Assuming that you have not been living under a rock or totally "unplugged", you have heard the latest from the World Health Organization linking the consumption of processed and red meat with colorectal cancer. Although data is not currently available with recommended safe levels, limiting the intake of red meat and meat that has been salted, cured, smoked or fermented is recommended. Luckily for us, we knew this information all along. If you choose to eat meat limit your intake and select lean grass-fed, hormone-free options from a sustainable and reliable source.
Thinking you may never be able to get your bacon fix? Fear not! Here are three nutritious, delicious, and even some vegan alternatives that will leave you healthily and happily satisfied...hold the bacon.
Green salad with shiitake bacon
Sounds a little weird, but when sliced and baked until crisp, the umami flavor and color of the mushrooms can fool most bacon lovers. Added benefit - mushrooms are one of the few dietary sources of Vitamin D.
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- black pepper
- sea salt
- 12-15 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
- 4 cups torn butterhead lettuce
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, toss chickpeas with 1 tbsp olive oil, paprika, turmeric, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Spread out on one of the sheet trays and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
- On the other sheet tray, toss sliced mushrooms with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes until mushrooms are crispy. Check frequently to avoid burning.
- In a large salad bowl, whisk garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold in lettuce, and top with shiitake bacon, chickpeas, and shaved parm.
Coconut bacon sandwich aka the new BLT
Think maple cured bacon, and this is a perfect swap. Sweet and slightly salty with a little chewy texture, coconut bacon is the perfect sub in your new favorite sandwich.
makes 2 sandwiches
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 tbsps coconut aminos
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 slices of your favorite whole grain or gluten-free bread (She Wolf Bakery rustic sourdough pictured)
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 6 butterhead lettuce leaves
- 2 tbsps homemade or good quality mayonnaise or vegan alternative
- Preheat oven to 350. Toss coconut flakes with coconut aminos and maple syrup on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Mix well, and spread flakes out evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway through. Keep a very close eye on the coconut flakes as they can go from golden to burnt quickly. The coconut is done when it is golden brown and crisp.
- To assemble, toast bread and arrange the four slices on a cutting board. Spread each slice with a light layer of mayo. On two slices of bread, layer the lettuce, avocado, tomato, and coconut bacon. Top with remaining bread and enjoy immediately.
Turkey sausage patty and eggs
Sausage patties are extremely simple to make and are free of nitrates and preservatives. When selecting your ground meat, make sure that the turkey is pasture-raised and hormone-free. If you can, purchase your meat from the greenmarket and support sustainable agriculture. This recipe makes multiple patties, which is great to have on hand for a quick breakfast, snack, salad, or grain topper.
makes 12-15 golf ball sized patties
- 1 lb ground turkey (I like dark meat, but for a more virtuous patty opt for ground white)
- 1 tsp fennel seed, minced
- 1 tsp ground chili flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin seed, minced
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsps fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 2 tsps maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch sea salt
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- In a bowl, blend together spices, add ground turkey and maple syrup and mix well using your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Form turkey mixture into small thin patties.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Cook the patties 3-4 minutes a side until brown. Use additional oil for second batch, if needed.
- Serve 2 patties with your favorite steamed or sautéd greens and an egg.