Foodie Flattery: Whole30 Breakfast Casserole by The Paleo Running Momma

This casserole contains sweet potato, roasted brussels sprouts, and caramelized onions…and my nine year old son inhaled it. Seriously, that’s how good this casserole is.

bearfamilystrong.com | breakfast casserole

In preparing for our latest round of the Whole30, I’ve been spending some time on Pinterest looking for inspiration. I feel like I used to be a lot better at planning, creating, and cooking good meals for our family, but somehow over the past year that changed. We ended up ordering out a lot, and more often than not I end up making quick and easy foods full of quick carbs, added sugar, and unnecessary fat. Don’t get me wrong, all of the aforementioned foods taste extremely good, but judging by the extra weight I’ve been carrying around and my complete lack of energy…I knew it was time for a reset.

Anyway. I need to be honest and say that even if I wasn’t doing a Whole30 I’d still make this casserole again. And again. And although it’s technically labeled a “breakfast” casserole (probably because of the egg), my son ate this for dinner the first night I made it and the husband wanted to do the same. (He would have, except that he had a pot of white chicken chili simmering on the stove at the same time.)

This 9×13 pan of deliciousness consists of a bottom layer of roasted sweet potato, topped with roasted brussels sprouts, caramelized onion, crispy bacon, and covered with an egg-coconut milk-nutritional yeast mix that turns this casserole into a light and fluffy eggy delight. The combination might sound weird but trust me, yum.

The Paleo Running Momma comments that you could absolutely play around with the vegetables in this casserole, and I totally agree. Granted the sweet potato and brussels sprouts combination was to DIE for in my family, but I’m already imagining a version with sausage, red pepper and spinach; or crispy prosciutto, broccoli and onion…the list goes on.

This casserole turned out to be a total win for the Bear Family and this recipe will definitely make an appearance during the Whole30 – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Check out PRM’s post for the original recipe here!

bearfamilystrong.com | breakfast casserole

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Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

I love roast chicken.

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Not only is roasting a chicken pretty much the easiest thing in the world, but one chicken usually serves our family three meals at least. The week I made this bad boy, my husband and son were out of town and one four pound bird lasted me three full days for lunch and dinner. Basically I ended up eating leftover chicken over salad vegetables for lunch, and then for dinner I would heat up some of the chicken and serve it with a different vegetable each night (steamed snap peas on Monday, pan fried okra on Tuesday, and roasted green beans on Wednesday). Admittedly, if you are a person who enjoys variety in your meals and doesn’t like leftovers, this will definitely not work for you. But for me, it not only eliminated the need to plan additionally dinners, but it also saved me a ton of time in the kitchen!

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

The other nice thing about roast chicken is that you can experiment with flavors. (See here and here). I usually throw a chicken in the crockpot which really saves time, but the chicken tends to fall apart and you don’t get the crispy brown skin that results in roasting a chicken in the oven. Just remember that if you are going to roast our chicken in the oven, it’s going to take about 90 minutes – so plan accordingly.

My personal favorite flavor combination of late has been super simple lemon and thyme, with a salt crust made with an herbs de provence salt blend I purchased while in Paris this summer. To recreate this salt at home, simply mix some coarse salt with herbs de provence – it’s as easy as that!

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

one whole roaster chicken (organic free range if possible)

fresh thyme

butter, melted

salt

herbs de provence

2 lemons

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and pat your bird dry. Give your bird a healthy melted butter bath, then cover liberally with the herbs de provence salt blend, making sure the chicken is evenly coated. Sprinkle a handful of chopped thyme over everything. Inside the cavity of your chicken, add two lemon halves, a handful of fresh time, and more salt if desired. Cut the second lemon into 4-6 wedges and tuck them into the roasting pan with the chicken. Bake at 400 for about 80 minutes, then remove from oven and rest an additional 10 minutes. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165F.

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Roasted Poblano Pepper Dipping Sauce

A couple of things I love:

1. Non-boring food

2. Easy to cook food

3. Flying

What do 1 and 2 have in common with 3? Well, not much, except that not-so-recently I was reading United Airlines in-flight magazine on one of our many trips to Oklahoma and I came across a recipe for grilled shrimp and green tomatoes with a roasted poblano pepper sauce and it changed my life.

bearfamilystrong.com | roasted poblano dipping sauce

Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration. And admittedly, the shrimp and tomatoes were only so-so, but the roasted poblano pepper dipping sauce was pretty darn awesome…to the point where it has now become a regular occurrence in my weekly meal prep sessions. In keeping with my list theme, I love this sauce for several reasons:

1. It’s super easy to make

2. It’s delicious

3. It makes easy to cook food non-boring

In addition to the original recipe where we served the sauce with shrimp and tomatoes, we’ve also had it with grilled chicken slices, served on burgers, as a dip for sliced vegetables…just to name a few. Plus, with just a couple of tweaks you can make this sauce as mild or as spicy as you’d like. The magazine version calls for poblano peppers and thai chilies – we’ve never used the thai chilies, but making the sauce simply with poblanos gives it a pleasant heat that builds, then dissipates. When we’re feeling something a little spicier we’ve added jalapenos. For an extra little kick that won’t knock your teeth out, we’ve used a mix of beautiful green poblano peppers and bright red fresno chilies. Have fun with it!

bearfamilystrong.com | poblano sauce

I’m including the original version in the picture below, but here is my personal favorite variation:

Roasted Poblano Pepper Dipping Sauce (or Chile Aioli)

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1/2 bunch cilantro

2 roasted poblano peppers and 2 red fresno chile peppers, peeled and seeded

salt (I use a couple healthy shakes of pink himalayan)

1 cup mild oil (I prefer avocado)

Instructions:

Place all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. Slowly drizzle in oil until the mixture is emulsified and a thick aioli forms.

recipe

Enjoy!