Tag Archives: bacon

Turkey Bacon

Fitting Bacon into Your Diet

Turkey bacon

From breakfast to burgers, maple doughnuts to bacon-wrapped just about anything…seems like there’s no shortage of opportunities to tantalize your taste buds with those savory, crispy, and greasy strips of BACON! But should you indulge? Will each bite of that chocolate-covered bacon effectively remove five years from your life expectancy? Is bacon a secret conspiracy to control the masses? Can bacon be enjoyed, like most any indulgence, in moderation (spoiler alert, it’s this one)?

Perhaps the biggest concern with bacon is the association between nitrite intake and cancer. Nitrites in cured meats like bacon, ham, pastrami, or hot dogs preserve flavor, give them an appealing pink color, and prevent bacterial growth. All good things. It gets complicated, however, when those nitrites are converted into nitrosamines, a potent carcinogen. Nitrosamines are formed when amines (part of protein) react with the nitrites used to cure the bacon. That reaction happens more readily at high heat (cue frying bacon sound). That’s why, of all the processed meats, bacon gets such a bad rap. Bacon is generally cooked at higher temperatures so often has higher levels of nitrosamines.

What about uncured bacons? You’ll see them on the shelves touting, “no nitrites added” or, “all natural.” Unfortunately they’re not the answer to our cured meat woes. Most of these products use celery powder. Celery is rich in nitrates (that’s nitrate with an A). To act as a preservative, however, the nitrates in the celery are converted to nitrites before being used to cure bacon. Nitrites from celery seem to form nitrosamines just as readily as sodium nitrite added to conventional bacons. There are truly nitrite-free bacons, however (read on for our recommendation). As for turkey bacon, we’ll be pitting the various bacon options in an epic cage match for breakfast domination on social media later this week.

What about USDA regulations? One glimmer of sunlight in the bleak nitrite storm engulfing bacon are the regulations imposed by the USDA, not only limiting the amount of nitrite that can be added to bacon but also requiring that certain curing methods more prone to nitrosamine formation also contain sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate (antioxidants shown to limit the formation of nitrosamines). Limit but not eliminate. And the effects may not apply to other carcinogenic byproducts of nitrites like notrosyl-haem. USDA regulations help, but they don’t completely eliminate the risk.

What’s to be done? Let’s put things in perspective. Eating two strips of bacon daily has been shown to increase the risk of gastrointestinal cancer by about eighteen percent. Cut that to two strips a week and your risk becomes much much smaller. Combine it with a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and your risk virtually disappears (studies have found those with low fruit and vegetable intake have the highest risk). You can also reduce the formation of nitrosamines by cooking your bacon at low temperatures (under 300° is ideal) for longer (may take up to twenty minutes on the stovetop for those crispy strips). Microwaving is also a good option that produces few nitrosamines and can speed up the cooking time to about five minutes.

Still worried about nitrites? Truly nitrite-free bacon is available in your butcher block. Try Daily’s natural bacon with no added sodium nitrite or celery powder. The bacon has a slightly grey cast but don’t let that scare you, it’s one of the most delicious bacons you’ll ever eat. Plus, the grey color is how you know it’s truly nitrite-free. You can also swap bacon for sausage (which are typically nitrite free) at some meals (vegetarian breakfast “meats” are also a great option with the added benefit of less fat and sodium).

Bacon crust pizza

Bacon Crust Pizza

Bacon crust pizza

What’s better than regular pizza? Pizza with a bacon crust. Celebrate National Bacon Day with this bacon weave crust pizza.

Ingredients:

10 oz. thick cut Buckley Farms bacon

1/4 cup Food Club® pizza sauce

1/2 cup Food Club® shredded mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup pepperoni

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and cover sheet pan in foil.

Lay 6 pieces of bacon side by side and weave 5 slices through to make a rectangular base.

Bake bacon for 15 minutes until crispy.

Remove from oven and layer sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Bake until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy!

Bacon gravy

Bacon Drippings

Though bacon is excellent on its own, we often forget about the extremely versatile drippings it leaves behind. Instead of discarding your bacon drippings, save them or use them immediately to enhance your favorite dishes. We have included our favorite ways to use bacon drippings below.

Instead of butter or oil, use bacon drippings to:

Grill grilled cheese

Saute veggies

Soften onions for a soup

Bake potatoes

Bake crackers

Gravy base

Flavored Bacon

How do you like your bacon?

Bacon is arguably the best addition to any meal. Dating back to 1500 BC, bacon is one of the world’s most enjoyed meats. With it’s salty and savory bite, it can be added to a variety of foods to enhance the flavor without having to add salt or drippings. Try adding bacon bits to your ground beef mix for the perfect burger, wrapping it around asparagus to mask the natural asparagus flavor, or add it into your carbonara for that perfect flavorful addition.

Try flavoring your bacon with:

Sesame seeds

Jalapenos

Maple Syrup

Red chili sauce

bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Bacon Weave BLT

Bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Time to celebrate national BLT month! Weave your way into deliciousness with this BLT sandwich… emphasis on the bacon! Be sure to shop our Weekly Ad to pick up the ingredients at a great price.

Click here for the recipe video.

Ingredients:

12 slices smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1½ teaspoons sriracha chili sauce

8 slices favorite bread, toasted

8 thick slices tomatoes

¼ teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

8 slices pepper Jack cheese

4 large lettuce leaves

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°; line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Assemble bacon into 4 bacon weaves on prepared pan (see step-by-step assembly how-to); bake 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.

In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, basil and chili sauce.

Evenly spread 4 slices of toast with Sriracha-Basil Mayo; evenly top with tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Evenly top with bacon weaves, cheese and lettuce; close sandwiches and cut in half.

How-to make a bacon weave:

You need 3 uncooked bacon slices cut crosswise in half for each bacon weave. Weave as shown in steps 1-4 below.

Bake in center of 400° preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Chef Tip:

Try this sandwich with Lemon-Thyme Mayonnaise by stirring together 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves.

Approximate nutritional values per serving: 633 Calories, 37g Fat (12g Saturated), 142mg Cholesterol, 1234mg Sodium, 55g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 19g Protein

bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Bacon Weave BLT

Bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Time to celebrate national BLT month! Weave your way into deliciousness with this BLT sandwich… emphasis on the bacon! Be sure to shop our Weekly Ad to pick up the ingredients at a great price.

Click here for the recipe video.

Ingredients:

12 slices smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1½ teaspoons sriracha chili sauce

8 slices favorite bread, toasted

8 thick slices tomatoes

¼ teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

8 slices pepper Jack cheese

4 large lettuce leaves

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°; line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Assemble bacon into 4 bacon weaves on prepared pan (see step-by-step assembly how-to); bake 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.

In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, basil and chili sauce.

Evenly spread 4 slices of toast with Sriracha-Basil Mayo; evenly top with tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Evenly top with bacon weaves, cheese and lettuce; close sandwiches and cut in half.

How-to make a bacon weave:

You need 3 uncooked bacon slices cut crosswise in half for each bacon weave. Weave as shown in steps 1-4 below.

Bake in center of 400° preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Chef Tip:

Try this sandwich with Lemon-Thyme Mayonnaise by stirring together 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves.

Approximate nutritional values per serving: 633 Calories, 37g Fat (12g Saturated), 142mg Cholesterol, 1234mg Sodium, 55g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 19g Protein

bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Bacon Weave BLT

Bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Time to celebrate national BLT month! Weave your way into deliciousness with this BLT sandwich… emphasis on the bacon! Be sure to shop our Weekly Ad to pick up the ingredients at a great price.

Click here for the recipe video.

Ingredients:

12 slices smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1½ teaspoons sriracha chili sauce

8 slices favorite bread, toasted

8 thick slices tomatoes

¼ teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

8 slices pepper Jack cheese

4 large lettuce leaves

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°; line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Assemble bacon into 4 bacon weaves on prepared pan (see step-by-step assembly how-to); bake 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.

In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, basil and chili sauce.

Evenly spread 4 slices of toast with Sriracha-Basil Mayo; evenly top with tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Evenly top with bacon weaves, cheese and lettuce; close sandwiches and cut in half.

How-to make a bacon weave:

You need 3 uncooked bacon slices cut crosswise in half for each bacon weave. Weave as shown in steps 1-4 below.

Bake in center of 400° preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Chef Tip:

Try this sandwich with Lemon-Thyme Mayonnaise by stirring together 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves.

Approximate nutritional values per serving: 633 Calories, 37g Fat (12g Saturated), 142mg Cholesterol, 1234mg Sodium, 55g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 19g Protein

bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Bacon Weave BLT

Bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich

Time to celebrate national BLT month! Weave your way into deliciousness with this BLT sandwich… emphasis on the bacon! Be sure to shop our Weekly Ad to pick up the ingredients at a great price.

Click here for the recipe video.

Ingredients:

12 slices smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1½ teaspoons sriracha chili sauce

8 slices favorite bread, toasted

8 thick slices tomatoes

¼ teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

8 slices pepper Jack cheese

4 large lettuce leaves

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°; line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Assemble bacon into 4 bacon weaves on prepared pan (see step-by-step assembly how-to); bake 20 minutes or until browned and crispy.

In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, basil and chili sauce.

Evenly spread 4 slices of toast with Sriracha-Basil Mayo; evenly top with tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Evenly top with bacon weaves, cheese and lettuce; close sandwiches and cut in half.

How-to make a bacon weave:

You need 3 uncooked bacon slices cut crosswise in half for each bacon weave. Weave as shown in steps 1-4 below.

Bake in center of 400° preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Chef Tip:

Try this sandwich with Lemon-Thyme Mayonnaise by stirring together 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves.

Approximate nutritional values per serving: 633 Calories, 37g Fat (12g Saturated), 142mg Cholesterol, 1234mg Sodium, 55g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 19g Protein

Bacon shaped into hearts

Bacon Hearts

Bacon shaped into hearts

We don’t go breakin’ hearts, we go bacon hearts! Add some TLC to this breakfast staple with these heart shaped bacon pieces. An easy and delicious way to show some love!

What you’ll need:

Bacon

Baking sheet

Toothpicks (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Choose a baking sheet with edges, or line it with aluminum foil to prevent the grease from leaking.

Cut your bacon slices into two halves. Use two of the cut pieces to shape them into a heart and place them on the baking sheet. If you prefer a thicker cut of bacon, fold the pieces in half long ways instead of cutting them and use those two pieces to shape a larger heart.

If you’re worried about them falling apart, use toothpicks to hold the pieces together as they cook.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or to your desired crispness.

Serve with love.

Macaroni and Cheese with jalapenos and bacon

Jalapeno and Bacon Loaded Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese with jalapenos and bacon

Not to be too cheesey but… anything is pastable with this Mac n’ Cheese recipe. Jalapenos, bacon and cheddar galore!

Ingredients:

½ lb. dried elbow pasta

Jalapenos (chopped)

Precooked bacon bits

¼ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole milk

1 ¼ cups half and half

4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

¼ tbsp salt

¼ tbsp black pepper

Dash of paprika

Chives for garnishing

Instructions:

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish (or your choice of an oven safe dish) and set aside.

Heat a large pot of salted water until you reach a boil. Once boiling, add pasta. Cook 1-2 minutes less than the package directs to keep it al dente. Once cooked, drain and drizzle with oil to prevent noodles from sticking together.

While your pasta is cooking, start your cheese sauce mixture. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add flour and whisk until combined. Cook for about 1 minute, continually whisking.

Slowly add in about half of your milk and heavy cream mixture. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the remainder of milk and half and half, whisking until smooth.

Continue cooking over medium heat. Keep whisking frequently and watch as mixture begins to thicken. Once it has reached a very thick consistency, it’s ready for the cheese.

Add in salt, pepper, and paprika with about 1 ½ cups your grated cheese. Stir until combined, then add in another 1 ½ cups of cheese. Stir until completely melted and smooth.

Take your mixture and cooked pasta noodles and combine in a large mixing bowl. Add in your chopped jalapenos and bacon bits (as much as you would like). Mix together.

Add half of your pasta mixture into your prepared oven dish and layer with more grated cheese. Pour over the rest of your pasta mixture, and finish it off with the remainder of your grated cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and starts to turn a light golden brown.

Carefully remove once cooked and set aside. Add chopped up chives or fresh parsley and enjoy your fresh baked homemade loaded Mac n’ Cheese delight.