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This Whole30 Western Hash is a cleaned-up version of one of my favourite diner breakfasts. Although Catalina and I officially ended our January Whole30 this past Thursday, we’re still implementing many of the guidelines outlined in the program. To be fair, Whole30 is quite similar to Paleo anyways so it’s an easy transition for us. I knew that once we finished our January Whole30 we’d go back to the way we’ve grown accustomed to eating these past few years. This involves primarily sticking to a broad spectrum of vegetables, meats, fruits, nuts and seeds, and avoiding grains, refined sugars, legumes, alcohol, and many types of processed oils. We do enjoy the occasional indulgence and adult beverage but they’re few and far in between.
One of the surprises of my Whole30 experience was my body’s tolerance to potatoes. I have to admit that I ate my fair share of taters throughout the month of January and did not experience any ill effects. I didn’t crash, didn’t notice any weight gain (in fact I ended up losing weight), and even managed to control my eating habits when confronted with a stack of my favourite Garlic and Thyme Roasted Fingerlings. This is not to say that I will now be eating potatoes morning, noon and night. I will, however, allow them on certain occasions and this Western Hash is a perfect example.
I kept things very simple here, largely due to the fact that I was using what I had in my fridge. In terms of method, though, once you get the hang of which ingredients get cooked when, you can switch things up however you like. Feel free to substitute the red bells for cubanelles or poblanos. Add zucchini or eggplant to the mix. Or swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes to keep things low-glycemic. The only thing you really have to worry about is overcooking the veggies and the eggs. If you can manage to avoid that, you’re good to go!
A quick note on cast-iron…
I am very often asked which pans I recommend and, more specifically, which cast-iron skillets I recommend. I am of the firm opinion that EVERY home cook should be in possession of a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The good news is that everyone can afford it. This Lodge model (10.25″) is around $15 on Amazon (click for link). If you treat it well, season it regularly, and sing it a lullaby every now and then, it will outlast you. I take it camping, use it over open flames, put in the oven at home, you name it. It is the best investment any one can make.
I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!
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INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
3-4 rashers sugar-free bacon – (find at Whole Foods, Ambrosia, Organic Garage if in Toronto area)
6-8 baby potatoes – quartered
1/2 onion – diced
1/2 red bell pepper – diced
6 button mushrooms – quartered
1/2 jalapeño – finely chopped
4-6 free-range, organic eggs
avocado oil – if necessary
fresh cilantro – for garnish
finely sliced scallion – for garnish
salt and pepper
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- Preheat cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook both sides until crisp (approx. 6 min total). Transfer cooked bacon to paper-towel-lined plate.
- Reserve bacon drippings and add potatoes to skillet. If needed, add some avocado oil so the potatoes do not burn or stick. Fry potatoes until fork tender (approx. 12-15 min total). Transfer cooked potatoes to the paper-towel-lined plate with the bacon – set aside.
- Add onions, red pepper and jalapeño to the skillet. Season with pinch of salt and cook 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another 4-5 minutes. Return potatoes to the skillet, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss everything to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as required.
- Using a spatula, make four wells in the skillet. Crack an egg into each well. Cover with lid and cook until desired doneness (approx. 6-7 min for firm whites and runny yolk).
- Top the hash with the bacon, garnish with cilantro and scallions and serve with compliant hot sauce of choice (I like Valentina).