Anyway... we didn't stick truly low-carb or even Paleo for the 4 family holiday gatherings we went to. At my dad's we had a taco bar, so there was some rice, refried beans and blue corn chips. We ate some sweeter chocolate at another place. And we may have over-indulged on the sweetness yesterday with the dates and some pineapple and chocolate fondue, but we did stay gluten-free. There's just no room for cheating when it comes to gluten in my opinion.
But today felt like a cleanse. We took down all of the Christmas decorations, put away the stockings, packed up the angels and santas, and stuffed everything into 5 Rubbermaid totes for next year. The carpets are nicely vacuumed, no more tiny pieces of toy packaging or wrapping paper or tree needles anywhere. And we made a quick pot of beef stew for lunch because it just felt right after over-indulging in those darn dates yesterday. (Those things really sneaked up on me.)
For many of you, I know you'll be enjoying one more night of holiday food -- New Year's Eve. But maybe you're like me -- you're a little tired of the small over-indulgences you've had the past few weeks and you're ready to get back into your old eating routine. Well, I have a great finger food for your New Year's Eve whether you're staying in with the family or going out to a friend's.
I made these Sausage-Stuffed Jalapenos for my dad's house a couple weeks ago because I thought it would go with their taco bar theme. They turned out pretty well, so my brother requested them again for our other family Christmas get-together the following week, but this time he also requested a dipping sauce. Because I'm the best sister ever, I delivered.
Sausage-Stuffed Jalapenos with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
For the jalapenos:
12 jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise, remove seeds and ribs (or keep some in for more spice)
1/2 lb pork sausage
1 small onion, finely diced
6 slices of bacon (see note in step 4)
For the sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
dash of salt to taste
1. In a medium skillet, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces. Add onion and continue to cook until softened. Transfer pork to a food processor and pulse until it forms a fine mixture.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a rack on a baking sheet.
3. Using a spoon, scoop the sausage into the peppers, pressing with the back of the spoon to pack the meat inside. Repeat with remaining peppers.
4. Prepare bacon: Cut the bacon in half crosswise, then carefully cut each piece of bacon in half lengthwise to make skinnier pieces. (If you're bacon is already thinly sliced out of the package, you will need to skip this step and instead use 12 slices of bacon cut in half crosswise.)
5. Wrap each jalapeno with a piece of bacon and skewer with a toothpick to hold it in place and put on wire rack. Repeat with all the jalapenos.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes until peppers are tender and bacon is cooked. For crispier bacon, place peppers under the broiler for a few minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
7. To make sauce: whisk together mayonnaise, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, honey, pepper and salt. Serve on the side or spooned on top of each jalapeno.