Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

It’s the veggie side/breakfast entree you never knew you were missing. But you absolutely have been.

Because you can start out your day with far worse breakfasts – my personal favorite, after all, is kolache and a diet coke – but to squeeze in two servings of leafy green veggies, some protein, and a slice of bacon? That’s tough to beat on the pretty-nutritionally-amazing-and-still-delicious scale.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

I owe the creation of this sauteed kale and spinach dish to my friend Kelly. She introduced me to a steam-in-bag kale that includes 2 large medallions of “balsamic bacon butter.” (You can probably find the same stuff in the refrigerated section of your produce department.) It’s pretty good stuff.

But since I’m currently EightSevenPercenting a Whole30, I wanted to make a cleaner at-home version without the butter and with more pronounced balsamic and bacon components.

The dish contains a lot of strong flavors: kale and spinach (although milder in “baby” form), balsamic vinegar, garlic, and bacon. Together they, of course, are wonderful – and that’s what makes them so ideal for breakfast. Because the richness of two runny egg yolks can really tame a bowl of cooked greens.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic


[Shoe box-sized container of baby kale and baby spinach, Enter Stage Right]

You start with a mountain of leafy greens – the kind you of mountain that have to cook in your big pasta pot because soooo many leaves. 10 minutes later, you end up with barely 3 cups of sauteed greens.

That’s 1 serving of vegetables per 1/2 cup of cooked greens. I typically eat a double serving because 1) that’s 2 servings of veggies out of the 7-10 I am aiming to eat per day and 2) this stuff is really good.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

Sauteed baby kale and spinach with balsamic vinegar and crispy bacon.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (optional, see recipe below)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz clamshell of baby kale and baby spinach
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large "pasta pot," crisp 3 slices of bacon on medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan but leave 1 Tbsp of bacon grease behind. (Alternately: crisp the bacon, discard all of the bacon grease, and heat 1 Tbsp olive oil.)
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, stirring to coat.
  4. Add the entire container of greens and cover.
  5. Let the greens wilt for 1-2 minutes, add a pinch of salt, and stir.
  6. Continue to cook covered, stirring every 1-2 minutes until the greens have cooked down and have lost their "fresh leaf" look.
  7. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir, cooking uncovered until nearly all of the standing liquid is gone.
  8. If serving immediately, crumble bacon over top. If you are planning to have leftovers, split the crumbled bacon accordingly and store the rest separately from the greens so it doesn't get soggy.

Notes

Yields: 5 (1/2-cup) servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

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Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

The absence of crunchy food is probably one of the hardest things to “get over” while I am eating clean/Whole30. All the amazing foods are crunchy: potato chips, crackers, tortilla chips, every other chip out there.

Maybe it’s just chips that I miss? Because really, there’s no substitute.

And I recommend immediately reevaluating your relationship with anyone who tells you that dipping baby carrots or celery in guacamole is “just as good.” Because they are straight-up lying. And they clearly have something against guacamole. Or you.

Maybe both.

Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

I mean, fajita night is one of my favorite meals of the week. And I’m already voluntarily passing on the margaritas and the tortillas… but carrots in my guacamole? No.

Just no.

My last Whole30, I discovered how to make sweet potato chips in the microwave. It’s easy and the chips are crispy and delicious. And honestly? It really saves fajita night.

Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

You will need a mandoline to get slices thin enough that will crisp – I had a gift card and sprang (sprung?) for this one after my years-old $15 Target version broke.

Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

So let’s talk how you make crispy sweet potato chips in the microwave:
1. Thiiiiinly slice sweet potatoes.
2. Spread on parchment paper with olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Might I also recommend a sprinkling of chipotle chile powder? Because YUM.)
3. Microwave ’til crispy.
4. Eat with guacamole and save fajita night. And your sanity. And possibly the lives of those around you when you’re 5 days deep into sugar withdrawals.

Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

Thin & crispy sweet potato chips made in the microwave.

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes*
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • *Look for sweet potatoes that are as uniformly thick as you can find. The chips will be ~the same size and will cook evenly.

Instructions

  1. Take a piece of parchment paper ~the size of your microwave turntable plate and fold/trim as necessary so that the paper rotates freely while the microwave is running - you don't want the paper to get caught and crumple. it will take your potatoes with it.
  2. Using a mandoline on the thinnest setting, slice the sweet potato.
  3. Lightly spray the parchment with olive oil, and, working in batches, spread the sweet potato slices in a single layer.
  4. Lightly spray again with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Microwave for 4:00 on Power Level 9 (for much smaller rounds, this is likely all you'll need; rounds that start out 2.5 inches usually need 5.5-6 minutes in my microwave) and check for crispness.
  6. Some trial and error will be involved. Continue cooking in 30-45 second intervals on Power Level 9 until crispness is achieved - they will actually get crispier as they cool so if you're on the fence, pull one out of the microwave for ~15 seconds and then eat it. If your potatoes start to develop a darker/grayish concentric ring, stop them - you don't want to cook for much longer because they will scorch. And that is no bueno.
  7. Enjoy your crispy sweet potato chips immensely with guacamole!
  8. Leftovers are okay but they lose their snap and are never as good as first-run chips - so make them the day you want to eat them.

Notes

Yields: Servings vary

Batter barely adapted from Cooking Light

Estimated time: 10 minutes

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Garlic & Orange Roasted Green Beans

Drizzle, shake, bake, and eat.

To say we eat a lot of green beans around here is a pretty big understatement. I grow them in the garden because nothing makes you feel like you know what you’re doing in the garden than a dozen prolific green bean plants.

When it’s not warm enough to garden, I buy 2-3 bags frozen each week… and when fresh ones are available, I like to go that route. Because fresh green beans roast beautifully – and easily – drizzled with orange and garlic.

Make them in bulk and just reheat through the week. Assuming they last that long – straight-from-the-pan roasted green beans are pretty amazing.

Get the recipe here!

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