1/2 C red onion, roughly chopped

1/3 C crumbled feta

Dressing:

1/4 C ground spicy mustard

2-3 Tbsp maple syrup

2  Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

 

1.- For dressing, put all ingredients in bowl and whisk until well combined.

2.- For salad, put all ingredients in large bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss well.  Plate the salad and have at it!

Beet-Braised Beef Ribs (Paleo) and Parsnip, Cauliflower, and Potato Mash (Primal)

Beet-Braised Beef

I enjoy making any recipe that is versatile with the type and/or cut of meat used.  I don’t always have one specific cut of meat, so if I can use another cut, that’s great.  With this recipe, you can use any type of beef ribs you want: short ribs, regular ribs, spare ribs, whatever.  I would guess that you could also use stew meat if you wanted (because of the way it’s cooked), but I’ve never tried it that way, so don’t take my word for it.  These are really good served over a mash.  I combined a couple potatoes, parsnips, and cauliflower.  You don’t have to include the potatoes; however, I find that when you include one or two potatoes, the texture (and stability) of the mash is superior.

A note about the red wine: this is an ingredient of contention in the strictly paleo community.  Some people say “well, the alcohol is cooked out” (and after 6-8 hours in the slow cooker, it definitely is).  Other people say “the alcohol doesn’t matter–it just turns into a more concentrated fruit sugar.”  Ultimately, it’s your choice as to whether you feel comfortable using the wine.  If it were a small amount, I would say that if you don’t want to use it, just omit it and add a little red wine vinegar.  This is a large amount though–so if you don’t want to use it, I would suggest using the same amount (or slightly more) of a really strong beef broth.  What do I mean by a “strong” beef broth?  You want a beef BONE BROTH that you’ve cooked for at least two days.  Use the best bones you can and cook all the good stuff outta those suckers until the bones are so soft that you could engrave them with your fingernails.  Additionally, if you use broth instead of wine, this becomes Whole30 compliant.

That being said, if you use the broth, the beets will have more of an earthy flavor than if you use the wine.  For some people this isn’t a problem.  I’m not one of those people.  I don’t enjoy the taste of beets all that often; however, when they’re cooked in wine, all that dirt flavor goes away, HA!

Beet-Braised Beef Ribs and Potato, Parsnip, and Cauliflower Mash

Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp olive oil

4-5 pounds beef ribs

salt and pepper

3 red beets, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice

1 onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

6 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

3 C dry red wine

20-oz (or close) can diced tomatoes

 

1.- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season ribs with salt and pepper on each side.  Cook until browned on each side (about 10 minutes, give or take).  Remove to slow cooker.

2.- Reduce pan heat to medium and add beets, onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir in wine (or broth) and deglaze the pan.  Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for a couple minutes and pour over ribs in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours).

 

Potato, Parsnip, and Cauliflower Mash

Serves 4-6

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

6 Tbsp cold butter, divided

1 C half & half

salt and pepper

 

1.- In large pot, cover potatoes, parsnips, and cauliflower with water by 1/2″.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until vegetables are fork tender (about 20-30 minutes).

2.- Drain and transfer to food processor or large blender.  Add butter and pulse until pureed.  Slowly pour half & half in and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Citrus Roasted Quail (Paleo) and Cheesy Potato Treasure (Primal)

Citrus Roasted Quail

Don’t just the potato name–the potatoes were named by our 2 1/2 year old son.  We currently have to present everything in some form of pirate terms.  Everything is “treasure,” “gold doubloons,” “adventure,” “treasure hunt,” or something of the like…which is hilarious, because he’s really not that into pirates…he just likes using the terminology.  Anyway, his obsession with pirate language lead him to name this “cheesy potato treasure.”  Now you will know the story if you ever see a recipe posted on here called “Chicken Booty” or “Cauliflower Doubloons.”

I was able to get my hands on some quail a week or so ago, and until a couple days ago, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to cook it.  Quail can lean toward the gamy flavor, so I decided to combine two of my favorite things in hopes of reducing the gamy-ness of the bird: sweet citrus and bacon.  The citrus added a nice sweetness to the meat and the gamy flavor was almost non-existent from the bacon.  Definitely a winner!  As for the potatoes: they’re like crack.  If you want to do sweet potatoes instead, feel free.  I only had russets left….but seriously…CRACK.

 

Citrus Roasted Quail (Paleo) 

2 C pineapple juice

1 can frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 C raw honey

6 quail

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

6 strips bacon

 

1.- In large container, mix together pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, and honey.  Whisk until combined.  Add quail to the container and marinate for at least eight hours (I marinated it for a full 24-hours and it worked really well).

2.- Preheat oven to 425.  In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Remove the quail from the liquid, one at a time, and dust each one with the spice mix.  Wrap each quail with a slice of bacon.

3.- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and wipe the foil with a little shortening, coconut oil, or whatever grease you use.  Place all the quail on the baking sheet and roast in oven for 15-30 minutes (until the internal temperature reaches 165-170).

Cheesy Potato Treasure (Primal)

1.5 pounds potatoes, cleaned and cut into dice-sized cubes

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

8 oz mushrooms, quartered

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp dried parsley

2 tsp dried chives

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 C + of shredded mild-flavored white cheese

 

1.- Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes, mushrooms, and onions to skillet.  Cook until potatoes are tender and onions are soft (10-20 minutes).

2.- Add in all herbs and spices, and toss to incorporate.  Spread shredded cheese over top of potato mixture and let heat for a minute or two.  Toss to mix the cheese throughout and serve immediately.

Spinach Artichoke Soup (Primal)

Spinach Artichoke Soup

 

We were at Applebee’s the other night and all I could think about was spinach artichoke dip (full disclosure: we had some…I had forgotten that as far as spinach artichoke dip goes, theirs is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, even under the TGI Fridays dip in the frozen section of your local grocery store).  On our way home, I decided that I was going to make a soup version of the dip.  I know, I know, I make a lot of soup.  But really…I don’t want to just make a primal version of the dip and eat it with a spoon, and dipping vegetables in it is boring.  You would have to cut HUGE sections of vegetable to scoop up the amount of dip that needs to be scooped up with each bite.

So soup it is.  And I shall eat it with a spoon.

It’s not a dead ringer for the dip, but it’s pretty close.  I mean, anything that you turn into a soup takes on a slightly different flavor…but this gets the job done, so try it!

 

Spinach Artichoke Soup (Primal)

Serves 4-6

1.5-2 pounds chicken breasts, cooked and cut into chunks

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

1 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced

3 C water

6 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks

1/2 C heavy cream or coconut milk

2-3 C chicken broth

5 oz chopped spinach

1 C Parmesan cheese, grated

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire

 

1.- Grill, fry, or cook chicken in any manner you would like.  Set aside, let cool, and cut into whatever size chunks you want in your soup.

2.- In a large stock pot, melt Kerrygold over medium-low heat.  When hot, add onions and saute until soft (7-8 minutes).  Add garlic and celery and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Add potatoes and water.  Bring to a simmer.  Turn heat down and simmer 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

3.- Pull soup off heat and blend until creamy either in regular blender, food processor, or with a stick blender.  Add cream cheese, cream, and chicken broth and put pot back on medium-low heat.  Cook until cream cheese is well-integrated (about 15 minutes), stirring regularly.

4.- Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and Worcestershire.  Stir and taste to adjust seasoning.  Add spinach, Parmesan, and chicken to the soup.  Stir and cook until spinach is soft.

Garnish ideas:

Crumbled bacon (duh)

Green Onions

Sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Parmesan cheese

Sour cream

 

Bacon-Wrapped Herb Crusted Turkey (Whole30 Compliant) and Orange Maple Sweet Potato Crisp (Paleo)

Turkey and Sweet Potatoes

We have plans to eat with the boarding school girls on Thanksgiving, so I made a turkey breast tonight along with some sweet potatoes.  I’m actually not that big of a fan of turkey, but because I’ve never cooked it before, I decided now was as good of a time as any!  I put together a liquidy-type rub for the turkey, covered everything in bacon, and roasted it.  There was not one strand of turkey meat on this thing when I took it out (that’s part of the reason I don’t like turkey…it goes from juicy to bone dry in about four seconds).

The sweet potatoes are something all of their own.  Basically like sweet potato candy.  With yummy pecan goodness.  And delicious orange zest.  So…make them.  Now.  Or…five minutes ago.

Bacon-Wrapped Herb Crusted Turkey (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 2-4

3-4 pound turkey breast

10-15 slices of bacon

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 tsp dried rosemary

3 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp coriander

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

6 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

 

1.- Preheat oven to 400.  Line baking pan with foil (for easier clean up) and place a wire rack on top.

2.- Whisk balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl.  Add crushed/minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.  Mix well until it’s a more liquid version of a paste.  Pat the turkey breast dry and set on wire rack.  Rub the herb paste all over the turkey.  Feel free to push some under the skin.

3.-  Weave bacon slices together over top of the turkey (in this picture, I obviously didn’t weave it–I laid half of the slices one way, and then covered those with slices going the other way–I didn’t have time to weave).  Tuck the edges of the bacon under the turkey.

4.-  If there is any herb paste left over, you can brush it on top of the bacon.  Bake for 1 hour (or until internal temperature reaches 165).  Remove from oven, let rest 10-15 minutes, carve, and serve.

 

Orange Maple Sweet Potato Crisp (Paleo)

Serves 4-6

Potatoes:

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp Kerrygold

1/2 C coconut milk (or heavy cream if you do dairy)

1/4 C maple syrup

Zest and juice of 1 large orange

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Salt

 

Topping:

2 Tbsp Kerrygold

1/4 C maple syrup

1/4 C palm sugar (coconut sugar)

1 Tbsp orange juice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

2 C pecan halves

 

1.-  Preheat oven to 350.  Put peeled and chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot, cover with water (fill to about 2-3″ above the potatoes), bring to boil, and simmer until tender (about 20-25 minutes).  Drain potatoes and return to pot.

2.-  While potatoes are cooking, melt 2 Tbsp of Kerrygold over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the rest of the topping ingredients except the pecans.  Stir and heat until bubbling.  Let cook for 2 minutes, add pecans, and stir well, coating all nuts with the syrup mixture.

3.-  Mash cooked sweet potatoes.  Add Kerrygold and coconut milk.  Mix until well combined.  Mix in the maple syrup, orange zest, salt, and 3 Tbsp of orange juice.

4.-  Pour potatoes into a 2-qt baking dish, top with pecan mixture, and bake for 30-40 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Garlic and Scallion Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

Cream of Scallion Soup

Yep, I made more soup today!  It had a really great flavor.  I saw a recipe not too long ago for cream of scallion soup…I’d never heard of it before and it sounded interesting.  Of course I also found a recipe for cream of garlic soup which had never even occurred to be before.  They both sounded good and I decided to combine them to see if they were good together.  I had to alter a few things, make some substitutions to turn it paleo (or primal, if you so choose), and figure out ratios of vegetable to liquid…but it turned out great!

I have another soup (or stew, or whatever it’s considered) that will be coming soon: menudo.  I have never had it; however, there was some organic, grass-fed beef tripe at the grocery store last weekend and I bought it.  Of course I also bought pig trotters and I have no idea what I’ll be doing with them yet.  I’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, any ideas?

Roasted Garlic and Scallion Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

10 cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp Kerrygold

1 small onion, chopped

2 1/2 C scallions, chopped

1 1/2 C potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 C vegetable stock (or whatever mild-flavored stock you want to use)

1 15-oz can coconut milk (or 1 C heavy cream and 1 C water)

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

chopped scallions to garnish (green parts only)

optional Parmesan garnish (not Whole30 compliant)

 

1.- Preheat oven to 350.  Put unpeeled garlic in a baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast 30-40 minutes.  Cool and squeeze out of the skin.  Set aside.

2.- In a stockpot, melt butter over a low heat.  Add onion and scallions.  Cover and cook 10-12 minutes (until everything is soft).

3.- Add potatoes and stock.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes, add roasted garlic (without skins).  Cool for 5-10 minutes.

4.- Puree mixture either in the pot with an immersion blender or in a regular blender/food processor.  Return soup to rinsed pan.

5.- Add the coconut milk (or cream/water) and season with salt and pepper.  Reheat slowly while stirring.  Add the lemon juice, stir, and serve topped with scallions and/or Parmesan.