Sweet Potato + Bacon Hash

The school year is coming to a close, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve always been told that as a first year teacher, your main goal is to survive. “If you finish with your head above the water, you’ve succeeded!” as they say.

Well… I MADE IT! On top of that, I feel confident that I got to show lots of love to my students, aid them in their learning, and challenge them on their way of thinking and doing life. Does this mean I get extra credit?

The downside, however, with “just surviving” the school year is that I let many of my healthy habits slip. Exercise was a nice treat once a week, if I was that lucky. Healthy eating only happened if I meal prepped on Sunday– and if I didn’t? Well, let’s just say the people over at Wawa started saying “See you tomorrow, Victoria!” as I walked out of the store with my usual breakfast order. #whatamidoingwithmylife

Here we are now. I’m getting back on track after falling off the wagon a bit. I might as well celebrate with a new mouth-watering breakfast dish! Which brings us to the star of this post…Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash (serves 3-4)
Ingredients:
– 2 small sweet potatoes
– 1/2 yellow onion (about 2 cups diced)
– 1 green bell pepper
– 3 slices Maverick Ranch Sugar-Free Bacon
– 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp paprika
– 1 tsp rubbed sage
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakesSweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Directions:
1. Peel sweet potatoes and finely chop. Also, finely chop green bell pepper and yellow onion roughly the same size for more even cooking.
2. Heat 3 tbsp EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in potatoes, onion, and green bell pepper.
3. Add in all spices listed and stir to coat veggies.
4. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat a separate skillet to medium heat and cook bacon to desired crispness. Once bacon is to your desired crispness, take off pan and blot extra grease with a paper towel.
5. After the 10 minutes has passed, lower the temperature to medium-low and pat down hash into the skillet. Let it cook for another 5-6 minutes without stirring to allow potatoes to crisp up on one side.
6. Check potatoes for tenderness. If ready, give one last stir and take off heat. Then, chop bacon into similar-sized pieces and sprinkle onto hash.
7. ENJOY!

Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

Today, I enjoyed my hash topped with scrambled eggs, chopped scallions, a dash of hot sauce, and an extra sprinkle of chopped bacon 😉
Hash & Egg BreakfastSweet Potato & Bacon HashNow if this doesn’t inspire you to a healthy breakfast, then I don’t know what will! The tenderness of sweet potatoes mixed with the salty crunch of bacon will make you rejoice! The best part about this dish too is it’s Whole30 compliant! (As long as you use approved bacon) BAM! Now get cooking–you can have this dish anytime of day! 🙂

Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash

 

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Quick & Easy Whole30 Meal Ideas

See these two lovebirds? They’re my adorable parents…
Everybody say, “Awwwww“.LovebirdsThese two embarked on their first Whole30 today! And now it’s on the Internet Mom & Dad, so you have to stick to it. The people know! My mother asked about some quick & easy Whole30 Approved meal ideas. As I was typing I got to thinking that just maybe this would be of interest to some of you. So, in honor of Bob & Jen… Let’s do it:

Breakfast:
– Scrambled Eggs (3) + Sugar-Free Bacon (3) + Roasted Broccoli
– Breakfast Frittata with assorted veggiesCheery Breakfast– Roasted Hash: sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic; roasted in olive oil + Sausage – all chopped and tossed together in a bowl!
Coconut Milk & Chia Seed Pudding (without sweetener) + fresh berries
– Spinach Banana Smoothie: 3 cups spinach + 2 tbsp almond butter + 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk + banana (but eat something else with it!)Strawberry-Banana-Spinach Breakfast Sausage Patties over a bed of Kale + Roasted Sweet Potatoes
– Omelets filled with whatever vegetables you’d like! 🙂
– Egg Cups: Bacon + Egg + Veggies; all baked together in one cupcake pan in just 20 minutesEgg Cups

 Lunch/Dinner:
**I put this category together because I almost always make dinner for two and save the extra for lunch. 2-in-1 meals for the WIN! :)**
– Tilapia + fresh salsa + steamed veggies (TIP: Tilapia takes 5 minutes at 500-degrees in the oven AND you can steam veggies in the microwave.. no excuses)
– Beef Burger over Spinach + slices of Tomato & Onion + Sauteed MushroomsDelicioso– Spaghetti Squash + meatballs + tomato sauce (check the label for sugar)- Taco-seasoned Ground Beef over lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper… instant Taco Salad!
– Applegate Farms Prosciutto wrapped around Apple Slices + small side salad
– “Zoodles” (zuchinni noodles) tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper topped with Grilled Chicken and Diced TomatoesRoasted Veggies & Squash– Hard Boiled Eggs + fresh veggies + handful of almonds or cashews
– Shrimp Kebabs: bell pepper, squash, zucchini, and shrimp coated in olive oil & grilled + squeeze of lime
– Stir Fry: chicken + any veggies + coconut amines + hot sauce; cook in sauté pan and DONE
Lazy Man Plate: protein + veggies + fruit + nut/seed (no cooking required)Lazy Man's Lunch Lettuce Wraps: Romaine Lettuce Leaves + Ground Chicken + Cucumber + Tomato + Balsamic Vinaigrette (check labels)
– Soup in the Crockpot (or anything in the Crockpot, really); just set it and forget it! 😉
French Onion Soup


I hope this helps you in your Whole30 journey! This is by no means an exhausted list, but just an option for you to glance over when you’re short on time and in need of a “real food meal” that’s Whole30 Approved!

For more recipes for Whole30, check out my recipes page for more ideas & tips!

What I Ate Wednesday #3

Florida was a chilly 48-degrees when I walked out the door this morning. And in the words of one of my Kindergarten students, “Miss Baxter, this is SOOO unusual outside!!” Today was especially delicious due to my meal prep for the night before. Meal prep saves the day! Although, I may or may not have had to eat breakfast in the car due to my lack of desire to pry myself from my warm, toasty bed this morning.

Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs with a side of roasted broccoli and two slices of mouth-watering sugar-free bacon. Not to mention the fresh, tart taste of red raspberries. Mmmm. And it tastes even better in the car… NOT.Egg Breakfast

Tea Time: The chilly weather made me crave some warm Chamomile tea, which tasted lovely. I also paired my hot cup with a festive, Fall-flavored Pumpkin Pie Larabar. This thing is like a Fall party in your mouth people. Get on it!Tea Time Pumpkin Pie Larabar

Lunch: I decided to go Raw today for lunch. I made my own version of Raw Pad Thai filled with Dino kale, broccoli, carrot, green onion, cucumber, red cabbage, and green bell pepper. Plus a Spicy Jalapeño Coconut dressing made from coconut milk, jalapeño, ginger, lime, and green onion, which was all blended to creamy perfection.Raw Pad Thai Raw Pad Thai

A delicious gala apple and GT’s Enlightened Hibiscus Kombucha made this lunch extra special.

Dinner: I actually wasn’t very hungry this evening, so I went really simple. A Tessemae’s Cracked Pepper marinated chicken breast with good ‘ole fresh spinach.Tessamae's Cracked Pepper Chicken


In other news: My roommate and I just signed up for The Color Run – Orlando and we are SUPER excited. We’ll be reppin’ Team DyeHard so the training will be starting ASAP! The Color Run is the self-proclaimed “Happiest 5k On The Planet” and can you see why?!

How AWESOME does THAT look?! Plus, if you’re in the Orlando area and interested in joining our team, let me know! Or if you just want to run the race as an individual, I also would like to let you know that the PROMO CODE: “ORLANDO2” will give you $5-off your race fee! Baller on a budget! 😉

Color Run StrongOh I cannot WAIT for January 31st to arrive! Time to get running!

The Morning Battle

You may have realized this, but incase you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of things in this life that fight for our time and our attention. How you choose to spend your time and with who can have a great impact on your character, mood, and perspective on life as a whole.

What will you do with your hours?
What will you do with your hours?

I experienced this exact thing this morning. Here’s what happened:

8:28AM – I woke up, sent a text to check up on Austin, then immediately opened up my Instagram.

8:49AM – Finished up gazing at my iPhone screen and pouring over all my friends’ incredible pictures.

First off, the fact that I spent that much time scrolling through pictures first thing in the morning immediately makes me question my priorities, but besides that, I clicked off my phone and felt jealousybitterness, and low self-esteemWhy? I asked myself.

I saw some wonderful things:
Friends over in another country spreading the Gospel.
A couple who just got married.
A beautiful friend of mine with her bright smile.
Yet another friend literally hanging off the side of a mountain.
My sister laughing while spending an evening at Disney.

So what was wrong? Why wasn’t I celebrating these amazing life-experiences with the people who shared them. People who I care about. People who I should be JOYFUL for. I began to look back on my past week: I realized I did this every single morning.

Instead of waking up and spending time with my Savior, singing praises, reading Scripture, and whispering prayers, I was growing envious of my friends’ life-journeys with every swipe of my thumb.

My mornings have not been starting off properly. I have become ungrateful and jealous that I am not doing those things or having those experiences. I have lost sight of what God has been doing in my own life and that He should be the One I long for. So, I decided to make a change:

9:02AM – I turned on some worship music and spent time listening as I made breakfast, then joined in singing the beautiful truths about our Lord. Oh, Your Cross it changes everything. There my world begins and ends with You. I began to feel renewed and refreshed as I turned my focus back on the One who is everything.The Word of God

9:23AM – I sat down with the Word and read from 2 Corinthians 4 while my Egg Cups continued to bake in the oven. My eyes fell upon a verse I had underlined sometime ago, but after a good re-read, I thought it deserved an extra highlight as it related to where I was at this morning.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” — 2 Corinthians 4:18

2 Cor 4:189:37AM – I enjoyed my Egg Cups and continued to re-read over 2 Corinthians 4. God changed my heart’s perspective and showed me that my ultimate treasure is Him and the Gospel. I am refocused and at peace. I am ready to take on the day, or rather the gift that God has blessed me with. Egg CupsEgg Cups


So where does this leave me? Do I need to delete my Instagram account and ignore all the things others are doing? No, but I do need to remain fixed on Christ and long for Him more than the things of this life. I need to change my priorities and for me, this starts at the very moment I wake up. This is a daily battle. It won’t end today. In fact, I may experience this again later on this evening. I need to surrender those feelings and anxieties to God. I want to celebrate with my family and friends and the amazing blessings they receive. I want to be joyful and grateful for my life I have been given and give all the glory to my Creator.

This may not have been a post about food or exercise.
But I hope it gives you some food for thought and a way to exercise your spirit.

Ultimately, the Paleo-diet may physically change your life, but I care more that the Almighty God of the Universe changes your heart, mind, and soul.

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.
🙂

 

7 Fall Recipes from Paleo Pals

You probably have already heard of some of these incredible Paleo bloggers. If you haven’t, then my oh my are you in for a treat! These marvelous friends have whipped up some delicious Fall-themed recipes that you must try!


I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Paleo Fall Recipes from my favorite Paleo Pals! Well, I wish were my pals. Maybe one of these days we’ll hang out. Until then I’ll just continue to creep all over their blogs…

1) Pumpkin Waffles from PaleOMGPaleo Pumpkin WafflesOMG is right! I have sampled this recipe on numerous occasions, even during the summer —going against all that is sacred about pumpkins and Fall. But you just can’t get enough of these delicious things! Get on this recipe, people!

2) Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins from the Civilized CavemanPumpkin Cinnamon MuffinsIf you’re ever lucky enough to run into George, all you need to do is shake his hand and say, “Thank you”. This recipe is out of this world and he should be thanked often for his genius brain that came up with it.
Thank you, George. Thank you.

3) Brussels Sprout Chips from NomNomPaleoBrussel Sprout ChipsFor some reason brussels sprouts freak people out. Now you can eat this lovely in-season vegetable in a non-threatening form: CHIPS. How scary can chips be right? Give brussels sprouts a chance! Eat the chips! Michelle from NomNomPaleo seems like she knows what she’s doing. I’d trust her.

4) Pumpkin Spice Coconut Latte from Cook Eat PaleoPumpkin Spice Coconut LatteStarbucks will no longer own your life during the months of September-November. Finally. ::insert sigh of relief:: Now you can simply foster your PSL-obsession from the comfort of your own home! All is right in the world. Sit down, relax, enjoy a cozy sweater and sip away on your Paleo-approved version of this warm Fall drink!

5) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie Bars by Yours Truly The Thrive LifePaleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie BarsI wonder who the brilliant mind behind this genius-of-a-recipe is. She must be pretty awesome. I’d like to hang out with someone who can come up with a great food item like this one. Seems like the kind of person you could just spend hours with, ya know?
Oh… and the recipe is awesome too.

6) Warm Beet, Kohlrabi and Watercress Salad from Rubies & RadishesBeet SaladBeets are BEAUTIFUL. How about that gorgeous ruby color, eh? This seasonal vegetable is perfect baked into chips, roasted, juiced, or spiralized as shown into a warm, mouth-watering salad.

7) 10 Minute Apple Crisp from Real Food Liz1Paleo-Apple-Crisp_blog1.jpg-e1403484129809Do you have a need for something sweet? Do you have 10-minutes? Liz to the rescue with this 10-Minute Apple Crisp. Apples, cinnamon, and crunchy maple-nut topping. Whoa. You can pass on Grandma’s Famous Apple Pie during Thanksgiving this year and not even feel bad about it.


Do you hear that sound? Yes, your kitchen is calling. It wants you to create one of these recipes ASAP. And I’d listen if I were you. 😉