What’s For Breakfast? Portobello Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich


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UPC’s Portobello Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

Believe it or not: I didn’t wear a suit today. I know, it’s shocking, right? That wasn’t tongue in cheek – it really is shocking! Today is the first day in almost a year that I’ve been to work without a suit. Well, admittedly I did go to work in a pair of good jeans, a tie, french cuffs, and a vest; on two occasions. It’s an interesting feeling for me. I almost feel under-dressed, though I fit in perfectly with my colleagues here. I was overdressed before. Despite being overdressed, according to the work environment, I actually like wearing a suit. I’ve been in more jobs than not where wearing a suit was normal, so I’m quite comfortable with my suits every day. Shoot: I even run to the ferry in the mornings with my suit on; if that’s not a statement of comfort, I don’t know what is!

I woke up yesterday morning feeling energized and excited. I ended up coming up with three really great recipes, and I started marinating some ribs for a fourth! It was an amazing day for me! The other side of that, of course, was that my wife got to enjoy my culinary adventures, with only the minor annoyance of having to wait while I took pictures. She jokingly said to me:

I’m going to post on Facebook that there actually IS a downside to having a Foodie Blogger for a husband: You have to wait while he takes pictures of the food before eating…

I commiserate. She’s not the only one waiting! As much as I love this blog, I have to be honest and point out that, at least once a week I devour my food before the thought of “Oh, right, I should take a photo for the blog” manages to weasel it’s wait into my head… From time to time I post an apology note on Twitter, to the tune of “I just had _____, and it was awesome… Sorry, forgot to take pics!” That happened yesterday with some St. Louis style slow-cooked ribs that I put together for lunch. They were so delicious, I just forgot to take pictures! Fortunately, I didn’t forget the pictures of this breakfast sandwich!

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As I said: This is a real sandwich!

UPC’s Portobello Bacon Avocado Sandwich; What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 lb Bacon (Only the best!)
  • Avocado, 2 thick slices
  • Lettuce, several leaves (or some other greens)
  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms

Serves: 1
Cook and Prep Time: 35 minutes (Same total time for 2-4)

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1. Cut the bacon strips in half, and cook them, covered, as you like them.
Note: I like my bacon slightly chewy, so I cook them covered for about 20 minutes on medium heat.

2. Remove the bacon and let it drain on a plate.

3. Pour off most of the bacon grease (for use some other time!) and put the pan back on the heat to keep hot.

4. Slice the stem of the Portobello mushroom caps off, so that the whole cap is flat and level.

5. Cook the Portobello mushroom caps in the bacon pan for about 2 minutes on medium heat.

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6. Put the caps on a plate, stack the lettuce, avocado, bacon, and the top cap on. In that order.

Serve, and enjoy!

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Questions:

  • What do you wear to work?
  • Do you match your attire, generally, to your co-workers?
  • Do you try to keep yourself looking like a well-dressed professional at all times?
  • Is “well-dressed professional” a match for your workplace? Or would it be out of place?
  • Should I do this with eggs next? Tomato? A caramelized tomato glaze or chutney?
  • What kind of bacon is your favorite commercial brand?
  • Is your bacon good enough that you re-use the grease?
  • Do you use Portobello Mushrooms for buns with your burgers, breakfast sandwiches, etc.?

What’s for Breakfast? Bacon Egg Cups


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UPC’s Bacon Egg Cups

I’ve been mulling over how I want this recipe to come out for some time. I’ve seen various versions of this floating around the internet. It was hugely popular this past spring, and I think I saw it pop up on several of my frequent haunts in the same week! So I didn’t post my own version. I chose not to post a version mostly because I didn’t yet know how I wanted my version to look and taste, but being completely honest here, I just didn’t want to be jumping on the same train as everyone else! ūüôā I didn’t want to just copy someone else’s ideas when I did this – I wanted to give the recipe time to really marinate in my creative space, so that I could add my own UPC slant to it.

Well, the wait is over. We all know that I love marinating things, and for this recipe, the marinade has had plenty of time to settle in. I made the recipe my own way, incorporating my own style and taste, this past weekend. In fact, as I often do, I made more than enough to bring leftovers for a day or two to work. Unless, of course, I want to share. My guess is that once I offer this out to a coworker, there won’t be enough left for me to get my own food!

UPC’s Bacon Egg Cups; What you’ll need:

  • 8 Eggs (Check my The Egg Project page for the best eggs)
  • 6 slices Bacon (I used my favorite: Vermont Smoke and Cure; find that and other great bacon choices here at my The Bacon Project page)
  • Spices: Garlic Powder, Turmeric, Fresh Ground Pepper, Sea Salt

Serves: 3-6 (depending on how much you want to share…)
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes
Note: Recipe is designed for a 6-muffin tin. May need to be modified for a 12-muffin tin or for shallow muffin tins.

BaconEggCup_BaconCup1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cook the bacon for about 90 seconds per side on medium heat.

3. Curl the bacon around the base of the muffin tin that you’re using, making the outside of the cup.
Note: If you’re worried about your Bacon Egg Cups sticking to the muffin tin, you can rub the bacon around on the tin to ensure that it’s well greased for the eggs.

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4. Thoroughly whip 2 eggs with the spices. I used a tablespoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of turmeric and pepper, and just a pinch of sea salt.

5. Spoon the whipped eggs into the muffin tin, making sure that there is approximately the same amount of egg in each muffin container.
Note: the whipped egg should only reach part way up the bacon, leaving plenty of room for the cracked egg in step 6. below.

6. Crack one egg into each muffin cup.

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7. Cook the Bacon Egg Cups for 20 minutes

8. Check your Bacon Egg Cups after 20 minutes of cook time – you need to see that the egg yolk has changed color from the pre-cooked color to a darker cooked color. This let’s you know that the eggs are full cooked and ready to be eaten.
And finally: Serve and enjoy!!

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Questions:

  • When you see a recipe that interests you, do you go and make it right away, or do you let it percolate in your creative mind for a while so that you can add your own flair to it?
  • Do you prefer to read other people’s recipes, or do you like to try and come up with your own?
  • Do you like to modify old recipes to match your current tastes?
  • How do you generally add your own style to a recipe? Spices? Different cooking/baking/slow-cooking style? Change ingredients?
  • Do you have any recipes that you’re working on right now, letting them slosh around in your creative mind to see what you’ll come up with?
  • Do you have any recipes that you’d like my, or some other readers, to comment on?

What’s For Breakfast? Mushroom And Tomato Omelet with Bacon


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UPC’s Mushroom And Tomato Omelet with Vermont Smoke And Cure Bacon!

I know that some of you have been enjoying my Diet And Workout posts, where I am sharing with you everything I am doing to reach my goals this summer. They’re tough goals, and I am really excited by the prospect of trying to meet them both! Well, my wife has been increasing her workout activities as well. We both love to workout regularly, and we can often be seen out together doing various different workouts.¬†We’ve both been careful about how we increase our workouts, and are monitoring our body’s needs carefully. So it came as no surprise to either of us that our bodies have been craving more protein, and we have been more than happy to oblige!! Today’s breakfast comes from that increased need.

Mushroom and Tomato Omelet and Bacon; What you’ll need:

  • 4 Eggs, whipped (I use a fork)
  • Salt and pepper mixed in with the eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut oil
  • 2 cups Mushrooms, chopped (I used a new mixed organic mushrooms that I picked up in the frozen section of Whole Foods)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb Bacon (Vermont Smoke and Cure!!)

Serves 2
Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

1. Start the bacon in a pan, covered, on medium heat.

2. In a small cook pot, heat up the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon coconut oil on medium heat.

3. Heat up an omelet pan (needs to have curved sides) with the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil to medium-high temperature.

4. Once the omelet pan is hot, pour the mixed eggs in to the omelet pan. Swirl the mixture in the pan so that the omelet has a relatively uniform thickness.

5. Turn the heat down on the omelet pan immediately to medium heat, and cook covered for 3-5 minutes.

6.¬†Using a spatula, move the omelet around in the pan carefully, making sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

7. After about 5 minutes of cook time, spread the mushrooms and tomatoes across the top  of the omelet.

8. Fold the omelet in the pan, then slide it out onto a dish.

9. Add the bacon to the plate, and serve!

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Questions:

  • What are your favorite omelet ingredients?
  • Do you prefer them cooked, or raw?
  • How much are you willing to branch out, stretch yourself, with your omelet ingredients?
  • Do you like your omelet ingredients spilling out, like in my picture, of do you prefer the omelet to completely contain your ingredients?

What’s For Breakfast? Celery Scrambled Eggs, Avocado, Papaya


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Papaya, Eggs and Avocado. It’s the Urban Paleo Chef’s Paleo Digestion Meal!

Another of my Colombia meals, here is one of the breakfasts that I put together while I was there. I always try and get accommodations with a kitchen. That can turn a $1000 dollar food budget for vacation in to a $300 food budget for vacation, making big changes in the number of trips that I can afford to take each year. Then I can go out to some of the slightly more expensive restaurants and enjoy myself, the top quality foods they serve, and not be panicked that I will run out of budget for my other meals.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sliced Celery
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 cups sliced Papaya (fresh)
  • 1 large sliced Avocado

I love eggs. They’re a great source of quality cholesterol, valuable fats, and some great protein. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals that come with them. The eggs in Colombia were amazing! They had the most incredible orange coloring, like I wrote about in my “Are All Eggs Created Equal?” post a few months ago, indicating a very high quality egg. The extra orange coloring, as opposed to the dull-yellow that we see here in the US, indicates that the chickens were fed their natural diet of bugs, grubs, grass and seeds from foraging in a farm yard. A very nutritious diet for a chicken, and the diet necessary to produce the top quality eggs that have the bright orange colored yolk.

The fruits of Colombia are incredible! Walking down the fruit isles in Colombia is an eye-opening experience. Most of the street vendors have more varieties of fruits available than the best grocery stores here in the US. And the grocery stores in Colombia had several isles, filled with fruits which I had never seen before. I never even imagined the kinds of variety, and freshness, that the fruits could have! It was absolutely amazing!
I did a little of “try something new” and I worked a bit with the old stand by foods as well. I ate quite a bit of Avocado. And while that’s nothing new for me, it is most definitely a local food, and much more fresh and delicious there than I have had here. Similarly, papaya is a familiar food for me, but it was so fresh I thought it had been picked off a tree outside the store when I bought it. I brought it home and opened it up immediately.

I’ll do a post on the fruits of Colombia tomorrow. But for today, enjoy my breakfast!

Questions:

  • What are your favorite breakfast foods?
  • What are your most frequent breakfast foods?
  • What breakfast foods do you look for, make, or prefer when you’re traveling?

What’s For Breakfast? – Sweet Salad


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I have a sweet tooth. Big time. Giving up my sweets was one of the biggest and most difficult hurdles for me when I went Paleo. I haven’t looked back, even for an instant, and the health benefits of cutting the sugars out of my diet have been undeniably amazing, not to mention that I am no longer ruled by my cravings… But every once in a while I like to be indulgent. I indulge in avocado, grass-fed stewed short ribs… There’s no reason I can’t occasionally have an amazing “sweet salad” to pick me up in the morning, right? So this morning I took a little extra time putting together my salad, and made it a “Sweet Salad”. Not in the traditional sense – it wasn’t sugar laden. It was a special combination of ingredients, all of which are fantastically good for you, designed to give the satisfaction of having had a sweet indulgence, without the guilt!

How I did it, and what you’ll need:

  • Salad Greens (I used a spring mix)
  • White Button Mushrooms, chopped
  • Baked Maduros, chopped (baked with coconut oil)
  • Carrot, sliced
  • Zucchini, chopped
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Honey Smoked Turkey, chopped
  • Hazelnut Oil

Baked Maduros:¬†These need to be done ahead of time. My wife and I love eating these as a desert on some nights, or as a side to our steak meals. You’ve seen these show up fairly regularly on my blog, because they’re delicious! So here’s how you make these: pre-heat the oven to 325. While the oven is heating up, slice the Ripe Plantains¬†in to long thin slices (no more than 1/2 inch thick; and at least 2.5 inches in length, longer is better). Lightly oil a baking pan with coconut oil. Maduros will absorb the oil while baking, so you may need to add some more coconut oil later too – you’ll have to pay attention for that. Place the sliced plantains in the baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.

At 15 minutes, flip them over with tongs (they can get sticky!), add more oil, if necessary, and put them back in for another 10 minutes. Once these are done (lightly browned on each side), take them out of the oven and let them cool before serving (or storing them, in this case). They’re best served a little warm, and they keep really well for meals later in the week.

It’s a salad, so the short version of the directions is this: chop all the ingredients, combine them, and toss them. Ok, that’s done. Now let’s talk about how I did it! As above: chop up the salad greens, carrot, zucchini, baked maduros, and avocado and mix them in a bowl. On top of this, add the chopped mushrooms, then drizzle the hazelnut oil over the mushrooms. I’ve come to appreciate that the oil gets absorbed by the mushrooms, and the mushrooms, since their natural flavor is so mild and complimentary anyway, end up tasting like the oil. With hazelnut oil, that can be a very “sweet” tasting flavor! Last, add the turkey, and mix again. Et Voila! You have your very own “Sweet Salad” for breakfast!

Additional or alternate ingredients: If you have it, you could add some dried fruit to the meal. A dried apple or mango would likely support the flavor of the meal nicely! Similarly, a specialty vinegar, like a raspberry vinegar, could really make this amazing. Finally: if you have the time, you can add the carrots to the baking pan and bake the carrots with the maduros – the end result will be that much more sweet and savory! Lastly, I would warn against adding any actual hazelnuts – they’re not very “sweet” like the hazelnut oil, and will interfere with the flavor profile of the meal.

Eggs Over Hard


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Eggs Over Hard (Serves 2)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 Eggs (Sustainable Farming Eggs, if possible; otherwise Free Range)
  • 1 lb Bacon
  • 1 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Mushroom (Best with Crimini / Baby Bella)

Cook the bacon first. This is a fairly simple step – but I like to modify a couple of details to maintain the flavor, and texture, that I like the best. I do the following 3 steps when it comes to bacon: First, I am careful which bacon I use. Second, I like to cook it a little bit slower than most people, with a lid on the pan. I find that this keeps the bacon more on the chewy side, the way I like it, while still cooking it thoroughly. And third: I always try to re-use the bacon fat while it’s fresh. This is why I like to cook the bacon first. While the bacon is cooking, get the eggs ready, and chop the celery and mushrooms. This won’t take long, so go ahead and get them ready.

An aside on bacon: There are lots of different kinds of bacon out there, and it’s such a delightful portion of any meal that I like to take care in which brand, and flavor, I choose. For more information on bacon, including suggestions, take a look at my “Projects” page, where I am in the process of constantly evaluating which bacon brands are available, and which I like the most. For the purposes of this post, just keep in mind that the bacon you choose will have an affect on the dish.

CrackedandSpicedAs soon as the bacon is done, add the eggs to the already hot pan. Eggs over hard is my favorite way to eat eggs. Strangely, I only rarely see it served, few people order it or have even heard of it, and most commercial chefs don’t do it right. So, here is how to do Eggs Over Hard, the right way. Crack the egg in to the pan, like you would for Sunny Side Up, or Eggs Over Easy. Let this cook for a few moments, until the runny egg white is fully cooked through. I like to add a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper right on top of the egg, while the white is cooking through.

OverHardOnce the white has cooked through, tilt the pan, letting the yolk slide toward one side of the now-cooked egg white. With your spatula, lift up the far side of the egg white, and flip it over the top of the yolk. This will enclose the yolk in the white, keeping the heat inside the egg, and baking the yolk. Let this cook for a minute or two, and then flip it to cook the other side. I like to cook this on medium heat, and it takes me about 2 minutes per side to get it cooked the way I like it.

Just before the eggs are done, turn the heat up to high. I would do this for about 20 seconds, then take the eggs out, and put the mushrooms and celery in. Cook these on high for about a minute, then serve and enjoy!

For more Urban Paleo Chef recipes, and meal ideas, be sure to check back regularly! If you have questions, “Classic” recipes that you would like to see done Paleo, or if this was just as good as you had hoped, please post in the comments section.