Creamy Asparagus Soup with Crumbled Bacon

Sounds kinda crazy, right?!  I thought so too.  But you see, I LOVE ASPARAGUS!!!  So I just had to try!  And wouldn’t ya know…IT WAS FABULOUS!!  I’m so happy I discovered it!!!!!  
Also a plus, Mr. Rodgers loved it. Which could possibly be due to the fact that I put bacon on top. The way to every man’s heart, riiiiight?  ;). Haha, but honestly he aluded to the fact that it reminded him of his mom’s split pea soup that she made him growing up. It’s nice when something you make can bring a person comfort and good memories along with the pleasure of good taste and health!  If you need a fresh new way to get the family some veggies…please do yourself a favor and make this soup!
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bunch asparagus (more if it is super fine)
  • 3 C Stock (Obviously vegetable works best but I never have that on hand…chicken works great as well!)
  • 1/4 C Grassfed Butter
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Flour
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 C Almond Milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Pieces Bacon (As natural as possible!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, prep your asparagus. Pop off the tough ends, and cut what is left into inch long pieces. 
  2. Set a small pot of salted water to boil, you only need an inch or so. Take a handful (just a few, this is for a garnish) of the asparagus tips and boil them for 5-10 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside. 
  3. Put stock and the remaining asparagus in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Asparagus should be soft. Drain, but KEEP THE STOCK. 
  4. While waiting for the asparagus to get soft, place your bacon in a pan and cook until crisp. Set aside. 
  5. Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the onion. Cook over low heat until soft. 
  6. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in the stock you saved from boiling the asparagus. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, it should be thickening. 
  7. Stir in the cooked asparagus (not the tips for the garnish!), coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
  8. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender), blend until very smooth and creamy. Stir in the milk and reserved tips and bring to a boil, simmering for a few minutes to heat through.  (The recipe says to stir in the milk, but last time I made it, I blended it in too!). Serve with crumbled bacon on top. Just how everything should be served, am I right?!

Peectures!!

  
Asparagus, washed and trimmed!

  
Boiling a few tips for a garnish (just a little something to bite into!)

  
Cooking the rest of the asparagus so it’s nice and soft…so we can make it creamy!

  
Sautéing the onions to bring out the flavor…

  
Stir in the almond flour, and whisk in the reserved stock. 

  
Add the cooked asparagus, seasonings, and lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes. 

  
Blend however you can. This is what I used to do, but now I have an immersion blender and it is AMAZING!  Don’t even have to take it out of the pot!  But whatever method you use, get it as smooth as possible!! (The recipe says to stir in the milk, but last time I made it, I blended it in too!)

   
 

Stir in the milk (or blend it in)…

  

Add your garnish tips…

  

Put it in a bowl and crumble bacon on top!

    

Hallelujah praise you Jesus, my favorite veggie just became a soup!! Can I get an amen?!

Flavorful Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Meatloaf

Those of you who follow me regularly know that it has been just a few weeks since my first chorizo experience.  In summary?  Lifechanging.  Because I have now vowed to eat chorizo all the time.  It has a beautiful flavor, it can be used so many ways…and I looked it up…no sugar added!!  Wooohoooo!!  Can’t get much better than that!

 

So here is chorizo cooking, round two!!  This was awesome.  You may remember my fear of meatloaf, because of growing up watching shows where the wife thinks her husband loves it…but he secretly pays the kids to eat it and they all shovel it into the dogs mouth when mom isn’t looking.  I don’t know why that is so etched into my mind, but alas.  I have meatloaf phobia.  But this…oh this meatloaf!  Talk about flavor, and my husband really did love it!!  I would know because I don’t have any kids for him to pay, and there was no meatloaf remains on my dog’s fur or breath.  😉  So I will confidently declare this recipe Mr. Rodgers approved!  Though it is wrapped in bacon, so that’s kind of a no brainer.   Speaking of bacon, I ate bacon for lunch.  That’s healthy, right?  :/

Anyways, back to meatloaf!

 

This recipe is inspired by the great paleomg.com!  I had originally intended on making it almost exact to the recipe…but some of the ingredients I had bought for this recipe I some how had a brain fart and used up in other meals.  So when I got to this meatloaf I realized I didn’t have a bunch of things, so I got to be spontaneous…dig through my fridge and use whatever veggies and things I could find!  Which is fun.  Feel free to adapt it to what you have available too!  So….

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 8 oz Chorizo (that is about the size of one large “link” in the set of two I get at my store)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 C Flax Meal
  • 2 Carrots, Chopped
  • 1/4 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Celery Heart, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 4 Slices Bacon, Cut in half
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Optional: Chipotle Mayo to Garnish (I would have done this if I had time to make an approved mayo that Mr. Rodgers can eat, but I was in a hurry!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*
  2. Take all of your meatloaf ingredients (except the bacon and the mayo if you are using it!) and combine in a bowl.
  3. Dump this mixture into a loaf pan and form evenly.
  4. Lay the halved bacon across the entire top of the meatloaf, tucking it in as well as possible.
  5. Cook for about an hour and 15 minutes, then broil JUST long enough to get some crispiness to your bacon.  Broilers burn things FAST so watch it the whole time!

And bam!  You are ready to go with a meatloaf that husbands around the world will adore!! 😀

Let’s see some pictures!

Chorizo Loaf 1

Get your beef and chorizo!

Chorizo Loaf 2

Add the rest of your meatloaf ingredients (minus the bacon!).  Combine well!

Chorizo Loaf 3

Form it into a loaf pan.  Look at how it is marbled with the different meat colors, I love it!

Chorizo Loaf 5

Lay the halved bacon over the whole top surface of the meatloaf, tucking the edges in as well as you can.

Chorizo Loaf 6

Cook for an hour and 15 minutes or so, then broil just a few minutes to get crisp bacon!

Chorizo Loaf 7

Ahhhhhhh isn’t that just the best?!  I could go for some of that right now!!

 

Okay, so here are a few photos from the lovely Mr. Rodgers.  He was SO excited about this meatloaf that as I grabbed dishes and things to set the table, I turned around to him snapping pictures on his phone saying things like “Look at this steam!  You have to capture this before it goes away!!  LOOK at this!”  🙂  His enthusiasm made me so happy I just had to share some of his steam pictures…please forgive the slight clutter in the back ground!

image (3) image (7) image

Do you see the steam?!  🙂  Isn’t he just the cutest?!  And of course he WOULD take a picture with a guitar in the background.  😉

 

So there you go.  Yummy, healthy, paleo, Mr. Rodgers approved meatloaf with butt kickin flavor!  😀 😀 😀 😀

 

Smokey Bacon Asparagus Wraps

Yeah. Isn’t that title enough to make you drool already?! I’m drooling. Really. Two of my favorite things in the world? Asparagus. And bacon. Hallelujah!

This is a little gem from Abel James! The spice rub gives it a “barbecue” feel, the bacon adds that smokey flavor, and of course the asparagus gives you your greens! Not to mention it is probably the best vegetable. Ever. Can I get an amen?!

Whoo. Calm down Rodgers. Apparently this recipe makes me go gospel. PRAISE THE LORD! For bacon is delicious and His love never fails!! 😀

ANYWAYS! Back to the recipe! I used turkey bacon, because I am still up in arms about pork. I love pork. But does it love me? I just don’t know.

So, here’s what you need:

 

  • 1 lb Asparagus, tough ends popped off
  • 8 to 10 Slices Turkey Bacon
  • 1/2 tsp each of: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika (optional, add a dash of chipotle chile powder for a kick!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and cover a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine spice mixture in a small bowl.
  3. After your asparagus is trimmed, separate it into 8 to 10 even piles, with 4-5 pieces each.  Obviously this will depend on the size of your spears ;).
  4. Wrap the bacon around each bundle, taking care to not overlap too much, as you don’t want the bacon to be too thick or the bottom layer will not cook all the way.
  5. Lay your bundles on the baking sheet, with seam down.  Sprinkle each bundle generously with your spice rub.
  6. Slide into your preheated oven and cook for 20 or more minutes, until asparagus is tender crisp and the bacon is cooked through.
  7. Serve along side a protein and be happy!  This is most definitely a man pleaser!  Even for a man that loves vegetables like my Mr. Rodgers…they always look more alluring when wrapped in bacon, haha!!  Let me know how you like it!

 

Peectures:

Photo

Here’s my little bundles, all wrapped up and ready to go!

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Then they got their spices!

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And cooked…oh yummy!

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Is your mouth watering yet?

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It surprised me how much the spice rub acgtually did taste like barbecue!

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And serve with your protein!  This was with a lovely roasted chicken!  And we actually got to sit down at the dinner table together and eat!  It was amazing!!  And then Mr. Rodgers did the cutest thing!  His computer was sitting on the table, and he pulled up a video of a crackling fire place while we finished our dinner…it was so romantic!!  I hope you guys have a memory just as sweet to go with this asparagus, hehe!

Protein Packed Super Salad!

Yum!  I have noticed something about myself.  I cannot make a small salad.  Or a boring one haha!  They all end up huge, colorful, and ridiculously tasty!!  I get so inspired when I make them, that I wanted to share some of that inspiration with you!

We have to eat on the go pretty often…I have to have meals ready in the fridge so we can get up and go in the mornings and not see home until midnight or so.  The easiest and healthiest meal for this lifestyle is definitely salads!  However, making them filling and satisfying is tricky, and so important because let’s just be honest here…if you aren’t full, you’ll binge.  The best way I have found to do this is to CRAM as much protein in there that I can!  It fills the tummy, satisfies the need for your molars to really chew on something, and gives you that meaty taste so you felt like you just ate a MEAL.  So!  Here’s my newest creation!

 

Here’s what you need (For a very large salad!):

  • 3 Lg Chicken Breasts, Cut in half long ways
  • 3 Eggs, Boiled
  • 1 Package Turkey Bacon, Cooked
  • 1 Lg Romaine Heart
  • 2-3 Handfuls Baby Spinach
  • 2-3 Handfuls Spring Mix
  • 1 Tomato, Chopped
  • 1 Avocado, Sliced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Julienned
  • 1/4 Head Purple Cabbage, Sliced
  • 1/4 Red Onion, Sliced
  • Handful Broccoli Sprouts
  • 2 Carrots, Sliced
  • 1/2 Head Broccoli, Cut into florets
  • Salt, Pepper, and Favorite Poultry Seasonings
  • Dressing of choice.  I make mine out of olive oil, Dijon, lemon, and apple cider vinegar…maybe a little sour cream if I want it creamy or sriracha if I want an extra hit!

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Carefully halve your chicken breasts length wise and season generously.  I used salt, pepper, rosemary, Mrs. Dash, garlic and onion.  Place on a medium heat grill or grill pan and cook until done; 10 -15 minutes total, turning part way through.
  2. Get your eggs boiling and your bacon cooking!
  3. Rinse and prepare all your veggies accordingly and toss in a large bowl. (You can keep your avocados for the top if you want!)
  4. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, slice eggs, and crumble bacon and put on top of the salad.
  5. Serve and dress!!  So healthy, filling, and tasty!!!

Pretty easy, right?!  Let’s see some pictures 🙂

Photo (1)

Slice your chicken breasts in half and season generously.

Photo (2)

Place on a medium heat grill and cook until done, about 10-15 minutes, turning at least once.

Photo (3)

Get your eggs boiling and your bacon cooking.

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Rinse and prepare all your veggies and put in a large bowl.  Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces, slice your eggs, crumble your bacon, and add it to the salad.

Photo (6)

Look at all that protein!!  Yay!  SO yummy!  You can attack it as is…

Photo (7)

…or toss it all together and devour that way!

Photo (8)

So many veggies, flavors, colors, proteins…YAAAAAAAAAAY!!

Enjoy!

Bacon Bison Butternut Chili!

That’s a lot of B’s! And they all add up to something crazy delicious!  In fact, my husband was quite in love with this meal.  I had to bring it to him at work as I was on MY way to work (oh how crazy life is!)…but he was texting me before long about how much he loved it.  🙂  Funny thing is, I didn’t think he was going to like it very much, because it has a bit of a “twang” to it.  See, my husband is not a huge fan of apple cider vinegar, solely because of the smell.  He always uses different kinds of vinegar in his salad dressings…and he absolutely hates it when I use it to clean!  (It is a great natural cleaner!)  This recipe has apple cider vinegar in it.  And he LOVED it.  I kept asking “it isn’t too tart for you?!”  and he would reply along the lines of “no I love that!”  Maybe this chili will help make a believer out of him.  😉

I have never cooked with bison before.  It was fun…I felt like I was a brave prairie woman making a feast from the land!  Did any of you ever want to be Laura Ingles Wilder?!  Or was that just me?!

Anywho…here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Bison (Grass Fed)
  • 1 Butternut Squash (About 1 1/2 lb)
  • 1 Package Turkey Bacon
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Serrano Peppers, Diced
  • 14 oz Diced Tomatoes (Organic)
  • 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter (Grass fed is best…we found a brand called Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • Pinch Cayenne Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.  Peel your butternut squash and dice into cubes.  Melt your coconut oil and pour over squash, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender…30-45 minutes.
  2. In a large pan, melt your butter.  Add your bacon and cook until done and crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add bison to the same pan with bacon grease.  Cook until browned.
  4. Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos.  Cook until onions are translucent, then add the spices.  Stir and cook an additional minute or so.
  5. Crumble the bacon into the pan, add the vinegar and tomatoes with juices.  Let this mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it has cooked down a bit and thickened.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon some of the bison mixture into a bowl, top with a handful of butternut cubes, and sprinkle with some cinnamon if desired!  We love cooking with cinnamon so we tried it.  And it was beautiful!!

Thank you to Abel James for this fantastic meal that I could adapt Rodgers style!  I am loving discovering fun, delicious, HEALTHY new recipes!  Okay, time for pictures!

 

Photo (18)

Preheat your oven and start prepping your squash!  Start by peeling it!

Photo (19)

Halving it…

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Scooping it…

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And dicing it!

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Now toss it with melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper and roast until tender, about 30-45 minutes!

Photo (22)

Now for the chili portion!  Start by prepping your veggies!

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Melt a pad of butter in a large pan.  (I do this because turkey bacon doesn’t have as much fat to render…but honestly it makes even pork bacon more delicious!)

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Add your bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Photo (27)

Add your bison to the buttery bacon drippings and brown.

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Add your diced veggies…

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Stir in and cook until your onions are translucent.  Add spices and cook an additional minute or so.

Photo (30)

Stir in your tomatoes and apple cider vinegar.

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Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, until everything is cooked down and thickened.

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Your yummy butternut squash will have gotten done at some point in that process!!

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When ready to serve, spoon some chili into a bowl and top with squash cubes, then sprinkle with some cinnamon if you so desire!

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You should definitely at least try the cinnamon because it was heavenly!

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Yummmmmmm!  Let me know what you think!

 

Garlic Bacon Butter Fish

Yes.  Three of my favorite things.  Garlic.  Bacon.  And butter.   Can you tell that I have the genes of a sweet little Oklahoma Grandma running in my veins?  I even used my cast iron skillet!!  She’d be so proud.  🙂  Anywho.   Despite the sound of the title…I believe this to be at least decently healthy and light!  If you have followed me long, you know that I don’t have a problem with a little butter now and then.  Sure, don’t go deep frying it and eating it by the stick (yes, I have seen people do that on Food Network.)  But a bit here and there is alright.  🙂  And I used turkey bacon from the health food store.  No nitrites yaaaay!!  Wanna see my favorite brand?  Mr. Rodgers and I have tried multiple brands of turkey bacon and we always come back to this one:  BAM!

photo (23)

LOVE IT.  You should too.

So now that we all feel better….let’s discuss this wonderful recipe I adapted from Coastal Living on myrecipes.com.  I realize that the title is a little generic, and I will tell you why.  The original called for Cod.  Yum.  I love Cod.  But I was already about to hit my limit on the budget, so I used Haddock instead, which was cheaper and still heavenly.  However…I think this would go well with pretty much any fish.  Like salmon.  I flipping love salmon.  Gaaaaaaah!  So basically…whatever fish is your fave…try cooking it this way and you will love it.  That is…if you share my love for garlic, bacon, and butter.  And if you don’t…I don’t really know if you are human.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Butter, softened
  • A Squeeze of Cilantro Paste
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Red Onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Gluten Free flour of choice (I was going to use almond, realized I was out, and used a GF multipurpose)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2-3 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 4 Fillets Haddock (Or your favorite!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place bacon in a pan and heat until just cooked through and starting to crisp.  Cut or crumble into small pieces
  3. Mix everything but the fish and coconut oil in a bowl.  I mashed mine together with a fork to create a sort of paste.
  4. Heat coconut oil in an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper fillets then add to pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip.
  5. Top each fillet with a spoonful of butter mixture and continue to cook until almost melted, just a minute or so.
  6. Slide pan into oven and cook until done all the way through, fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork!

 

Peectures:

Photo (17)Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Mix everything but the fish and coconut oil in a bowl.

Photo (18)Make a paste of sorts.

Photo (19)Salt and pepper your fillets.  Melt your coconut oil in a cast iron (or oven safe) skillet and add your fillets, cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Photo (20)Flip and top each with a large spoonful of your garlic bacon butter!

Photo (21)Let melt, just a minute or so, then slide into your preheated oven and cook until opaque, cooked through…so it flakes easily with a fork!  Then enjoy these “few of my favorite thiiiiiings!!”

Photo (22)Here is mine, with some Kale Chips for a perfect lunch!!