Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

Hey everyone! For those of you who don't know, I've started crossfit classes at Crossfit Gambit in Soulard and along with the new workouts I've also begun a strict paleo diet.

If you're unfamiliar with what paleo means, here's a quick summary from Wikipedia: the "contemporary" Paleolithic diet consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Today is my 22nd day of eating at least 80% paleo, and my 15th day of eating 100% paleo with zero cheats. It's been a challenge, but I have to say, I've never felt better! I've always had tummy problems, especially when running long(ish) miles and that has been completely eliminated. My plan was to eat 100% paleo for 30 days and going back to 80% after. Now I'm thinking I'm going to stay as close to 100% as possible from now on (with an occasional cheat for booze lol).

I'm planning to share a bunch of paleo recipes that I've tried here, partly because some people have asked for them and partly so that I have a place to find them all in one spot!

Last night I had a group of ladies over - it was the first time I was putting my paleo cooking to the test for other people. I think everything went really well. I think the big hit of the night was the bacon-wrapped sweet potatoes!

Here's what you'll need:

2 medium-small sweet potatoes
1 lb uncured bacon
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp sea salt
4 Tbsp maple syrup — OPTIONAL

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them lengthwise into quarters. Then cut each quarter in half, and then half again. You’ll wind up with 32 bites.

Melt butter over low-heat and stir in chipotle chili powder and sea salt. Toss the potatoes in the spiced, melted butter to coat.

Cut the bacon slices in half, so you have 32 mini-slices of bacon. Wrap each sweet potato bite with a half slice of bacon, and use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place. The toothpick doesn't have to go very far into the sweet potato, just far enough to hold the bacon in place.

Place on a stainless steel baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, turning once about halfway through. I thought about baking these on parchment paper, but I'm really glad I didn't. I think the bacon grease would have made that a disaster.

These are done when the bacon is crispy and the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. You could also drizzle these with a bit of maple syrup when finished, but I choose not to.

These were the last thing I made because I thought they may get soggy when reheated. There were a few leftover, so I'll report back on how well they do when reheated.

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