Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

IMG_5901This is such an old recipe, and I’ve seen many versions of it. It’s quick and simple, and can be part of a nutrient-dense meal, or served as appetizers. Make sure you get good organic pastured bacon if you can (local farms, farmers’ markets, good butchers, etc).

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon, cut in half
12 medium-sized scallops (or 6 large, cut in half)
approx. 5 T butter, melted
as much garlic as you want (a few cloves), minced or pressed
salt and pepper
12 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lay the bacon out on a flat baking pan and bake it for about 10 minutes each side. You want it to really start cooking, but still be pliable. Remove from oven and lay on a plate to cool to the point that you can touch it without burning your fingers.
Pour most of the leftover bacon fat out of the baking pan (strain and save it–it’s great for cooking everything, or making mayo out of (recipe soon).
Add the garlic, salt and pepper to your melted butter. (You can keep some of this aside to pour over at the end.)
Dip each scallop piece into the garlic butter. Thoroughly coat each one.
Then wrap each scallop with a piece of the bacon and secure it with a toothpick (make sure toothpick goes all the way through the whole scallop and bacon on each side, so it doesn’t fall apart in the baking).
Place each scallop onto the greased baking pan.
Bake until scallops are done and bacon is starting to crisp a little (approximately 20 minutes).
Remove from oven, arrange on plates and pour remaining garlic butter over all.
These are also delicious with a chipotle mayo, for which I will try to get a recipe up soon.

 

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Raw Chocolates, sugar-free and delicious

No time left today, but will get this recipe up very soon, so stay tuned. I promise it will be in the next couple of days. These are incredible, if you are a true chocoholic and like dark bitter chocolate, but don’t want (or can’t have) all the sugar.

 

Curried Lamb Stew


Coconut oil or ghee for cooking
2 lbs lamb, either shoulder or stew meat or shank or butt roast, trimmed of visible fat
3 medium-sized onions, sliced into wedges
One 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
2 t turmeric
3 to 4 T curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 14-oz. cans unsweetened organic coconut milk
2 large tart apples, cored and coarsely chopped
3 medium rutabagas, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup stock or broth
salt and pepper
cilantro, finely chopped (as much as you want, depending on how much you like it)

If cooking in the oven:
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Sprinkle the lamb all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large flame-proof/oven-proof pot (cast-iron works well). Brown the lamb on as many sides as is possible. Remove and set aside. Saute the onion wedges until slightly browned, then sprinkle on the spices and saute for another minute or so. Turn the flame down to medium-low. Add the rutabagas, and stir in the ginger, apples, garlic, coconut milk, bay leaf and stock. Set the lamb back in the pan, on top of all of this, cover and roast in the oven for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is very tender. At the very end, stir in cilantro.

If cooking in the slow-cooker:
Follow instructions above, but once meat and onions have been browned, throw all ingredients into the slow-cooker, cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then turn down to low for 6 to 8 hours, until meat is very tender. Again, stir in cilantro at the end.

I once had a lamb curry served with yoghurt and a fruit chutney spooned into it. It was great. I’m still trying to create a sugar-free chutney, so stay posted. In the meantime, experiment, and if anyone comes up with one let me know! Hope you enjoy this warming winter stew.

 

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto

Sorry, not the best photo, but this got eaten so fast I couldn’t get a better one.

Another simple recipe that’s good for the holidays. I froze a lot of pesto this summer, and everyone in the family loves it, so I’m always coming up with ways to use it. This has been a favorite of mine for decades.

First, my Pesto recipe:
3 well-packed cups of fresh basil leaves (no stems)
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup walnuts or combination of walnuts and pine nuts
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Approximately 3/4 cup fresh-grated parmesan (or equivalent aged cheese, preferably raw)
Approximately 3/4 cup extra virgin organic olive oil
salt to taste

Combine everything in a blender or food processor and blend until you get the consistency you desire (I like it very smooth, but some people like it a little chunky).

The squash:
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut a medium to large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Grease a large baking dish (I prefer glass or ceramic), and place the two squash halves face down in the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork, at which point, remove from oven and let cool until you can easily handle it. Scoop out the insides and place in a bowl.

The two together:
Put as much pesto as you want in with the squash and toss until thoroughly combined. You can serve as is, or alternatively, sprinkle with more parmesan (or mozzarella) and bake until cheese melts, browns and bubbles. Pesto is also great cold on just about anything. Makes yummy omelettes too.