Recipes: Jalapeno Bacon Burgers & Cocoa-Chili Cauliflower

By January 15, 2014Recipes

21 dsd pic  Well, it’s been a week sugar free for me now! And I can’t simply report back that I’m feeling great. Sometimes I am. And in some ways I am not. But this is a detox, so there are symptoms that go along with this journey to feeling great. And not all of them are fun! I’ve been low energy some days, I’ve had a couple mild headaches, been feeling very moody… really up and down and one day I had the most intense cravings!! All I wanted to do was eat about five packs of chocolate wafers and down a can of Coke. And I never drink Coke. Nor do I eat chocolate wafers, as they’re definitely not gluten free and I’m simply not a fan of a runny tummy. So, yes, sugar withdrawals are weird. But I’m committed to this journey!

Oh wait–did I forget to explain what the hell I’m talking about? Haha.

Ok. So I’m Tessa, one of the founders of Gluten Free Calgary and on January 6th, keeping with the theme of #DetoxJanuary this month, I decided to participate in the 21 Day Sugar Detox ( I already live a happy, little gluten-free life, and it’s good. I feel good. But I also know that I’m a bit of a sugar addict. Candy. Sweets. I’m like a horny teenager in their presence and can’t keep my hands off! And this includes wine, too. I’ve often wondered how sugar negatively impacts me and what changes I might see should I cut it out. So I seized the spirit of the whole new year, resolutions thing, and went for it. As I was mentioning above, it hasn’t been the smoothest ride. But I am also happy to report that it has been easier than I expected! And how often does that happen?! I am a flight attendant, so I basically live out of a suitcase, plus I’m a very amateur cook (and that’s bragging), so I was very nervous when I decided to do this. How the heck was someone like me gonna take this on and be successful?! But it has really been fine. I bought the book on iBooks and can access it and all its juicy information from any of my Apple devices, even without wifi (which comes in handy at 40,000 ft).

And… the craziest thing happened – I got inspired to try my hand at cooking! I started with the guacamole… followed the instructions carefully and had my partner in crime, executive chef at GFYYC, Miss Kaley available via text for any and all questions, and once it was finished I tentatively tasted a bit. AND IT WAS AMAZING! I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I made something new and it tasted any version of good. So this absolutely blew me away.

And then, I got all cocky and on my way home from work this Saturday I popped into the grocery store to pick up some ingredients, then went home and adorned my apron (my sisters had gotten me one over a year ago which could have been a joke as I as I don’t cook, but was super happy to be in and getting use out of!). And here’s what I made. Below. Both recipes are adapted from the 21 Day Sugar Detox book which you should all go buy because it is awesome.

Jalapeno Bacon Burgers – these appealed to me obviously because of the bacon… durrrr #love

Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 9-12 min (but for inexperienced me it took more like 4 hours… lol)
Serves: 4

8 slices bacon
1 jalapeno pepper
1 pound ground beef, bison or turkey (I used beef because I figured it was the only thing I sorta knew how to cook… sorta)
1 tablespoon Smoky Spice Blend (make before and save some for later — 1 tbsp. chili powder, 1 tbsp. onion powder, 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. sea salt, 1/2 tbsp. black pepper)
Aged goat cheese

Preheat a grill pan (or you could use a grill!) to medium-high heat.

Cut up 6 slices of the bacon into small pieces (the recipe says to cut into 1/8-inch square pieces but I found cutting fatty bacon suuuuper tricky, even without having to follow some type of measurement, so I just cut cut cut… and it worked out just fine.) Keep the other two pieces aside for toppings!

Slide the jalapeno in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds sand white membrane. (If you like a lot of heat, you may leave the white part intact or even use the seeds… I did not because I wasn’t quite sure what “a lot” of heat really meant and mine was really not very spicy.) Finely chop the jalapeno.

jalapeno burger 4

In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, bacon pieces, Smoky Spice Blend and jalapeno. Form into 4 evenly sliced patties, then place on the hot grill or grill pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side (or a little longer if you’re me and you’re paranoid about undercooking your burger).

Cook the 2 reserved bacon slices in the same pan as the burgers like I did, (Less dishes!) until browned.

About 2 min before the burgers are done, slice a piece of goat cheese and set it on top of the burgers. Set a lid on top of the pan for 1-3 minutes so the cheese starts to soften and melt a little.

And then… serve it up on a “lettuce bun” (aka a big leaf of romaine or something similar) and I topped mine with chives and chili peppers.

jalapeno burger 1


Serve them up for breakfast! Toss the burgers back in the pan for a couple minutes so they re-warm and melt a slice of cheese or re-melt if you already have some on there. Then fry up an egg and toss it on top of your burger and VOILA! And I served with hot sauce just to get the sense awake first thing in the morning! Yippee!!

jalapeno burger complete

Cocoa-Chili Roasted Cauliflower

Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 30 min (this was actually pretty quick… even for me!)
Serves: 4

2 heads of cauliflower
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Chop the cauliflower into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. In a large mixing bowl, gently toss the cauliflower with the coconut oil. (Like a cauliflower massage…)

In a small mixing bowl, combine allll those spices and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the cauliflower, tossing lightly with your hands, rubbing the oil and spices into the cauliflower. (Like a cauliflower exfoliation…)

Spread the cauliflower evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet (or maybe two if you have a lot) and roast for about 30 minutes until tender and starting to carmalize.


It sounds like a weird recipe… I know. But holy crap is it ever good!!! Who knew!! Cauliflower! You’ve been holding out on me!

So there are a couple things for you to try! I have been testing out more recipes in the last couple days too so more to be posted soon, along with the continuation of my journey on this detox! Thanks for tuning in everyone!

– Tessa, Incompetent in the Kitchen (or maybe not…)