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!

 

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

Asian Almond Butter Broccoli

Sounds interesting, right?  Well…it was!  Kind of fun and strange and wonderful!  I never would have thought of putting almond butter on a veggie…other than dipping carrots in it, of course.  That is addicting…

But almond butter and broccoli?!  Yes, yes….it works, and I am thankful for the genius of Abel James, The Fat Burning Man, for coming up with the idea!  For this recipe, I left the ingredients alone, just because the recipe was so out of the box for me that I didn’t want to try something and mess it up.  HOWEVER, I did change how I cooked the broccoli!  See…originally it was intended to be grilled!  However, our days around here are struggling to stay above zero degrees.  So I didn’t feel right about asking the man to go outside and grill.  Plus…I have heard in those temperatures that often times grills won’t be able to heat up enough to cook your food anyways!  So I went with my favorite method of cooking veggies.  Oven roasted, crispy, and delicious!

Which reminds me.  We must pause so I can rant.  What.  The.  Heck.  Is the deal with restaurants boiling their veggies?!  SUCH INJUSTICE!  I mean, come on!  Mr. Rodgers and I splurged on a fancy dinner two nights ago.  The steak was delicious.   His chicken parm was bigger than my head and oh so crispy!  The Shamrock martini was amazing.  Atmosphere…awesome.  Candle lit.  Delicious.  And then you get to the pile of veggies.  Tasteless.  Squeaky.  Rubbery.  Boiled.  WHY?!  It makes me want to cry.  THIS IS WHY SO MANY AMERICANS HATE VEGETABLES!  Because people like you mistreat them, fancy restaurant!

Okay.  Rant over.  I’m sure they have their reasons.  Sigh.  Poor little broccoli never had a chance.

Eh hem.  Back to our fun ROASTED broccoli recipe 😀  Let’s get down to it!

 

Here is what you need:

  • 1 Large Head Broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (Mr. Rodgers’ favorite!)
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini (I used my daddy’s home made version)
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here is how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425*
  2. Chop your broccoli into florets.  Toss in a bowl.
  3. Add first 2 Tbsp of Sesame Oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss so that broccoli is coated.  Dump on a foil covered cookie sheet and slide into oven.  Roast until crispy on the outside but becoming tender, turning at least once.  Should be 15-20 minutes.
  4. While waiting for broccoli, create your “dressing.”  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
  5. When broccoli is done, dress it with the almond mixture, and enjoy!  Yay!

 

Peectures!

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Chop your broccoli into florets and place in a bowl.

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Add first 2 Tbsp of sesame oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.

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Dump onto a foil lined baking sheet and plop in your 425* oven.  Roast until crispy and tender…15-20 minutes.  Turn at least once for even browning.

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Meanwhile, dump the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

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Whisk together till creamy!

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Broccoli is done!  (Honestly…this was so good I could have eaten it as-is!)

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Put it on a plate and dress it!!

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Bam!!

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Sweet, tangy, protein-y, delicious!!  Let me know what you think!  What would be another great vegetable to use almond butter with?!

 

Simple Fast Burgers (With Paleo BBQ Sauce)

Yay for simple! Yay for fast! Yay for burgers! Yay for BBQ!! Yay for health!!!

You can’t get much better than that!  I mean, lets just be honest…some times you just need a burger, even if you are being healthy.  Now, I have some really great recipes in my archives for amazing burgers that will rock your world!  (Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers and Turkey Feta Burgers to name a few!) But some days you just don’t have time to prepare a fancy burger…you just need a simple, sweet, “I have to leave soon/I’m just plain tired” burgers.  So….here you go!!

A few days ago, I gave you a recipe for an easy, clean BBQ Sauce recipe that goes great with this burger.  However, you can dress it however you feel fit.  🙂  Mustard is always a good option, there is usually nothing naughty in it.  Just mustard seeds and vinegar.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Beef (preferably grass fed!)
  • 1/4 C Flax Meal (Works great for a bread crumb substitute!)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Salt and Pepper

And here is how you do it:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form into two patties, with a small indentation in the middle.
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.  Place burgers on the grill, and baste with paleo BBQ sauce.  Cook 6-7 minutes (or longer depending on how well done you like your burgers).  Flip, and repeat!

 

 

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Combine all your ingredients in a bowl.

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Form into two patties with an indentation in the middle.

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Preheat your grill or grill pan.  I smeared mine with a little butter.  Cause I love butter.

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Place your patties on the grill

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Baste with BBQ!

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Cook about 6-7 minutes and flip…

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Baste again…cook until desired degree of done-ness…

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And BAM!! A big, beefy, protein-y, delicious, filling, paleo, clean, simple, easy BURGER!  BAM!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

To all my friends doing a Daniel Fast this month…if you leave out the eggs and cheese, this is a PERFECT recipe for you!!  Quinoa is full of protein so it will help you function, and it is crammed so full of good stuff that it will fill up your tummy.  Plus, it just looks like a normal, delicious meal.  So you will be thinking “meal” instead of “pile of veggies.”  And it will still work great and taste fantastic without the eggs and cheese…they’re both optional anyways!!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about and have never heard of a Daniel Fast…this is just a great meal either way!!  Great for the body, tasty, and a wonderful way to sneak in veggies!  Really, you can use whatever veggies you want, but I will explain what I used just for an example.  I kind of went with the “more is better” philosophy with this one. 🙂

Adapted from the lovely joandsue.BlogSpot.com

So, here’s what you need:

  • 6 Large Bell Peppers of all Colors (Note: YOU WILL HAVE FILLING LEFT OVER! It is perfect to work into other recipes, or if you have picky eaters in your house that don’t like bell peppers.  If you don’t want left overs, then use a few more bell peppers.)
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 C Cooked Black Beans (or canned)
  • 1 Sm Onion, Diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 C Peas, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1/2 C Corn, Frozen or Fresh
  • 1 Can Water Chestnuts, Sliced
  • 1 Sm Can Mushrooms, Sliced (My fresh ones went bad so I used a can!  Feel free to substitute with fresh.)
  • 2-3 Eggs (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cheddar Cheese to top (optional)

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*.
  2.  Rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.
  3. Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.  (Quinoa package should have directions…but if all else fails, simmer it in water for about 12 minutes covered!)
  4. Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan! Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and cook until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.
  6. Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.  Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.
  7. Make a well in the bottom of the pan and crack in your eggs.  Whisk and scramble until cooked, fried rice style!! Break into bits and stir throughout mixture.
  8. Fill each pepper generously.  Top with cheese if desired.
  9. Slide into preheated oven and cook until peppers are browned, cheese is melted, and everything is heated; about 35-45 minutes for tender-crisp peppers.

 

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First, preheat your oven to 350*.  Then, rinse your peppers, trim off the top, and cut around the inside so all the seeds and white parts are removed.

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Repeat with all your peppers.

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Now prep everything else so once you start, you don’t have to stop.  It’s much less stressful that way.  Chop veggies, open and drain cans, and cook your quinoa while you do it.

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Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat in a wok or large pan!

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Add carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn.  Stir and heat until veggies are just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes.

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Add the rest of the veggies and stir, cooking another 5 minutes.

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Add black beans and quinoa and stir in.

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Add seasonings and tomato sauce; stir.

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Create a well in the middle.

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Crack in your eggs…

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Scramble until cooked…

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Break up the bits of egg and stir it alllll up.  Cook until heated through.

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Fill each pepper generously with the mixture…top with cheese if desired.  Obviously I started shredding my cheese, then decided it would work just as well with slices and would take less time, haha.

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Bake in 350* oven for 35-45 minutes, until peppers are starting to brown and cheese is melty!

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Now pick your color, dive in, and enjoy!!  Mr. Rodgers LOVED these!!  He even texted me the next day when he was eating one for lunch just to tell me how good “those peppers” are.  😀  Which, if you are reading this and you are a wife…you know how good that made me feel!

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Look at that warm, overflowing goodness!

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Don’t you just want to dive in?!  Make them so you can!!  And let me know how you like it, and how you adapt it yourself!  Next time, I’m thinking…hot sauce!!!  You know me and Sriracha.  Well maybe you don’t.  Here’s a hint.  I LOVE SRIRACHA!!  Okay, there you go…this is Mrs. Rodgers, over and out!!