Guilt-Free Bacon? OH YES!

Back when I ate animal foods, I never ate pork – except on rare occasions if it was in the form of a BLT.  Bacon alone grossed me out but on that sandwich…yum!  How silly is that?  Reminds me of the mentality I had towards chicken – I could eat a boneless chicken breast no problem, but give me chicken on the bone and forget it!  It’s amazing what we can talk ourselves into, or out of, in order to ease our conscience.  Anyway, when I discovered tempeh bacon I was so excited to be able to eat BLT’s again, and more than occasionally since it’s not unhealthy! There are several varieties of ‘fake bacon’ out there, but the majority of them are highly processed and not what I’d call healthy (with the exception of Fakin Bacon by Lightlife, which is made from tempeh).

In case you aren’t familiar with tempeh, it is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans and usually a grain into a cake form.  It has a high content of fiber, protein and vitamins and a unique, earthy flavor with a very firm texture.  I recommend steaming the tempeh prior to cooking to remove some of the bitterness, as well as to help it absorb flavors of marinades, etc.

In a pinch I will buy Fakin Bacon, however it’s about double the cost of making it myself from plain tempeh.  If I do use the pre-made bacon, I never cook it according to the package instructions as it calls for frying in oil.  See recipe below for details.

Chipotle Spiced Baked Beans and Kale

I’ve been sitting here racking my brain trying to think of what to write for my first blog post. I mean, let’s face it, bloggers are a dime a dozen these days.  Actually, I don’t even want to refer to myself as a blogger.  I blog.  Occasionally.  Posting recipes is the main goal here but I also want to share thoughts, tips, articles, and anything else I think you may find even the slightest bit interesting, as it relates to food and health (I won’t be sharing sad stories of my dog who’s lost her mind, how much I love my kid, my favorite TV shows or my thoughts on politics – no way, definitely not going there!)  Some blog posts go on for what seems like days, resembling a journal or diary, with every thought in the author’s head no longer a mystery.  I don’t want to replicate that here. I also don’t want to hammer you with posts 8 days a week.   I know the marketing gurus would say it’s important to really put yourself out there, but who cares. Less is more, that’s how I see it.  Bottom line is this:  I love food, and what I know healthy food does for the body (from first-hand experience, as well as what is clearly shown in the scientific literature).  Hopefully I can impart some of my passion and knowledge on to you!  Following is one of my favorite recipes.  Enjoy!

NOTE: Some brands of chipotle in adobo sauce contain a little wheat flour.  Make sure to check the label.  If you are on a strict gluten-free diet, use chipotle powder or chipotle hot sauce instead to make it officially gluten-free.