Friday, November 29, 2013

Delectable Green Bean (BACON!) Casserole

I looked back and couldn't remember if I ever posted a recipe for a Green Bean Casserole I made for Thanksgiving and Christmas a couple years ago. Pretty sure I did, but didn't see it, so I figured I would give the recipe for what I cooked up yesterday.  Yes I realize this is a little late...but if you've got an upcoming holiday party or family gathering or infamous church potluck, bring this along and wow your friends.

Originally I had thought about trying to make homemade onion rings or strings, but that just seemed like a lot of work, and a very messy, greasy kitchen.  Instead I came up with the idea to top the casserole with crispy bacon.  Please use pasture raised, organic, nitrate free bacon for this recipe.  Since you are cooking in the rendered fat, you want to make sure what you have is high quality.  Animals store toxins, antibiotic residue, and hormones in their fat, which is why we bought 1/2 a hog from a family friend.  Now our new freezer is full of delicious (once happy) pork.

I kept the canned green beans because it's what most people are used to, but you could certainly replace them with 2# of frozen or fresh green beans.  If going with fresh, make sure to blanch them before putting them in the casserole

Green Bean Bacon Casserole
1# bacon
1 onion, minced
8oz button mushrooms, minced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs grainy mustard
1/2-3/4c Heavy cream or coconut milk
5 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
5 cans green beans, drained

1. Cook Bacon until crisp, then drain on paper towels.  Reserve the bacon grease and pour it all into a large skillet over medium heat.  If for some reason you've decided to use lean turkey bacon, you will need to substitute about 1/2 cup of butter/duck fat/ghee/coconut oil for the bacon grease.

2. Sautee the onion and mushrooms in the grease for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, and cream. Remove from heat.

4. Whisk in the egg yolks.

5.  Lightly grease a 9X13" casserole dish.  Combine green beans and sauce in the casserole dish.  Crumble bacon all over the top.

6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes if you are baking it right away.  Or increase the time to 45+ minutes if you are preparing one day and baking the next.

7. ENJOY!  I also thought if you had leftover turkey or ham you could chop it up and toss it in.  Then serve it with a side of mashed sweet potatoes.  Yum Yum Yum.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Heart Teeccino

A couple months ago I discovered Teeccino.  It's coffee flavored tea!  They are caffeine free and essentially gluten free, and use as many organic ingredients as possible.  Barley is the confounding gluten ingredient.  However, the teeccino website claims that most people with gluten sensitivities and even people with celiac tolerate their beverages which contain < 5 ppm of gluten in the average cup.  For reference, a food can only be labeled gluten free if it contains < 20 ppm. Teeccino also boasts added health benefits with their drinks such as fiber, antioxidants, potassium for heart health, and liver detoxification with the dandelion varieties. 

I first bought a box of the french roast sachets, and enjoyed drinking them at work in the afternoon during our long cold spring.  Now that the weather has turned cold again (after our short summer), I've started having cravings for of all chocolate.  Particularly in the afternoon between clients.  While stocking up on meat from Fresh and Natural yesterday I discovered the ultimate Teechino flavor.  BEHOLD--Chocolate Mint!!!  Unlike the sachet, you actually brew the loose grounds like you would coffee.  The combination of: carob, barley, chicory, dates, almonds, natural chocolate flavor, cocoa powder, peppermint leaves, fig, and peppermint oil makes this drink taste almost exactly like a Caribou Mint-Condition mocha.  But without all the sugar and gut bloating lactose!  And honestly,  I don't actually remember the last time I had a real latte or mocha.

Over the past month Ryan has been working on reducing his coffee/caffeine consumption.  He's gone from almost 1 pot of regular coffee, down to 2-4 cups of 1/2 caff or decaff per day.  As you might imagine, the first couple weeks were rather brutal.  His biggest complaint is that he LOVES the flavor of coffee and craves it after lunch.  Personally, I think his adrenal glands CRAVE the caffeine.  But what do I know?  :-)  

Any who...After cleaning out the shed/barn for 2 hours in the cold and wind, we warmed up by french pressing ourselves some minty teeccino.  I stirred in a tablespoon of organic heavy cream for added latte effect.  Mmmmmmm.....  Next time I will buy a bag of the unflavored variety for when mint flavor won't do.  For now though, this is totally hitting my hot chocolate and Ryan's coffee craving spot.  I also get the feeling that I'm going to be drinking a lot of it over the next 6 weeks as I wrap up my thesis.