The real reason we went to Tennessee

Howdy y’all

One 13 hour car ride and a couple of scary drives up and down a mountain later, my husband tells me why he planned this trip to Tennessee. It was for breakfast.

Breakfast!

On my list of favorite meals of the day, breakfast has to be my least favorite. I’m allergic to egg whites so they’ve always made my stomach hurt after indulging in a delicious eggs Benedict or gooey egg sandwich and what’s breakfast without eggs.

The trip was actually to eat at one particular restaurant, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp

One restaurant… 13 hour drive… cabin in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal or wi-fi… well water showers… this place had better be the best breakfast I had ever eaten in my life.

They had all your usual breakfast items, bacon, omelets, waffles, Oj. Nothing seemed too extraordinary. I ordered the country fried steak which came with hash browns, two eggs over easy, grits, a biscuit with gravy, and an Aretha Frankenstein pancake. Whatever that was.

My meal came to the table shortly in a cast iron pan. It looked and smelled amazing and I was ready to dig in. Then came the pancake. I wasn’t really sure if the item I was ogling was actually a pancake because it looked more like the texture of a regular slice. It was fluffy but grainy. Not at all like a traditional pancake should have been. I happily ate my skillet of deliciousness, not yet embarking on my pancake endeavor. Then I was ready. I like more savory than sweet meals so I was expecting to have just one bite of this pancake and move on.

NOPE 

Every idea I had of what a pancake should be was thrown out the window (and rolled down the mountain we were on). It was like cornbread and a pancake had a baby and it was this heavenly, thick, savory-sweet, dessert that was deserving of all the awards that a breakfast item can get.

It was like I had been deprived my whole life of what a real breakfast could be like and now here I was, sitting on top of a mountain eating a pancake. Two things I never thought would happen at the same time. This was by far my favorite part of the trip. Is that ok? I think so.

Stay hungry my friends

Garlicky Roasted Tomato Soup

Its been awfully chilly here in south Florida this week. 65 degrees is boot weather here. Everyone breaks out their winter clothes that they have vacuum sealed in a closet for the one week a year it gets kinda cold. I’ve seen lots of thigh high boots, big puffy sweaters, and even a couple of ear muffs at the bar this week. All of us warm blooded South Floridians trying to maintain our regular internal temperature of 100 degrees fahrenheit.

My favorite way to stay warm is with soup. Edward doesn’t understand the concept. He says its something like eating soggy food from a bowl of hot liquid. Which it actually is, but he has a weird thing about food textures so soup is out of the game for him. This means I have all the soups to myself.

Tomato soup is best served with a grilled cheese sandwich. Since I haven’t been able to find a soy free/coconut oil free sliced “cheese” product, please feel free to have one for me. With bacon. And a tomato. Nom nom nom.

Recipe disclaimer before you start reading the ingredients: YES that is how much garlic I used and they are regular sized garlic cloves. If you’re going to use elephant garlic obviously you’re going to use less (or more!) depending on how much garlic you like. In my opinion recipes are here as a guideline and you should modify them more to your liking if you so choose. BUT the chunky garlic really gives this soup the best texture and flavor.

Ingredients 
16 vine ripened tomatoes, cut in half
1 large onion, cut in half
1 whole head of garlic, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
Olive oil
salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, parsley (all the herbs are dried, not fresh)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree
  2. Cut all the tomatoes in half and arrange on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
  3. Drizzle olive oil on tomatoes and pop in the oven for one hour
  4. Once the tomatoes have baked for an hour, set the oven to broil for 15 minutes while keeping an eye on them so make sure they don’t over char. The point is to get a nice black crisp on top of most of the tomatoes.
  5. Remove from oven once crispy
  6. Cut the onion in half and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes on broil just to get it soft and warm
  7. Once the tomatoes have cooled a bit, add them with the onion to a blender and blend until smooth
  8. In a large pot you’re going to sauté the chopped garlic with olive oil on medium heat making sure not to over cook them but to get them nice and brown.
  9. Add veggie stock to the pot with the garlic to warm
  10. Combine tomato puree with the liquid in the pot
  11. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and parsley and let simmer for 30 minutes so all the flavors can meld.

Yield: about 8 cups

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Oh man, do I love veggies.

Especially wrapped in anything crispy.

Heres an easy way to step up your asparagus game while creating perfect portions.

 

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Ingredients
– One bunch of organic asparagus (about 25 spears)
– 7 slices of prosciutto (usually one package)
– 2 Tbs Tessemae’s organic balsamic vinaigrette
– salt and pepper to taste

  1.  Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Clean and trim asparagus spears. I just bend them at the bottom slightly until they naturally break apart. It’s about 1-2 inches from the bottom.
  3. In a bowl season asparagus with salt and pepper and mix with balsamic vinaigrette.
  4. Once totally coated wrap 4-5 spears with one slice of prosciutto
  5. Bake on a sheet pan uncovered for 8-12 minutes until asparagus is bright green and prosciutto is crispy
  6. Serve immediately

 

Notes: I generally use sauces that don’t have any refined sugars because I’m generally paleo, that’s why I use Tessemae’s brand. Feel free to use regular balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead if thats what you have on hand. I also like using prosciuto instead of bacon because it stays wrapped better and most bacons contain chemicals, sugars, and fats I dont care to eat. Saying that, you could totally use bacon instead but I think this is a fancier and healthier recipe.

 

Dairy free mashed potatoes

Lets talk potatoes!

If there is one food that absolutely makes me happy it has to be the potato. Mashed, whipped, fried, diced, sautéed, and all the other ones i can’t think of. To me no holiday is complete without a potato. Since going dairy free I’ve been worried about missing out on all the delicious potato options. My usual mashed potato recipe includes sour cream, butter, and cream cheese. All things i can no longer eat without a swift trip to the restroom (#oversharing). So I’ve been on a mission to find substitutes for all the things i love.

As I’ve been exploring dairy free cheese options I’ve discovered a brand that has completely satisfied my craving for creamy goodness. Kite Hill has saved me from giving in to regular cream cheese and consequently ending up with a stomach ache. I eat it with gluten free crackers and pretzels, and now in my mashed potatoes.

Simple dairy free mashed potatoes

Ingredients
– 4 medium russet potatoes
– half a cup warm almond milk
– half a cup Kite Hill cream cheese style spread ( i like chive flavor)
– 1 Tbs magic mushroom powder
– Chives (as topping)

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender. About 20 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are boiling combine almond milk, spread, and mushroom powder and whisk until smooth
  3. Drain potatoes and mash in a large bowl
  4. Once mashed into smaller pieces whip with an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer) for super fluffy texture
  5. Slowly add almond milk mixture to whipped potatoes.
  6. Top with delicious things like bacon and chives