Getting Real with Food

Getting Real with Food

One thing I love about St. Louis is that I always feel like we are in it together. No matter what we are faced with, a Stanley Cup championship or a global pandemic, we rally and take care of each other. These past weeks have been difficult to say the least, however, I truly believe challenges make us stronger. Holidays, birthdays and even daily meals are very different right now, so I want to make sure you have some simple, delicious recipes that can be made with items already in your pantry!

scallop potato bites
Making the traditional scallop potato casserole in bite-sized form ensures extra crispiness. And since the roux uses arrowroot instead of flour, your gluten-free family members can dive in as well!

Makes 12 individual cups
Gluten Free

2 russet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c chopped fresh green onions (more for topping)
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp ground paprika
3 tbsp chicken broth
¾ cup half & half
2 tbsp arrowroot
¼ c GF panko bread crumbs


  1. Slice potatoes into thin rounds, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil on top, and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Make sure each slice is covered and separated.
  2. In a medium-sized frying pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil, onion and garlic cloves. Saute on medium heat until brown; then turn heat to medium low. Add in arrowroot and butter. Mix well with a spatula for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in half & half, and stir quickly to avoid burning it. Add in cheese and continue stirring while you add in chicken broth. 
  4. Switch to a whisk, and whisk until the sauce is melted and not stringy. Add in more chicken broth if needed. Add the paprika, dijon mustard, and the remaining salt and pepper; incorporate fully before adding green onions. Take off heat, and start assembling!
  5. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin and line  with two to four slices of potatoes, enough to where they are covering the bottom and lining the sides. Using only half of the cheese sauce mixture, pour on top of the potatoes in each tin.
  6. Do a second layer of potatoes, and top with the remaining cheese mixture. Sprinkle with panko and put in oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and broil for 2 minutes; then top with more green onions!

breakfast sushi
I wanted to add a fun breakfast spin on beloved sushi. While this recipe doesn’t have raw fish or rice like traditional sushi, it has everything we love about breakfast. Plus, it’s fun to make! 

Makes 8 to 10 pieces
Dairy Free (depending on sushi you use)
Gluten Free

8 slices of thick cut bacon
1 russet potato
½ – 1 c shredded cheese
½ fresh avocado
4 eggs
1 tsp Everything But Bagel seasoning ( or ¾ tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 sheet of plastic wrap & toothpicks


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. First, weave your bacon. Put foil on a 9 x 13 baking tray and place a rectangular metal cooling rack on top. Lay five pieces of bacon next to one another vertically. (I’ll refer to them as 1-5 starting from the left.) Fold up 1, 3 and 5, leaving about 2 inches showing. Take a separate piece of bacon, and place it underneath 1, 3 and 5 and on top of 2 and 4. Fold up 2 and 4 like you did with the others, and lay another piece over 1, 3 and 5 and under 2 and 4. Keep repeating every other until your bacon is fully woven! Make sure there are no gaps, and bake for 20 minutes at 400.
  2. While the bacon cooks, start the hasbrowns. Grate your potato into strips. Squeeze out the excess liquid and put in a bowl with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Drizzle olive oil on top, and toss. In a medium frying pan on medium heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add in the hashbrowns. Cook until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Once the bacon is done, lift it off the tray and onto a paper towel to soak up the grease. Press down with another towel to soak up even more.
  4. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil at medium heat. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then add in four eggs whisked. (Cook them flat like an omelet and in a square shape like the bacon.) Sprinkle ¼ of the cheese and the EBB seasoning on top, and cook for about 2 minutes. Then flip the eggs, and cook for another few minutes. Sprinkle more cheese on top if you want.
  5. Transfer the bacon to plastic wrap, flipping it so the crispy side is on the bottom. Layer it with the eggs, remaining cheese and diced avocado.  Dice the avocado, and put on top.  & place that on ½ of the cheese & egg layer.
  6. Now you are on a roll! With the long side facing you, roll while pressing down and use the plastic wrap to help guide you—but don’t get it wrapped in it! Once rolled, hold together in the plastic wrap for a few minutes. Carefully unwrap out of the plastic, and put tooth picks at the top of the roll, about one for each piece. Start slicing, sprinkle with hashbrowns and enjoy!

Follow Alaina’s blog at, and find her on Instagram @honestfoodie_blog and Facebook & Pinterest at Honest Grub, Honest Foodie