Part of food being clever, in my opinion, is combining to maximum effect the benefits of nutrition, ease of preparation, and thrift. What follows is not so much a recipe as a method, and a celebration of a cheap and satisfying source of protein and fat. Bacon.
Granted, bacon consumption as a health food only works under certain conditions. The bacon must be high quality, and it should be served in conjunction with a properly considered and planned diet. Refined sugars, overprocessed white bread and margarine don’t combine well with bacon, if your goal is maximum nutrition and energy. The diet that properly utilizes this meat is full of vegetables, grass fed butter, fermented whole grains and lacto fermented pickles.
According to Save Your Bacon, an essay by Kaayla Daniels available on the Weston A. Price foundation’s website, bacon is 50% monounsaturated fat. Mono unsaturated fat is alleged to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and according to one study (Meal triacylglycerol profile modulate post prandial absorption of caroteinoids in humans, Perdue University 2012), help your body to better absorb carateinoids in vegetables, which act as antioxidants.
But all that aside, this is a cheap, healthy, satisfying meal in a bowl. If you’re balking at the suggestion that bacon is good for you, I encourage you to check out Daniels’ essay. It’s pretty encouraging. At my local wallet gouge of a healthfood store, decent quality bacon ends and peices go for about $7 a pound, and a bag of un-pretty but totally edible carrots is, if I remember correctly, $3-$4. That’s in and of itsself One serving adding up to around two bucks.
Cut two large carrots into quarters and cut those quarters into quarters. Go smaller if you like.
Cut 1/4 cup of bacon ends and peices into bite sized peices.
Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, melt some butter to keep the bacon from initially sticking, and throw in the bacon. Saute bacon until it begins to show the first signs of cooking- that is it developed hints of gold on the fat and glistening redness on the meat.
Add your carrots, and continue to saute. After 2 minutes or so, place a cover on the pan, and turn the temperature down to medium. Check it occasionally to stir and make sure nothing is sticking or burning.
When you can with minimal effort (but not too easily) cut through a carrot with the edge of a spoon, you’re done. Turn off the heat, and add the minced garlic. Continue stirring everything around until the garlic smells fragrant, but is obviously not crispy.
Serve with a healthy side of sauerkraut, and maybe a spinach scramble.