Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

These sweet potato skins, stuffed with creamy sweet potato mash and cheese and bacon, were originally created as a hooray-it's-Friday, game-day, movie-watching snack, but I'll let you in on a secret: the leftovers make a damn delicious breakfast when reheated. But maybe that's just me. Either way, they DO make a fantastic over-the-top snack/appetizer/appetizer that you're calling dinner. 

It starts with sweet potatoes (bake 'em up!). The soft, sweet flesh gets mashed with sour cream, which makes them ULTRA creamy and flavorful.

Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins
Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

Toppings is where these sweet potato skins get their name -- and where it gets really delicious. First -- shredded Monterey Jack. Then, bacon pieces. I used Tender Belly Habanero Bacon which was SO good because it's just the right balance of sweet and spicy, but your favorite bacon will be perfect, no matter what it is. The potatoes go in the oven like that, just until the cheesy is extra gooey, and then get topped with fresh green onions (need a little bit of green in all of that orange! 😉), a dollop of fresh sour cream, a few slices of jalapeño (for extra zip!), and a dash of smoked paprika (which also adds nice color and flavor).

All that's left to do is eat! 

Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

Published January 22, 2019 by
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Serves: 12   |    Active Time: 1 hour



Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Several dashes of paprika, for garnish
  • Optional: 1 jalapeño, sliced for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick each sweet potato with a fork, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft all the way through. Allow sweet potatoes to cook 10-15 minutes, or until they are cool enough for you to handle.
    2. Slice each sweet potato in half. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of each potato half and into a bowl without breaking the skin of the potato (tip: leave about 1/4 inch of flesh attached to the skin, it helps keep everything together!).
    3. Mash sweet potato flesh with 1/3 cup sour cream, salt, and pepper until everything is incorporated (a few lumps are OK).
    4. Scoop mashed sweet potato into potato skins. Top with cheese and bacon bits. Place back in oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and just starting to bubble. Remove from oven, and top with green onions, a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of paprika, and if using, a slice or two of fresh jalapeño.
    5. Serve hot.
    Reheating leftovers: Leftovers can be reheated in a microwave (1-2 minutes, depending on microwave), toaster oven or oven (350° for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through)

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    Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

    Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

    These cauliflower wings are lightly coated on the outside (take your pick of almond flour or corn meal) to get them super crispy. Once they're golden and looking super scrumptious, they get blanketed in buffalo sauce, and cooked just a bit longer--enough to make them sizzle but still be super saucy. Extra sauce optional, but recommended. 

    While I'm not a vegetarian or vegan, I love seeing these meat-free "wings" on the table at an football viewing party. For one, it's always nice to have a side of veggies at parties to balance out the nachos and queso dip. (Nachos and queso dip are delicious OF COURSE, but I like some veggies, too, to avoid that, UGH why did I only eat cheese feeling later).

    I'd even serve these cauliflower wings next to a plate of these Chipotle BBQ Chicken Wings or Honey Sesame Chicken Wings. Variety is always welcome in this household. …And, so is cauliflower. 

    Something else about cauliflower wings? Since cauliflower is a pretty mellow vegetables, whatever sauce you use — in this case, buffalo sauce - SHINES. It’s the primary flavor, and is bold. Which, if you like wings, you’ll like.

    Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

    Wings are of course a typical game-watching food, but our household doesn't so much raise a finger for football... on the rare occasion we watch a game, it's because it's a good excuse to have friends over. But can I tell you something? I don't even know who is playing this weekend. Forgive me. 

    But hey, no one said you had to watch football to enjoy wings. I know we'll be watching the Olympics all next month, and that definitely warrants a good spread of snacks. 

    And even when there's nothing to watch, one doesn't have to look far to find a reason to make wings. Our house is the go-to house for hosting board game nights among friends, and cauliflower wings (or chicken wings) are really good game-playing food. Just have plenty of napkins on hand, otherwise your game pieces will end up sticky with sauce. 

    Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

    Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

    Published January 23, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 40 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 head of cauliflower
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4  teaspoon ground paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • Heaping 1/2 cup almond flour or corn meal

    • For the sauce: 
    • 1/2 cup Franks Buffalo Sauce
    • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
    • For serving: blue cheese dressing, extra Franks Buffalo Sauce, & minced cilantro for garnish 

    Directions:

    1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. (affiliate link!). Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Rinse the cauliflower, and then remove the leaves and stem, cutting the florets into bite-sized pieces.
    3. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the milk, coconut flour, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Add cauliflower to bowl, and use a spatula to turn the cauliflower in the batter until each piece is coated. Add the almond flour or corn meal to the bowl, and toss until each piece of cauliflower is coated.
    4. Spread cauliflower out on sheet pan, with space between each floret, and bake for 20-23 minutes. Cauliflower should be softened through but not yet browning.
    5. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the sauce: melt the coconut oil in a bowl, and then add the Franks buffalo sauce. Whisk until combined. (P.S., you can also use a pre-made sauce, like Wing Time Buffalo Sauce, or mix it up -- I often do half the batch in Trader Joe's Sriracha BBQ Sauce!)
    6. Working in batches, place 1/4 of the florets in the bowl with the sauce. Toss (or stir with a spatula) until the florets are coated in sauce, and then return cauliflower to the sheet pan. Repeat until all of the cauliflower is coated.
    7. Place cauliflower back in oven, and bake for 10 more minutes. (Optional: if you would like your cauliflower even browner on the edges, you can roast everything under the broiler for a few minutes -- watch closely to avoid burning!)
    8. Serve hot with a side of blue cheese dressing (or ranch if you prefer!), extra Franks hot sauce, and a sprinkle of minced cilantro.

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    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream

    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream

    It's rare I find myself cooking a "typical" American dish like wings. For some reason all of those typical dishes fall outside of my arsenal of recipe skills. Take mac and cheese--I have never, not even when I was at my height of pasta eating- made mac and cheese from scratch. (Saying that out load makes me want to make some, just for the hell of it). I do cook burgers occasionally, but there is always some twist, like Bacon Chipotle Burgers with Honeyed Jalapeños

    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream
    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream

    Making a stir fry, taco bowl, or curry feels more intuitive to me, but when the Super Bowl rolls around I feel this need to make something more classic. It is, after all, pretty much the only day of the year that I tune in to one of pop culture's most iconic events. Still... I can't help but flex some creative muscle and make an avocado cream sauce on the side, but since these wings themselves are sauced in a sticky and sweet chipotle barbeque sauce, it feels miles away from anything ethnic.  

    Even though this recipe sits outside of my typical comfort zone, I'm crazy for it. And who wouldn't be? These wings are the type of wings that require plenty of napkins because their sticky sauce is destined to cover your fingers. I learned quickly that quadrupling the recipe would be wise: a dozen wings is never enough (for two, or for a group). 

    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream
    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream

    Chipotle BBQ Wings with Avocado Cream

    Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

    Chipotle gives the BBQ for these wings a bit of a kick, while avocado cream cools it down.

    Yields: 12   |    Total Active Time:



    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup barbeque sauce (I used Stubb's Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce)
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/3 cup chipotles in adobo (canned)
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    • A dozen chicken wings
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    • For the Avocado Cream Sauce:
    • 1 avocado
    • 1/4 cup milk of choice
    • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (loose, not packed)
    • Juice of 1 lime

    Directions:

    1. Prep the wings: use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from wings, and place in a bowl.
    2. Make the sauce: combine barbeque sauce, coconut oil, chipotles in adobo, cayenne (if you like things really spicy, you can add more cayenne), and salt in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour half of the sauce over the wings, and allow to marinate for 8-24 hours, in the fridge, covered.
    3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450°F. Remove wings from bowl and discard extra sauce. Place a wire cooling wrack on top of a baking sheet, and place wings on wire wrack, with about 1 inch between each wing. Place in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until internal wing temperature reaches 165°F and skin is crispy on the outside.
    4. Using tongs, place wings in a mixing bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup of sauce over top, and toss to coat. Add more sauce as desired.
    5. To make avocado cream sauce: Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
    6. Serve wings on a platter along side bowl of cream sauce. Optional: garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

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