By Kathy Nida
One of the things you learn after years of watching what you eat is that there is no point in denying yourself what you love. Bacon is a good example of this, because it is oh so delicious and oh so bad for you…in quantity. Because that’s the key to eating healthy: eat in moderation and don’t try to remove anything you love completely from your diet, because that diet will not last.
That said, you don’t have to eat the whole pound of bacon in one go, now do you? I used to open the pound and pull off a few slices for a treat for breakfast or to cut up into a Cobb salad, but then I’d never eat the rest of the package and it would go off. It was such a waste of a tasty meat that doesn’t need to be used in a large quantity to add significant flavor, because you can just crumble up one cooked slice into an omelet, on a salad, or on half a baked potato, and it adds plenty of taste.
So nowadays, I go crazy and cook up the whole pound when I need it for a recipe, but then I put a few slices wrapped up tight in plastic in the fridge, where they’ll last for 3-4 days. Then I plan the next few days’ meals to include a slice or two.
Occasionally, about once a year, I have a BLT, usually right before or after a long hike, because I love the taste…actually, add the avocado to make a BLTA, because that fat is good for you, but you’ll need to burn those calories somehow. It gives me a good excuse to get out and count the calories. Today’s hiking apps will tell me exactly when I have burned off the entire sandwich, and then I add a mile for good measure.
Then I make sure I freeze the rest of the pound of bacon, again airtight in plastic wrap, because it keeps for at least 3 months in the freezer. That’s one pound of bacon for a quarter of the year. Well, that’s assuming you don’t have to share with anyone. The dog always looks hurt when she sees me pack the rest of the bacon away in the freezer.
Interestingly, no one ever taught me any particularly efficient methods for cooking bacon, either on the stove or in the microwave. The natural foods diet and cookbook 30 Pounds/4 Months describes an amazingly easy way to conquer the grease and use your microwave to cook 5 slices at a time. Or if you prefer stovetop cooking, it clearly explains that process as well.
There’s also a tasty recipe for savory oatmeal that would be great with a few slices of bacon from your stash, and a delicious Beef Burgundy that uses a few more slices for later in the week. And if figs rock your boat, there’s a recipe for Tasty Fig Morsels that includes a slice of that salty meat wrapped around a delicious fig. I’m telling you, this is something that belongs in your freezer.