Sunday, May 12, 2013

Baked Coconut and Sweet Potato Hash

Happy Whole30 everybody!

CaveBoy and I are taking the next 30 days to cleanup our eating and eliminate the white potato, vegetable oil, and (gasp!) diet soda that has crept back into our diet. Basically, this means we'll be eating at home for the next 30 days. The real problem is that I have no self-control when we eat out, and order french fries and diet coke. Even sweet potato fries cooked in the world are usually fried in vegetable oil (there are some noteworthy exceptions, but we can talk about those another time).

Our first Whole30 was six months ago, so it's about time for a re-do. Especially considering that last time CaveBoy abandoned our efforts 5 days in, when I came home to find him drinking a beer.  His response to my questioning was, "What? I'm achieving my goals." How could I argue with that?

This time, our Whole30 coincides with CaveBoy's month-long strength-building emphasis. I anticipate much better compliance with the protocol this time. Perfect timing? Perfect planning.

And before you get all judge-y, let me warn you upfront that I plan to break one of the Whole30 rules. We're not supposed to paleo-ize any junk foods. Including pizza or baked goods. The point is to get people used to eating real food, and to help them abandon processed-crap food forever. It's a good method. I obviously need their help with my diet coke problem. But I'm also working on a new paleo cake recipe (two attempts down, hopefully only one more to go) and I promised CaveBoy a meatza. Sorry I'm not sorry.

This hash recipe is Whole30 compliant, and was inspired by my friend JD.  Two people suggested that I make a hash for our lunchs this week, and the second suggestion came with a recipe idea.  So, thank you Universe, I hear you. And here we go.

Baked Coconut and Sweet Potato Hash

Another orange pile of mush - but a delicious pile of mush


5 large sweet potatoes, shredded
5 strips thick-cut, sugar-free bacon, cubed
1 cup sliced jalapeno peppers, or more to taste
4 oz shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Coconut oil spray for the baking dish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil spray. Layer the shredded sweet potato,* shredded coconut, jalapeno, and bacon into the baking dish in that order. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and stir the mixture. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Stir. Stir the hash mixture every 10 minutes until the bacon is fully cooked. About 45 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

We served ours with shredded baked chicken.

This also is a great make-ahead-and-freeze recipe. You could split it into four helpings and store it in freezer bags. Then when you need it, pull it out to thaw. Warm up a skillet with a little coconut oil or bacon grease, and heat the hash through. Serve with fried or poached eggs for an amazing spur-of-the-moment brunch.

*Note: Shredding the sweet potato can be a real workout, especially if you're like me and only have a flat grater. Expect to make a mess in your kitchen. It's cool. Sweet potato doesn't stain. 

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