Bacon Honey-Mustard Dressing

by Susan on October 24, 2014

I love bacon, which surprises many of my friends. Perhaps I should clarify, then, that I love the good stuff: uncured, nitrite-free bacon. We love bacon so much around here that the girl has declared it’s the one food that would keep her from ever becoming a vegetarian (with all due respect to my vegetarian and vegan friends).

When I whip up a salad with all sorts of good things in it, I love to include a little crispy, crumbled bacon. And today’s recipe is a perfect way to make double use of it AND create the most ridiculously easy and tasty salad dressing ever.

Homemade honey-mustard dressing is delicious, and using bacon grease as the added fat for the dressing loads it with flavor. And for those of you horrified by the thought of bacon grease, just keep in mind that to absorb all of the nutrition from your salad’s veggies you NEED fat paired with it.

The only tool you need for this is a good jar with a lid. Since I always have a million different sizes and shapes of mason jars on hand I go that route. It’s just quicker and easier to shake the heck out of this mixture than whisk it to combine.

If you have any leftover dressing, keep in mind that it will solidify at room temperature or in the fridge. Just heat it slightly before serving.

Bacon Honey-Mustard Dressing

3 strips nitrite-free bacon
2 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. raw honey
salt, pepper & garlic powder (to taste)

Cook bacon until crisp and do not drain. Add bacon grease to a sealable jar or container. Mix in mustard, honey and seasoning. Shake until combined and serve immediately.

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Paleo Sweet & Sour Meatballs

by Susan on October 23, 2014

I will never order meatballs out at a restaurant. There’s just no way of knowing what they contain, from dairy and gluten to any number of possible proteins. Meatballs are just the great unknown.

I don’t really know what my point is, other than to establish the merits of making meatballs from scratch. My kids love them and make tons of versions. These Asian-inspired meatballs are a nice change of pace from traditional Italian flavors. I loosely adapted them from a recipe I found on the Food Network website.

If you’re serving meatballs in sauce they almost always taste best after slowly simmering, but not everyone has that kind of time. Today I baked the meatballs early, then let them hang out in the crock pot on low to really marry with the flavors of the sauce. Added bonus? They were warm and ready to go at dinnertime. This step is totally optional, though, as you can serve the meatballs up as soon as they’re cooked.

I used grass-fed beef for these, but ground pork, chicken or turkey (or any combination of meats) would work too. Using almond meal and gluten-free soy sauce nixes the gluten, and coconut or almond milk keep them dairy-free.

Any form of breadcrumb and milk would work here, though, if you don’t have allergies or prefer other options. Palm sugar is a fabulous alternative to brown sugar in that it’s healthier AND really works with Asian flavors.

Paleo Sweet & Sour Meatballs

meatballs:
1 lb. ground meat
1 egg
2 tbs. chopped onion
1 tsp. gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut or unsweetened almond milk

sauce:
1/2 cup palm sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. gluten-free soy sauce
13 oz. canned pineapple, chopped (don’t drain)
1 tbs. arrowroot powder
1 chopped green bell pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Form into desired size ball and place on a foil-lined and rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Toward the end of the meatballs’ baking time, prepare sauce. Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and juice from canned pineapple in a medium sauce pot over low heat. After about 1-2 minutes stir in arrowroot. Allow to come to a boil, then remove from heat and pour over meatballs.

Stir chopped pineapple and green pepper into meatballs and sauce.

Optional: Once meatballs are done baking, place in a crock pot on low. Pour sauce over the top and stir in pineapple and pepper. Cover crock pot and cook on low until ready to serve.

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