Recipes

Sausage Bake

This recipe has been a staple in our house for YEARS, we eat it at least every other week and for some reason I never seem to get tired of it.

It’s easy to prepare, a complete meal cooked exclusively in the oven, relatively healthy, paleo, and solidly fits in the toss-it-in-the-oven-and-go-running category. AND you don’t have to wash one. single. pot. My kind of dinner!

It even reheats well and is equally delicious as leftovers the next day.

I love eating it for breakfast with a couple of fried eggs on top. Seriously, yum!

You’ll need a large sweet potato, 4 large carrots, a small head of cauliflower, a pound of raw Italian sausage and two apples (I use Gala, they’re my favorite apple). It makes enough to serve approximately 4 adults.

(If you can only find the Italian sausage in links, you can remove the casing with a knife or scissors.)

Procedure

Chop the sweet potato, carrots and cauliflower in 1/2 inch chunks and place them in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste and toss everything in oil so that the vegetables are coated. You can use any kind of vegetable oil, melted coconut oil, or melted butter but I use leftover bacon grease.

Yes, bacon grease. I cook everything in it. Because it’s bacon and bacon is delicious.

Crumble the raw Italian sausage on top of the vegetables so that the chunks of sausage are about the same size as the veggie chunks and put the whole thing in the oven (do not combine!).

Let it bake for an hour at 350 degrees F.

While its baking chop up the apples in the same 1/2 inch sized chunks and toss in a little oil so they don’t brown.

After an hour, remove the tray from the oven, put the apples on top, and toss everything together, making sure the apples are well coated in oil (if they don’t get coated in the residual oil/grease/Italian sausage drippings they’ll dry out during baking) and return the sheet tray to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Done! Serve it with a small salad, fruit, or if you’re feeling festive sliced cheddar cheese, pretzels and ranch dressing to dip it all in.

You can switch up this recipe any way you want. If you want to bulk it up add another sweet potato or more carrots. The most important thing is that everything be chopped the same size.

If you’d prefer crunchier sausage, up your oven to 375 and reduce total cooking time to 1 hour (still adding the apples in the last 15 minutes).

Print Recipe
Sausage Bake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 75 minutes
Servings
adults
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 75 minutes
Servings
adults
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and the carrots. Chop them and the cauliflower into 1/2 inch chunks. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste and coat in oil.
  4. Crumble raw Italian sausage on top of the vegetables so that the sausage is also in chunks of about 1/2 inch.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook for an hour. While its cooking, dice two apples into the same 1/2 inch chunks.
  6. After an hour remove the baking sheet from the oven, put the apples on top of the sausage and toss everything together so that apples get coated in oil.
  7. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the apples are cooked but still slightly crunchy.
  8. Serve.
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Almost-But-Not-Quite Paleo Bacon & Spinach Quiche

I’m going out on a limb here, y’all. It’s a recipe!

If you know me, at all, you know I love to cook. And right up there next to cooking, is feeding people. It brings me joy.

But one of the biggest challenges of balancing family and this ridiculous running habit has been dinner. Though I often workout twice a day, my main workout is always in the late afternoon/early evening, right about the time I should be making dinner.

Prepping everything ahead of time is helpful but can still lead to some very late meals and that’s not cool. I struggled with this for a long time but then one day, I discovered my oven had a delayed start feature.

I can put things together and toss them in the oven before I leave. I then tell the oven how long it needs to cook, what temperature to cook it and what time I want it done. When I get home from my run there’s a piping hot something-or-other waiting for me.

Modern technology for the win! It’s a miracle!…

…except not really. I would have figured this out a lot sooner if I’d ever bothered to read an owners manual. Apparently every oven does this. Oh well.

The hunt was on for dinner recipes that qualify for the toss-it-in-the-oven-and-go-running method.

This quiche, a Frankenstein’s monster of about three different recipes, is one of my favorites.

In the case of today, I prepped the egg mixture and the crust at 10 AM, assembled it at 3 PM and put it all in the oven on a timer to be ready when I got home from my workout at 6 PM.

Work smarter, not harder. Right?

Even better, I almost always have all these ingredients on hand and it’s easy to throw together when I’m staring blankly in the fridge wondering WTF I’m going to make for dinner AND my kids eat it. Bonus!

If you’re not into paleo, the quiche can still be made as is, and the crust substituted for a traditional flour based model or one of the ready made crusts from the grocery store.

(Please note, this is not a food blog with fancy food porn pictures. I took these with my cell phone while I was making dinner. Be nice.)

To make the crust, toss 1 cup almond flour, 3/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 tbsp xantham gum, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp baking powder in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Then add in the egg and let it run until the egg is well integrated.

Remove the lid and add 4 tbsp cubed, very cold butter and pulse until the mixture has the texture of wet sand. Then, with the processor running, slowly drizzle in water until the mixture comes together in to a ball.

Like this.

Dump the whole thing out, shape it into a disc, cover it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill out.

Then forget you’re not wearing an apron and wipe your hands on your legs…

While the crust is chillin’ in the fridge assemble the egg mixture. Mix together 12 eggs, 12-ounces of bacon cut into 1/2 inch slices and cooked, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 10 ounces of frozen spinach which you have thawed and wrung out in a clean kitchen towel (this is important, just say no to soggy quiche!). Throw in 3/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper.

When assembly time comes, grease a spring form pan with butter/tapioca flour or coconut oil.

Roll out the crust between two layers of plastic wrap, making the crust slightly larger than the diameter of the spring form pan.

(Warning: despite the tapioca starch and xantham gum, this crust lacks the elasticity of a flour based crust. If you attempt to roll it without the plastic wrap, it will fall apart. Even with the plastic wrap it’s a tricky situation. The plastic wrap helps things significantly. Don’t skip it.)

Slowly remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then gently wrap the crust and the bottom layer of plastic wrap around a rolling pin. Remember, the plastic wrap is holding it all together.

Pick up the rolling pin and move the whole thing to the greased spring form pan. Slowly unroll the crust into the pan so that the plastic wrap is on top. Then peel it off.

Fill with the egg mixture and put it in the oven!

Let it bake for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Ta Da! Serve with cut up fruit or Strawberry Salad (sliced strawberries, honey goat cheese, toasted almonds and poppy seed dressing). Yum!

Print Recipe
Bacon & Spinach Quiche
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Paleo Crust
Quiche
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Paleo Crust
Quiche
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put the almond flour, tapioca starch, xantham gum, kosher salt and baking powder in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add the egg to the dry ingredients. Let the food processor run until fully integrated.
  4. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
  5. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in enough ice water so that the mixture forms a ball. You may need all the ice water, you may not.
  6. Form into a disk and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  7. Grease a spring form pan and roll out the crust between two sheets of plastic wrap so that it's about 1.5" wider than the pan
  8. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and gently roll the crust, along with the bottom later around a rolling pin and gently move to the pan.
  9. Press the crust into the pan and fill with the egg mixture.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until the center is firm. Let cool and remove from the pan.
  11. Cut into wedges and serve with fruit or a salad.
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