The Best Paleo Pizza Ever: Brussel Sprouts, Caramelized Onion & Bacon Meatza

Well, the Paleo Challenge is now over and tonight we have a party, but for some reason I don’t have the desire to go all out. I do miss red wine, stevia & dark chocolate on a regular basis, but I have no desire for gross unhealthy food. However, the other day I went with some friends to the new Pitfire Pizza in our neighborhood. One of them ordered one of the seasonal specials: a Brussel sprouts and bacon pizza.

pitfire pizza season menu winter 2013It looked AMAZING, but even with the gluten-free crust and no cheese, I had to resist since it wasn’t strict “paleo.” I’ve been craving that pizza ever since and so I decided to attempt to make a meatza version.

For those who don’t know what a meatza is it’s a paleo version of a pizza using meat as the crust vs. bread. A lot of people make paleo pizzas with almond or coconut flour crusts, but I prefer all meat! The Mr. loves my meatzas (that sounded funny), but this version was the BEST EVER, so I had to share. Usually, I make a thick “crust” (aka lots of meat) in a rectangular baking dish, but this time I decided on 2 individual meatzas. Enjoy (just like our tastebuds did)!!!

Brussel Sprouts, Caramelized Onion & Bacon Meatza

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The Best Meatza EVER: Brussel Sprouts, Caramelized Onion & Bacon
 
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Recipe type: Pizza
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Meatza Crust
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
Toppings
  • 4 strips of thick cut bacon (nitrate-free)
  • ½ lb brussel sprouts, trimmed & quartered (about 10-12 bulbs)
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup pizza sauce (I love using Rao's Homemade Pizza Sauce)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix the ground beef and spices together. Tip: I use my hands to really make sure the spices are properly blended into the meat.
  3. Divide the meat in half and press evenly into the bottom of 2 separate 9-inch round non-stick pie pans (or in 1 rectangular baking dish for non-individual meatzas)
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until meat is cooked and edges are brown
  5. While the meat is in the oven start the toppings
  6. Cook the bacon in a pan on the stove until crispy
  7. Transfer to plate to cool & cut into lardons
  8. In the same pan, caramelize onions & saute Brussel sprouts in the bacon grease
  9. Once the meat crust is done, remove from oven and allow to cool (leave oven on)
  10. Cover a 11"x17" (or large) baking sheet with foil and transfer the meat crusts onto the sheet. Tip: Drain the liquid and pat dry the meat before transferring. Too much moisture makes the crust soggy when it's done.
  11. Spread on the pizza sauce & add the toppings
  12. Place baking sheet with the 2 meatzas back in the oven and cook for 10-12 mins (until browned)
Notes
There are a lot of other toppings & variations, but this has been my favorite. If you like garlic, add in some roasted garlic slices on top to add flavor! If you can tolerate lactose (unlike me) then add on some fresh mozzarella slices too.

Right before it went back in the oven

brussel sprout & bacon meatzaAfter it came out of the oven

IMG_1615 I love additional sauce so I like to add on a little more after

IMG_1622This recipe is linked to the

Paleo Challenge Day 1: Mexican Taco Meat & 3 Different Dishes

I love Mexican food. Before paleo, if someone asked me “what is the one food that you could eat everyday for the rest of your life?” I would say “a burrito.” Sadly, once you take out the tortilla, beans, rice and cheese to make it paleo, well… it makes me sad. However, I have grown accustomed to making my own taco meat and have repurposed it multiple ways so I can get a little Mexican flavor in my life!

So for Day 1 of the Paleo Challenge I made a big batch of taco meat (2 lbs vs. the 1lb I write in the recipe) and used it for 3 different meals.  Usually 1 lb feeds the Mr. & I (he eats like 2/3 lbs and I’ll have 1/3 lbs), so I have to cook a lot at once if we want more than 1 meal.

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Mexican Taco Meat & Taco Spice Mix
 
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Delicious taco meat that you can repurpose for multiple meals
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
Taco Meat
  • 1lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • ½ can (3oz) organic tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs Taco Spice Mix (if you want to take a shortcut, buy the Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix - I only use ½ the packet, but I think it's too salty & spicy)
Taco Spice Mix (makes about 1oz)
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Taco Extras
  • Romaine lettuce (chopped for salad / whole for tacos)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Tomatos, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Egg (for breakfast)
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan
  2. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes (until clear)
  3. Add ground beef
  4. Add Taco Spice Mix
  5. Mix together and saute on high until beef is browned (~5 min)
  6. Reduce heat to medium and add in tomato paste
  7. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened, stir often
  8. Take off heat and serve!

 Paleo Mexican Taco Meat & 3 Different Dishes

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#1: Taco Salad

Chop up lettuce, layer on the beef and add toppings! The Mr. loves avocado & extra spice so he loads on chili sauce. I love pico (and little spice), so I layer that on the pico and guac!

mexican breakfast scramble #2: Taco Scramble

In a large saucepan, reheat up the beef (since it’ll probably be a leftover and cold), once it’s warm add in scrambled eggs and mix together. Place on a plate and add on pico, guac, or whatever toppings you want!

IMG_3254 #3: Lettuce Tacos

Yes, it is like a salad, but sometimes I don’t want a whole salad, so these easy tacos are a great quick lunch! I cheated and bought “Just the Leaves” from Trader Joe’s, which are giant romaine lettuce leaves. They’re perfect for lettuce wraps!

Cooking by Photos

Saute the onionsDSC_0786Add in the ground beefDSC_0790 Mix in the Taco SeasoningDSC_0792DSC_0793Let it simmer DSC_0795DSC_0797

Stephanie’s “Homemade” Spaghetti (Squash) & Meaty Bolognese

I’m Asian, so you might be thinking, “she can cook Italian?”  Well, I don’t make the “traditional” spaghetti sauce because to be honest, I don’t have 3 hours to create a 100% from scratch marinara sauce.  But, I do have to say if you have an hour this “modified beefed up” bolognese sauce is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

I originally learned how to make spaghetti sauce by using all the same ingredients below, but I would add in Prego and my secret ingredient: ketchup!  Since those are not paleo I tried omitting those and using Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce (from Whole Foods) because all the ingredients (Italian tomatoes, Italian olive oil, sweet onions, fresh basil, fresh garlic, crushed black pepper, salt and fresh oregano) are fresh & all-natural.  The result: OMG AMAZING!!!

paleo spaghetti squash bolognese

Stephanie's "Homemade" Spaghetti (Squash) & Meaty Bolognese
 
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My modified Paleo version of spaghetti and Bolognese.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Bolognese Sauce
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 or 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 2 hot Italian pork sausages (~1/3 lb), casing removed ~ preferably the fresh ones from Whole Foods
  • 1 bottle Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce (32oz) ~ buy at Whole Foods
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • coconut oil or bacon fat
Spaghetti "Noodles"
  • 1 spaghetti squash
Instructions
Spaghetti "Noodles"
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds & pulp (HInt: I used my Halloween pumpkin scraper and it worked like magic!)
  3. Place halves cut side down on the baking sheet
  4. Drizzle water around the squash
  5. Roast for 35-40 minutes (or until tender, but not mushy)
  6. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the sauce
  7. When the squash is finished, take out of oven, flip meat side up (with oven mitts because it's hot!) and let cool (~10min)
  8. Using a fork, scrap the inside starting from the sides toward the middle creating long spaghetti "noodles" and serve!
Bolognese Sauce
  1. In a large pot (preferably a cast iron pot) combine the ground beef, Italian sausage meat and water (to prevent burning)
  2. Break up all the pieces so the meat is crumbling (not stuck together like a patty!)
  3. Cook on high heat on the stove until meat is thoroughly cooked (~5-7 minutes)
  4. Drain meat in a strainer in the sink and set aside
  5. Reheat the pot and coat with some coconut oil or bacon fat
  6. Sautee the onions and garlic on high heat for 2 minutes then add in the cooked meat
  7. After more 2 minutes add in the tomatoes
  8. Sautee until the meat is browned and the onions are translucent
  9. Pour in the marinara sauce and tomato paste and mix until everything is coated in sauce. Lower the heat to medium.
  10. Add in the oregano, dried basil, thyme, salt and pepper and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  11. Taste and add in more spices if necessary
  12. Lower the heat to simmer / low and cook for about 25 more minutes, stirring occasionally (the longer it simmers, the more the flavors seep in. I always think the sauce tastes the best the next day!)
  13. When the sauce is done, serve on top of the spaghetti squash noodles, add some fresh basil and ENJOY!
Notes
If you like mushrooms, add in ½ cup of sliced mushrooms after the sauce has been simmering for about 10 minutes on low heat.

Cooking by Photos

Making the Spaghetti Squash “Noodles”

Making the Bolognese Sauce Paleo Spaghetti Squash & Meaty Bolognese

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