Fully Loaded Guacamole

Fully Loaded Guacamole

A few months ago I took a trip to Chicago. I'm usually a mountain girl, but there is one good thing about big cities: the food! We managed to eat at lot of good food over the course of two days, but the stand-out meal of the trip was happy hour at Xoco. Sort of like the little sister restaurant of Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill, Xoco is a quick serve hot spot that serves contemporary Mexican dishes. 

About 20% of the menu is dedicated to chocolate so of course I felt at home! 😉Actually, I didn't try any of the chocolatey items, though I would if I went back. Instead, I got the Ginger Pear Mezcal Margarita 😍and a bowl of "Fully Dressed" Guacamole. 

Fully Loaded Guacamole

That trip was over 2 months ago and I'm still thinking about it, so clearly, it was a game changer. I came home, and started loading up my guac with all sorts of treats, inspired by that meal.

So what all goes in this bowl? Well, guac. But don't stop there! Pile on fresh tomatoes, cilantro, toasted pepitas, crispy bacon, basically WHATEVER YOU WANT. Cheese fan? Don't hold back, add that too. 

Some other ideas for toppings: roasted corn, black beans, fresh pineapple, pork rinds (they did those at Xoco and it was delish), roasted red pepper, fresh jalapeño, minced red onion….. the list literally could go on and on and on.

This weekend, when you're sitting there thinking, What should I bring to the neighbor's Super Bowl watching party? You'll have your answer. Just grab some avocados, break out the bag of chips, and let your creativity go wild. Make a big BIG bowl of this fully loaded guacamole. 

Fully Loaded Guacamole
Fully Loaded Guacamole

Paleo? There are still so many ways to enjoy guac: plantain chips, pork rinds, cucumber slices, and carrot sticks, toastones, burrito bowls, oh my!

Fully Loaded Guacamole

Published February 2, 2016 by
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Yield: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes


For the guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced red onion, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, based on preferences
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of cayenne (skip this if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • Toppings:
  • 1 tomato, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 slices bacon, fully cooked and chopped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Additional ideas: roasted corn, black beans, jalapeño, queso fresca, roasted red pepper, lime wedges, diced pineapple or apple, minced red onion
  • To serve: tortilla chips, plantain chips, veggie sticks

  • Directions:

    1. Combine ingredients for guacamole in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Scoop into serving bowl.
    2. Top with toppings of choice, including tomato, bacon crumbles, cilantro, pepitas, roasted corn, black beans, etc.
    3. Garnish with lime wedges and serve with chips or veggie sticks.


    Brussels Sprouts, Apple & Bacon Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

    My brain? Fried. The last two weeks have been a power-haul of finals and end of the year projects. But after finishing two tests on Wednesday, I could instantly breath better, sleep better and think clearer. (Funny how that works--I wish the clear thinking came along with the tests instead of after it, but there's just something about looming tests that make me want to hold my breath until it's over... and holding my breath really doesn't do much for brain function). 

    Going to the monthly Paleo Potluck Club dinner last Sunday was a bright spot between study sessions last weekend. The feast was exactly what my brain needed. This brussels sprout salad, with it's absurdly long name, was a winner: fresh crunch from the shredded brussels sprouts, a sweet kick from the apples, and a savory-salty bonus from bacon pieces. Pepitas give it a nutty crunch. 

    I ended up recreating the salad twice during the week. It's variety of flavor and textures are just delicious! And while salad usually feels meh in the winter, this salad feels just right.

    If you're new to salad with brussels sprouts you're probably having a lot of doubts right now. I don't blame you. To be honest, I tasted my first brussels sprout less than 3 years ago (though I can't remember when...), so I'm no sprout veteran. What I can tell you, is that if you're a brussels sprout newbie, this salad is not a bad place to start. (Come on, it has bacon in it!) And, if you are an brussels sprout veteran, add this one to your arsenal--it will not fail you. 

    Brussels Sprouts, Apple, & Bacon Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

    Brussels Sprout, Apple, & Bacon Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

    Published November 22, 2014 by
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    Serves: 2-4   |    Total Time: 30 minutes


    • 3 cups shredded brussels sprouts, cut them with the mandolin attachment of your food processor or thinly with a knife 
    • 1 cup shredded dino kale 
    • 2 slices bacon
    • 1/4 yellow onion 
    • 1 gala apple, cored and diced (optional, save 1/4 of the apple and slice thinly to use as garnish)
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds 

    • For the Vinaigrette:
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


    1. Heat medium sized skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy. Move to a plate, and once cool, crumble into small pieces. Then, slice onion into thin strips and sauté in bacon grease until golden. Set aside to cool.
    2. Place shredded brussels sprouts and shredded dino kale in a salad bowl and toss until distributed.
    3. Make vinaigrette in a small jar: place all ingredients for vinaigrette in a jar with a lid, and close. Shake until combined. Pour over greens, and toss until coated.
    4. Add crumbled bacon, cooled onions, diced apple, and pumpkin seeds and toss. If desired, top with reserved apple slices for garnish.


    Paleo Pear and Bacon Pancakes

    Fact of the day number one: Mornings that start with pancakes are always good. 

    Fact of the day number two: Paleo pancakes are really hard to flip. 

    Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about, because if you've tried just once to make paleo pancakes, you've experienced the helpless struggle of paleo pancake flipping. And after trying to flip your own pancakes, you (like me), may have come to the conclusion that all of those glorious "paleo pancake" images on Pinterest are faked. Or done by magicians. One of the two. Because flipping paleo pancakes takes magic. (Seriously). 

    Case in point: my best flipping experience to date (below). Pancake one, in the upper left, is folded over on itself. Trying to fix it only made it worse, so I decided to stop while I was only slightly behind. Pancake two, on the right, ripped right in half during it's flip, something that I tried to mend with some batter and extra skillet time. Take note of that big battery seem through the middle. Pancake three, the baby, somehow miraculously flipped just the way it should have! Of course, it was only about 2 inches across, a drip in the pan from the last remaining batter. Still, I was psyched. My best paleo pancake yet!! I literally shoveled this pancake onto a spatula, ran to Oliver in the next room, and showed off it's perfect flip as if it was an award-winning show dog. See, it's round, flat, and all it one piece! Best in class without a doubt.

    Psst! Check out our new Le Creuset. This baby really helped with the flipping. (Thanks Oliver!) 

    Fact of the day number three: Pancake breakfasts are delicious even if the pancakes are ugly. (Unless we're talking about extraordinarily burnt pancakes, bad batter, and pancakes dropped in dirt).

    These pancakes? They're bejeweled with a slice of sweet Seckel Pear, and studded with bacon. Yes, the bacon is in the pancake. Sweet and salty pancake bliss. A dab of butter, a drizzle of organic honey. This is how I pancake.

    Paleo Pear and Bacon Pancakes

    4 slices bacon 

    1 seckel pear

    1 banana

    2 eggs

    2 tablespoons coconut flour

    2 tablespoons milk of choice (canned full-fat coconut works well, I have also used almond milk, kefir, and cow's milk)

    Option: butter and syrup or honey for serving


    1. Lay the bacon in a single layer in a large skillet or on a griddle, and cooker over low heat, turning over once it begins to curl, and finally removing from the pan once it's crispy (set aside for later use). Pour all but 2 tablespoons of grease out of the pan and discard (the remaining 2 tablespoons are perfect for cooking your pancakes in.

    2.  Mix the batter: combine the banana, coconut flour, eggs, and milk in a blender, pulsing until smooth. Roughly chop the bacon, and stir it into the batter.

    3. Slice the pear into 1/2 centimeter vertical slices, removing the stem and seeds.

    4. Using the same skillet you cooked the bacon in, cook the pancakes over low heat: Lay 4 of the slices in the skillet, and pour enough batter over each pear slice so that it covers the pear and spreads about 1 inch beyond. You may need to use a fork to distribute the bacon chunks evenly through out the pancake. Cook on one side until bubbles are visible on the top of each pancake, and then carefully (very carefully) use a good spatula to flip each pancake. Cook until golden on the bottom. Remove from pan, and repeat this process until all of the batter and pear slices are used. Serve warm with butter and syrup/honey.