Nom Nom Paleo

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Pin It

I’m eating my way through Hong Kong this week with Henry and the boys—you can follow our adventures on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!—but Chinese food isn’t the only fare on my mind. This morning, I found myself dreaming about the bowl of roasted, buttery Brussels sprouts and smoky bacon that we made last week for Thanksgiving.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s been three years since I first posted this dead-simple recipe, and it’s become one of the most popular on this blog. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why; after all, Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly everyone’s favorite vegetable. Personally, when I was a kid, I couldn’t stand ’em.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered that the mild, nutty bitterness of these bulbous sprouts blends beautifully with smoky pork. It was the warm Brussels sprouts salad with bacon and eggs at the now-long-gone Gordon’s House of Fine Eats in San Francisco that first opened my eyes and ultimately inspired the Cavolini Al Forno recipe in my cookbook (which comes out on December 17, 2013!). But with ingredients like Brussels sprouts and bacon, you don’t have to spend much time in the kitchen to produce a flavorful side dish that punches you in the face with flavor.

And today, I’ve decided to update my old post with the new photos I took on Turkey Day. Ready to revisit this classic recipe with me?

Here’s what to gather to make a side dish that feeds 4-6 people:

  • 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted ghee or fat of choice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 bacon slices, diced
  • Aged balsamic vinegar

Here’s what to do:

Read more

Greens, Eggs, and Ham

Pin It

Dr. Seuss would be damn proud.  Dinner was on the table in 30 minutes and afterwards, there was only one skillet to wash.  

Earlier in the day, I followed the recipe in Cooks Illustrated’s The Best Vegetable Recipes for shallow blanched collard greens.  That way they’d be ready to sauté off when I got home.   Also, I thinly sliced up a whole onion and trimmed and halved a ½ pound of Brussels sprouts.  I put all my prepped veggies in the fridge and went out to Costco.  Remember? I love me some Costco.

After my Costco run, I wanted dinner ASAP.  As soon as I came home, I preheated my toaster oven to 400 F; tossed my prepared sprouts with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper; and put the sprouts in the oven. 

Then, I took out my cast iron skillet and sautéed the sliced onions in some lard. 

While the onions softened, I sliced up a few slices of leftover baked ham 

 

and diced my blanched collard greens.

Once the onions were translucent, I added three cloves of minced garlic and mixed that around for ~30 seconds. I added the chopped ham and stirred that around to give it a little color.  Then, I added the chopped blanched collard greens and ¼ cup of low sodium chicken broth.  After mixing everything in the skillet, I covered it for 2 minutes to warm everything. I tasted the greens and swine for seasoning and added a splash of sherry vinegar.

 

I removed the Brussels sprouts from the toaster oven (it took around 20 minutes) and drizzled them with aged balsamic vinegar.  Then, I quickly rinsed my skillet, added some butter and fried up a couple of eggs for Fitbomb and myself. 

I like me some greens, eggs, and ham.

Baked Yams/Sweet Potatoes

Pin It

The folks at Cooks Illustrated write in their ever-so-modestly titled tome The Best Vegetable Recipes that the best way to bake sweet potatoes/yams is to lightly coat them in vegetable oil, pierce ‘em multiple times with a knife, and stick them in a 400°F oven for 45 minutes to an hour. 

When I baked some tonight, I coated my tubers with melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil before popping them in my oven.

image

image

image

Voila!  Perfect baked sweet potatoes — creamy flesh and dry, crispy skin. Not too shabby for 5 minutes of hands-on time.  Don’t wrap your tubers in foil before you bake them, people!

image

image


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).

Braised Escarole with Onions

Pin It

I got a big ass escarole in my CSA box last Friday, so I looked in my trusty copy of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone to see how best to tackle it. Yes, I’ll admit that when I was a misguided youth I went through a vegetarian phase but now I’m reformed. 

Her recipe for “Braised Escarole with Onion” seemed simple enough so I cooked some up, subbing in butter instead of olive oil.

Here’s what you need to wrangle up:

  • 1 large head of escarole (~2 pounds in all)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • salt and freshly milled pepper
  • vinegar of your choice

The first thing you need to is separate the escarole leaves and wash well (there can be lots of mud and dirt at the base of the inner leaves).  Drain and coarsely chop.

Heat the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft.

Throw in the garlic and stir around for ~ 30 seconds and then dump in the escarole (damp greens are good). Lightly salt the greens and onions and cook covered until the greens are wilted and tender (~12-15 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of your favorite vinegar.

Best Make Ahead Side: Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Pin It

image

I know I’ve posted this recipe before, but I just wanted to show how easy it is to prepare. I made it after work yesterday morning despite being dog tired. 

The first thing I did was to fill up a large stock pot with an inch or two of water. I put the pot on a burner set on high, dumped in a steamer insert, and put on the lid. 

image

While waiting for the water to boil, I washed and trimmed a large head of cauliflower and cut up the florets and stem.  Next, I grabbed a packet of Trader Joe’s peeled garlic from the fridge and sliced up all the cloves.  Don’t worry about how everything looks because it’ll all get pulverized later in the Cuisinart.

image

Once I was done prepping the cauliflower and garlic, the water in the pot was boiling, so I dumped in the stems, half of the florets, and all of the garlic and salted everything liberally.

image

Then, I put in the rest of the cauliflower, seasoned with more salt, replaced the lid, and steamed everything until it was soft (~10 minutes). You won’t overcook it. The only part you can mess up is if all the water dries up in the bottom of the pot. But barring that, you’ll be fine.

Once the florets are soft, I dumped everything into a colander and let it drain.

image

Once drained, I threw everything into my Cuisinart.

image

I added some fresh cracked pepper, microplaned nutmeg…

image

…and two tablespoons of butter (grassfed, of course). 

image

Final step: I processed everything until smooth.

image

One last taste for seasoning later, I put my faux “mashed potatoes” in a covered Corningware and popped it in my fridge. The puree reheats beautifully in the microwave.

image

It’s tasty, cheap, super-easy and pretty much foolproof. So no excuses, people.


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).