Paleo Super Bowl Snacks

Triple Fat Breakfast Brussels Sprouts

3 years ago, if you had told me that I would have a Brussels sprouts obsession, I would have called you crazy. Certifiable…

…but here I am, at the head of a paleo food blog starting to pick up steam, posting recipes about nature’s edible green gems.

Yes, that’s right. I just called Brussels sprouts gems. And while we are on the subject, did you that its not brussel spouts. Its Brussels sprouts? Annnnd the correct way to spells Brussels sprouts is with a capital letter “B” but a lower case “s”.  I don’t know why. If you knew the reason, I would be open to listening, however, truthfully I am far too preoccupied to even do one more Google search right now. Not a joke- I really am that busy these days. (Good problem to have though, seriously.)

When I first made this recipe, I ate it so quickly that I didn’t even have the time to photograph it. When I made it the second time…same thing. And the third time….do I even have to say it? It took me four times of making this recipe to have the willpower to take a quick pause and shoot some photos before digging in. It is that good.

Annnnnnd, yes, I am still talking about the Brussels sprouts. Before you really think that I’ve gone off the deep end, I sent this recipe for some friends to try out before I posted it, and one even told me that she’s never eating Brussels sprouts any other way again. (Hiiiiii Sandra!)

Recently, I have been loving eating veggies for breakfast: I feel accomplished by getting in some greens in the morning, I am fueled throughout the rest of the day, and eating veggies for breakfast makes me feel like real health nut.

These South of Vanilla Brussels sprouts even have a fried egg on top with shiitake mushrooms, which undeniably make everything better; those two ingredients together are a killer combination. This recipe has, as you can tell from the title, 3 types of fat: butter, duck fat, and the rendered fat that come from the bacon. These three fats may as well be a paleo holy trinity, because oh my goodness, its amazing. Brussels sprouts are even coming back into season as we head into mid-late fall (Side note: whhhhat?!), which means that not only will they soon be in abundance in grocery stores, but they will taste. even. better.

Some Cook’s notes:

  • This recipe calls for 3 types of fat, but if you don’t have one of the fats on hand, or cannot tolerate butter, you can use a combination of what you have. (i.e. 4 tbsp. butter instead of 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. duck fat or tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. rendered bacon fat.)
  • I use a skillet to roast these so I can cook from oven to stovetop easily, but if you do not have one, a lined baking sheet with a frying pan will work just fine. (PS using a cast iron skillet adds some extra iron to your food. Hooray!)
  • I like my eggs runny, especially for this recipe, but definitely know that runny eggs, since they are still partially raw, can pose health risks associated with undercooked eggs.

Triple Fat Breakfast Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main course

  • 1.5 lbs. Brussels
  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (or about ½ cup fresh shiitake mushrooms)
  • 3 thick cut slices of bacon
  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. smoked chipotle
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. duck fat
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed organic butter
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry Brussels sprouts. Slice each one on half and place in a large bowl. Quarter if your Brussels sprouts are very large in size.
  3. Dice bacon slices, mushrooms, and shallots.  Add to bowl with Brussels sprouts.
  4. Add garlic, spices, coconut sugar, duck fat, and butter to bowl. Stir until Brussels sprouts are well coated with spices, fat, and bacon is well incorporated.
  5. Add seasoned Brussels sprouts to a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. (See note above if you do not have a cast-iron skillet.)
  6. Place skillet on top rack of your oven and roast for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and place on stovetop. Turn to high heat, and stir the Brussels sprouts continuously while the stove-stop is heating.
  8. Push Brussels sprouts to the side of the pan, making an open circle in the middle of your skillet.
  9. Crack your eggs in this space, being careful not to crack the yolks.
  10. Fry your eggs for about 4 minutes, or until desired consistency.
  11. Remove from heat immediately and serve.


Grain-Free Garden Sandwiches

Hey guys, want to know something fun? I used to be an RA in college. As in Resident Assistant. As in creator of great events, and giver outer of housing violations. I was hated and loved, which definitely fluccuated according to the weekend. I was watched carefully by everyone on campus, which was actually super creepy looking back on it. Letmelivemylife. No, I don’t want to hear about the guy you met at the bar during $1 you call its. I don’t care if it was love at first shot. No, really. I don’t.

Since I was an RA at The University of Iowa, which meant I worked where I lived, breaking away to get work done was extremely, I mean, extremely difficult.

Don't get me wrong, I loved (most) of my residents, but it was difficult being productive when everyone either wanted to chat, needed to vent, or had a situation that needed to be solved. right. this. minute.

Sometimes I would go hide in one of my co-workers rooms (Hi, Sara! Hi Samantha! Hi Ben! Hi Mike!) but when I really needed a break, like a break from the world, please everyone be quiet, no-I don't-care-that-you-can't-burn-your-favorite-vanilla-candle-in-your-room-for-the-tenth-time kind of a break, I went to this place called the Iowa House.

The Iowa House was a restaurant inside a hotel inside the Iowa Student Union. (Seriously.) The hotel was reserved mostly for parents of visiting students, and because of its odd location, students rarely visited, and didn't know that there was a cafeteria-style restaurant available to all students, regardless of any hotel reservation.

The kicker, though? Current students could charge their account for their meal, whatever card the university had on file for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Which meant that not only could I have a peaceful meal, but I could charge the meal straight to my mom's card. If you're reading this mom, I'm sorry. And thank you!

This cafeteria was full of ready-made options like salads and sushi, but also was full of made-to-order pastas, burgers, and flatbreads. My favorite, however, was this garden sandwich, which was essentially just a veggie...sandwich....but with hummus and cream cheese.

If it sounds weird, it because it is. It totally is. It is weirder than weird. Cream cheese and hummus together sounds completely gag-worthy, especially when you throw in onions and spinach, but trust me when I tell you that it is SO. GOOD. 

I recreated this delicious, yet bizarre sandwich, because not only does it bring me back to my college days, but its a more creative way to get some raw veggies in. Technically, hummus isn't paleo because garbonzo beans are a legume, but if you can tolerate it, I don't think there's anything wrong with a little bit o' hummus. YOLO. Yolo, my friends. I'm only 3 years late on my newest catch phrase.

Some cook’s notes:

  • If you want to have regular cream cheese, by all means, go for it! Paleo versions of cream cheese, although delicious, do take some time, so be mindful of that.
  • You can use any veggies you prefer for these! I just listed the ones I usually have when I made these sandwiches.

Garden Sandwiches

Makes 4 sandwiches

  • 4 grain-free bun or bread recipe (find mine here) 
  • Paleo Cream Cheese (I like this recipe here as well as the cashew recipe here)
  • ½ cup of your favorite hummus
  • 1 cup diced lettuce  or spinach (or salad green of your choice)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup Sunflower Sprouts
  • ¼ cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • ½ sliced green bell pepper
  1. Spread desired cream cheese on one side of bun, and hummus on the other.
  2. Fill with veggies.
  3. Enjoy!

Perfect Summer Fruit Salad (Hello 4th of July BBQ!)

n my junior year of high school, my French class when to the Alliance Francaise in Chicago. My teacher had been coy about the whole trip, only saying that it would be a “cultural experience”, which is really such a French thing to say.

The Alliance Francaise is an organization focused on the promotion of the French language and culture. They regularly screen French films, host coffee clubs, offer Adult French language classes, and connect native and foreign French speakers with one another.

On this high school field trip, however, our focus was on seeing a French movie (In French, naturally), and participating in a French cooking class. Now, because I was super nerdy (still am, let’s be honest), I was totally into the whole idea of a French cooking class. The class was conducted in French, the ingredients and directions were listed in French, and the food was French.  I was prepared to make some classic French dish like beef bourguignon, a la Julia Child, but the instructor thought otherwise.

Looking back, the simple fruit salad the instructor chose was definitely appropriate for a group of high schoolers who regularly depended on EasyMac and Ramen for their afternoon snacks. I, of course, thought otherwise: I had been cooking with my dad and baking with my mom in the kitchen since I could walk. Fruit salad in my mind was not deserving of its own lesson. I mean, you essentially cut up fruit and put it in a bowl. How was a French fruit salad any different?

But I was wrong.

Our French cooking instructor told us that the secret to making a delicious fruit salad was not only cutting fruit in somewhat uniform pieces, but adding vanilla extract. Yes, vanilla. My mind was blown then, just as is continues to be now. The vanilla, essentially make a sweet syrup, coating all the fruit and drawing out all their natural flavors. Delicious. 

Ever since that class, when I have needed to take an easy to prepare dish to a party or a gathering, I take this. Every time, someone always comes up to me and asks: “what on Earth is in this? It is the best fruit salad I have ever had.” 

Ahhh, see. The French. Their cooking. They just know.

Some cook’s notes:

  • Your fruit can be cut in advance in stored in individual airtight containers to save on prep time the day of serving, however, many types of fruit will start to brown. Adding the lemon juice will delay the oxidation process and thus delay browning, but it will still happen with time.
  • I have made this fruit salad with many different types of fruit, depending on what is in season. Feel free to swap in an out what you find at the grocery store and what you have on hand- it will always end up fantastic!
  • Softer fruits like peaches, bananas, and kiwis will become very soft at a much faster rate. Be mindful of this while you choose your fruit to use. 
  • Be careful on how much vanilla extracts you add: too much can cause an overwhelming, somewhat bitter vanilla flavor. If you want a stronger vanilla flavor, add a tiny amount at a time, tasting along the way.
  • Make sure your slices of fruit are small enough to spear with a fork; trying to shove half an apple in your mouth with a fork is embarrassing at any party. (But alone is a-ok!)
  • Please make note of the serving size. If you are making this just for yourself, or even 2 people, halve or quarter the recipe. 

Perfect Summer Fruit Salad

Serves 6-8, as a side

  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. high quality vanilla extract
  • 3 Apples
  • 16 oz. Strawberries
  • 4 oz. Blackberries
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 2 Valencia Oranges
  • 2 Small Blood Oranges
  • 3 peaches
  • 4 Kiwis
  1. Cut all fruit into somewhat-uniform pieces.
  2. Place into a large bowl.
  3. Add vanilla, and thoroughly mix. Add more, to taste, but see note above.
  4. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container.