Tag Archives: Bacon

Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits

Of all the stupid walls I built up around food, my preconceived hatred of grits has to be the stupidest one.

Seriously, grits are essentially cornmeal pudding, smooth and creamy, but totally filling (just like polenta, though one is yellow corn and one is white corn from what I Googled) — and polenta/grits have quickly become a food I totally love. That being said, I admit that Week 28, Meal 2: Shrimp and grits is the first time I’ve had the dish and it’s everything I was hoping it would be.

Chef Brian’s version features a spicy shrimp gravy punctuated by salty bacon, the slight burn of jalapeno and a nice kick of cayenne pepper. It’s a dish so good that you’ll want to lick the plate after you’re done.

Feel free. I won’t tell.

Continue reading Week 28, Meal 2: Classic shrimp ‘n’ grits

Let’s talk sandwiches …

Excuse my absence on the blog as of late, it’s been a busy couple of weeks at home between helping my family with a couple of things, enjoying time with my vacationing Wifey Nadia and celebrating the last birthday of my 20’s on Catalina Island.

I’ve cooked one of the meals for our upcoming “Southern Comfort” week, but then I put on the brakes because, well, I have been eating meals out lately. I know I said I wouldn’t, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, especially with late nights, birthday meals, incoming visitors–life in general.

But I will be hunkering down, and as I explained with that lasagna cupcakes recipe, I’m looking for ways to make quick meals that fit into, well, life in general. On a positive note, my weight has stayed relatively the same, and I’m not falling victim to processed fast foods, so at least some of my old habits have permanently changed for the better … though not all of them, obviously, lol.

When I need a quick meal, chances are I turn to my panini press. I love sandwiches because you can do pretty much anything with them–I recently made a Southern Chicken Sandwich with chicken breast, havarti cheese, fresh tomatoes, kale and Red Rooster mayonnaise.

Thinking up that crazy combo reminded me of Chef Brian’s Christmas Cookbook, which had quite a few yummy sandwiches in it. If you’re into sandwiches or paninis, try some of these:

-Roast beef with sliced tomato, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and horseradish mayonnaise

-Smoked turkey with avocado, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard and olive oil mayonnaise

-Sliced tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella and basil pesto (recipe)

-Roasted chicken with bacon, tomato, avocado and chipotle mayonnaise (two chopped chipotle peppersĀ  in adobo mixed with olive oil mayonnaise)

-Hot turkey pastrami, cole slaw, Swiss cheese, homemade Russian dressing (Olive oil mayonnaise, ketchup, small diced pickle, easy black pepper)

-Turkey Italian sausage, arugula, ricotta cheese, roasted red bell pepper and basil pesto (recipe)

-Media Noche (recipe after the jump) with citrus-marinated pork, Swiss and pickles

-Roast pork (Media noche recipe below, minus all the Cuban marinade ingredients–so, just salt and pepper), goat cheese, bacon, arugula and fig jam (recipe)

I know that’s a lot to take in, but they’re mostly simple to put together and you’ll have a solid meal in no time. Follow the jump for Chef Brian’s Media Noche recipe.

As a final tip, if you’re in Orange County, check out Cafe Chiarini in Santa Ana for your bread. They’re only open on weekdays, and each (massive) loaf is $10, but split one with a friend and you’ll still have enough to make sandwiches all week (one slice in half is enough for one sandwich, the loaf is that large). It’s my favorite sandwich bread in OC, and totally worth trying if you haven’t yet.

Anyways, on to that Media Noche … Continue reading Let’s talk sandwiches …

Week 7, Meal 1: Grass-fed beef burger with bacon, caramelized onion compote, arugula and over-easy egg

Only I would seek out a healthy version of a bacon and egg burger, but it looks like Chef Brian has gone above and beyond yet again with Week 7, Meal 1: Grass-fed beef burger with bacon, caramelized onion compote, arugula and over-easy egg.

Brian says: “When I make a burger it is easy to get carried away with sauces and cheese and tons of bacon. On this one you have compote with a great bacon and onion flavor that the red wine will enrich. The egg takes the place of the sauces and cheeses, which can make the calories get out of control.”

I wrangled whatever the calorie count is down a little while increasing the healthiness of the meat by using grass-fed beef instead (about 250 calories for 4 oz.; Read: Benefits of grass-fed beef). I also went with a reasonably low-cal roll, at 170 calories per piece.

Learn how to prepare this beastly burg after the jump. Continue reading Week 7, Meal 1: Grass-fed beef burger with bacon, caramelized onion compote, arugula and over-easy egg

Week 2, Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon

If you didn’t notice by the headline, there’s bacon in that there sandwich. If that ain’t an advancement in healthy eating, I don’t know what to tell you.

But bacon is low in calories (40-50 per slice, though high in fat) and a little bit can totally be a part of a healthy diet.

For our second meal of week 2, we’re dressing that bacon with a bunch of great ingredients for our thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon.

BOOYAH. Keep readin’. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam and bacon

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