Ham, Carrot & Asparagus Egg Bake

We didn’t do anything for Easter this year, nor did I make anything special (granted, we did eat plenty of my dill pickle deviled eggs leading up to it), but I did pick up some ham since it was on sale. Okay, and I did gift Jesse with a special dark chocolate bar from The Meadow, but that’s the extend of it. We didn’t even eat the ham on Easter, as it was a leftovers kind of night. Up until Saturday afternoon, we actually thought we were getting together with friends on Easter Sunday (not for Easter, but just to get together for dinner), but that ended up falling through.

Meanwhile, if you have any leftover Easter ham or picked some up because it was on sale, this recipe is a great way to use it. There’s asparagus, carrot, and dill in the mix too, which yields a lot of spring flavor. It’s a great recipe to save for Mother’s Day brunch or any spring occasion.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (remove woody ends)
  • 1 large carrot, cut in half and peeled into strips
  • 2 cups good-quality ham, diced into cubes
  • 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/4 cup good-quality chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Steam asparagus pieces over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes. Remove steamer basket from pot and set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, broth, coconut milk, dried dill, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. Add the steamed asparagus, carrot strips, and ham cubes to a 9×13 baking dish and distribute evenly (note: depending on the pan you use, you may need to grease it with a little butter or coconut oil first). Pour egg mixture on top.
  5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.
  6. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Yields: 6 servings

 

 

One-Pan Roasted Veggies & Sausage

 

veggies-and-sausageCan’t beat a simple, one-pan meal. It makes for an easy lunch or dinner and involves little fuss, other than chopping the vegetables. But, that’s a very small task to accomplish to create a healthy meal.

Feel free to make this dish your own by using the veggies, sausage and seasonings that you like. It’s easy to customize and leaves lots of room for variety. In terms of the sausage, I used Aidells Artichoke & Garlic Chicken Sausage, but an Italian variety (Applegate makes a good one) would be great too.

On another note, my 32nd birthday is today! Cheers, joy and well wishes to me! And, on yet another note, my husband and I leave for Iceland this Sunday! We will be there for a full week. It’s going to be majestic! The first stop once we arrive (at 6:45 a.m. their time) is the Blue Lagoon to restore, relax and kick the jet lag. We’re getting shuttled straight there from the airport. Expect some beautiful photos to ensue soon!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 2 small-medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small heads broccoli, chopped into florets (peel and chop stem too)
  • 16 oz package artichoke & garlic or Italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion or onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, mix together the chopped veggies (make sure pieces are uniform for even cooking), minced garlic, sliced shallot and sliced sausage.
  3. In a small dish, mix the melted coconut oil (or avocado oil) with the apple cider vinegar, oregano, thyme, parsley, cayenne, granulated onion (or onion powder), sea salt and black pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss with tongs to coat.
  4. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Stir and place back in oven for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and tender.

Lemon Dill Avocado Chicken Salad

chicken-salad-2

Spring is less than a month away, as hard as it may be to believe some days. With its approach in mind, I got to thinking about springy flavors – things like lemon, dill, peas and so on. Contemplating what to make, it suddenly hit me…a spring chicken salad recipe. It’s not very often I share lunch recipes anyway, so it seemed like another good reason to run with it. Plus, I love chicken salad, despite the fact that I rarely make it. I become a creature of habit when it comes to lunch foods and generally stick to the same things, so this is a refreshing change.

I’m sure this would be just as tasty without the addition of the mayo, but I love homemade mayo or a high-quality one like this brand. It adds a little extra creaminess and tang too, which I enjoy. But, if you don’t have any on hand or just don’t like it, you can leave it out. Personally, I never liked mayo until I made it myself. It is way different than what you may know as mayo. Really, it might as well be frosting because it’s that good. I do have another chicken salad recipe that’s tropical-inspired and more mayo-based if you want to check that one out HERE.

Also, stay tuned because next month, on March 20 (also the first day of spring!), I’ll be featuring this recipe LIVE on KATU Afternoon Live. I’ll share the segment when that time comes. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

lemon-dill-avocado-chicken-salad-bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded (roughly 1 lb or so of meat)
  • 1 large avocado, sliced into quarters and pitted
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 tsp dried dill
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, rinsed under warm water to thaw
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2 Tbsp homemade avocado oil mayo or use a high-quality brand like this one 

Directions:

  1. Place shredded chicken in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Remove avocado peels and place avocado in a large bowl. Mash well with a fork and then add the lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, dried dill, mayo, carrot, green onion and peas. Stir well with a spatula until mixed well. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Pour avocado mixture into the bowl with the shredded chicken and stir well. Store in refrigerator.
  4. Serve in a lettuce wrap, over greens or with veggie slices and/or plantain chips.

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Sausage, Apple & Walnuts

brussels-sprouts-salad-2

This recipe was inspired by a Brussels sprout salad from Danielle Walker’s, Meals Made Simple cookbook. When I was home over the holidays, my mom and I were looking for a winter side dish recipe to take to my aunt’s for Christmas dinner. Upon looking through her copy of Danielle’s cookbook, we decided on the Brussels sprout salad recipe (had leeks, bacon and pomegranate seeds in it!). It ended up being a huge hit! Afterward, I knew I wanted to create my own variation and that it was a priority after getting back to Portland.

I went with the idea of this being a complete one-dish meal versus a side, but it could be served as a side, if desired. It’d be a great side for a holiday meal, actually! Surprisingly, this dish held up well the next day too, though I don’t recommend letting it sit in the fridge for too long. There are so many possibilities for a meal like this, so feel free to get creative and make it how you like it!

Cheers and enjoy!

brussels-sprouts-salad

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed & shredded in a food processor or with a mandoline
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee (or avocado oil if you don’t tolerate any dairy)
  • 1 leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 pink lady apple, chopped
  • 1 12 oz package chicken apple sausage, sliced (I recommend Aidell’s or Applegate – both of which have 4 pre-cooked sausages in each package)
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • Grated raw parmesan cheese for topping, if tolerated and desired

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the leek, garlic, Brussels sprouts, sea salt and black pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes.
  2. Next mix in the chicken broth, apple and sausage. Add more sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Place lid on pan and let cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Top individual serving with desired amount of Parmesan, if using. Serve warm.

Yields: 3-4 entree-size servings

Sausage, Squash and Spinach Egg Casserole

egg casserole

Jesse and I ate this egg casserole Christmas morning and both thought it was spectacular. I threw it together that morning and while it baked, we enjoyed coffee and opened some gifts from our family. It was just us on Christmas and it turned out to be a quiet, but enjoyable day. We were both okay with quiet and hanging out at home since we were recently traveling in Hawaii (which was our Christmas gift to each other).

Meanwhile, when I made this recipe, I was fortunate to have half of a roasted delicata squash leftover in my fridge, but if you don’t have any leftover, here’s what to do: cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place in a baking pan cut-side down. Fill the pan with about 1/4″ of water and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes.

Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas that was filled with joy. I wish you all a happy New Year!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (pork sausage is fine too)
  • About 6 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste if needed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream, if tolerated & preferably from a pasture-raised source
  • 1/4 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 large roasted delicata squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (leave skin on)
  • 1/2 cup grated raw grass-fed cheddar cheese, if tolerated

egg casserole 3

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground breakfast sausage and break up with a spatula. Continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place the spinach in the bottom of a 9×13 pan (note: you may need to grease your pan with a little butter before adding the spinach. I used a stoneware baking dish that doesn’t stick, but if you’re using glass or stainless steel, I’d recommend greasing it). Stir the sausage into the spinach and make sure it’s evenly distributed.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk or heavy cream, bone broth, sea salt, pepper, garlic granules, onion granules and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture on top of the sausage and spinach. Then, evenly distribute the squash pieces on top and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese, if using.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.

 

Chicken Pesto “Noodle” Bowl

 

chicken pesto noodle bowl 2

I know I mentioned it already, but the summer heat has been insane in Portland! It has been consistently in the mid to upper 90s for many days now and it looks like it’s going to continue. I’ll be going home for a visit to Michigan in a couple weeks and I’m thinking it’s going to feel cold compared to what I’ve adapted to! It looks like temps in my hometown have been in the low 70s, but there’s also more humidity involved, so it usually feels warmer. Regardless of what the weather is like, it’ll be nice to be home for a visit.

Anyway, onto the food. I made this for dinner two nights in a row this past week because it’s so tasty and doesn’t involve any heat! It’s super easy and you don’t have to cook anything, unless you don’t have leftover chicken breasts in the fridge. If you don’t, then you have to cook a little bit, but at least it’s simple. I’d recommend either throwing some chicken on the grill or poaching it on the stove to get the job done.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch homemade basil pesto (replace parsley with fresh basil)
  • 2 leftover boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, noodled with a spiralizer or julienne peeler
  • 1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place chopped chicken in a large bowl and mix with 2 Tbsp or so of fresh pesto. Place in fridge and let sit for a couple hours. (Note: if you don’t have time to let the chicken marinate in the fridge, skip it, but I recommend doing so if you can, so the chicken absorbs more pesto flavor).
  2. Shortly before eating, place the zucchini noodles in a colander and generously salt with sea salt. Place the colander in the sink or over a large bowl and let the zucchini “sweat” for 10-20 minutes. Then, squeeze out any excess water and divide the zucchini noodles among two bowls.
  3. Divide the tomatoes between the two bowls and add a little more pesto (probably 1-3 tsp per bowl or to taste). Then, divide the chicken mixture between the two bowls and mix well. Season to taste with a little sea salt and/or pepper, if needed.

Chicken and Broccoli Egg Bake

chicken and broccoli egg bake

Chicken and broccoli are kind of a classic combo if you ask me, and these two foods especially taste wonderful together in casseroles. Something with chicken and broccoli was calling my name recently and in deciding what to make ahead of time for dinner the other night (since Jesse and I don’t get home until about 8pm), I threw together this little creation for us to eat when we got home. Every single ingredient was already in my kitchen, which goes to show that you can create easy, delicious meals without having to run to the store. Unless it’s a total Mother Hubbard’s cupboard scenario, which makes for a different story. That’s what my mom used to say whenever she needed to go to the store and I find that I say the same thing now when our fridge and cupboards are looking a little bare.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with a recipe. Hopefully, I’ll be back again soon with what I’m making on New Year’s day. Cheers and enjoy! Oh, and happy New Year too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter, plus extra for greasing dish & sautéing veggies
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded (leftovers work great)
  • 3/4 cup homemade almond milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter and set aside.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter (about 1 Tbsp) in a large pan over medium heat. Add the leek and mushrooms, and saute a few minutes. Then, add the broccoli and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to saute a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once broccoli has slightly softened, add the shredded chicken and stir. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup melted butter, eggs and almond or coconut milk. Once mixed, add the oregano, parsley, cayenne and sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Next, add the chicken/veggie mixture and stir. Pour into the greased casserole dish and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.
  6. Let cool about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yields: 4 servings