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

 

 

Whipped Dairy-Free Lemon Frosting

lemon frosting front

I don’t share sweet stuff very often because it is not something that I regularly consume or make. But, special occasions and social gatherings are a good reason to make a treat. In this instance, Jesse and I had plans to go over to our friend’s house for dinner this past Saturday. They took on the main course, sides and drinks, and I agreed to make a dessert. I debated for a long time about what to make and decided that I wanted something springy, especially since it was Easter weekend.

After much browsing on Pinterest, I decided to make this coconut flour cake recipe. To jazz up the cake a bit, I thought I’d make some frosting to go on top. I knew I wanted the base to be from palm shortening and also wanted lemon involved (to add that springy flavor). This recipe is what I came up with and I am so pleased with how it turned out. It is light and lemony, with a whipped texture. It almost seems like a cross between frosting and icing, especially with its slightly shimmery appearance. It tasted great on the coconut flour cake (this cake recipe is amazing and super moist!) and was a HUGE hit with everyone!

lemon frosting

Also, this recipe makes quite a bit of frosting and is enough for a double layer cake. I actually ended up making two of the coconut flour cakes, so I could turn it into a double layer and use up the rest of the frosting. I garnished the top with grated lemon zest and definitely recommend doing so for a finishing touch!

The frosting doesn’t have to be stored in the refrigerator, but will keep longer that way if you aren’t going to use it right away or have leftovers.  It will firm up quite a bit in the fridge because of the coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), so remember to allow it to soften at room temperature before using. You may also want to refrigerate it in the summertime because it will get slightly melty when warm.

Please make sure to only use pure therapeutic essential oils for cooking. Many essential oils that are sold in stores are not 100% pure and can be chemically adulterated. These are not meant for consumption! My essential oil of choice is Young Living. Learn where to get high quality essential oils HERE.

YL number lemon

Whipped Dairy-Free Lemon Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup organic palm shortening (find here) –>not to be mistaken for red palm oil!
  • 7 oz. box coconut cream concentrate, melted (find here)
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil (learn where to get therapeutic grade oils here)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the lemon essential oil to the the bowl of your stand mixer. Whip the frosting a couple minutes or until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add the lemon essential oil. Whip again briefly to incorporate the essential oil.
  3. Enjoy on your favorite grain-free cake or cookie recipe for a special occasion!

Double-Layer Chocolate Coconut Cake

Double-layer chocolate cake with coconut vanilla frosting. A special treat, indeed.

Remember how I said I’d post my Easter dessert later on? Well, here it is, a chocolate layer cake with coconut vanilla frosting. It was my first time making a grain-free chocolate cake and I’m happy to say that it turned out quite well. Jesse really liked it too, and he topped it with the dark chocolate body paint he got from my mom and sister. Remember how I opened it on his behalf at my wedding shower? See mom, it’s not tucked away in the bathroom cupboard, like you urged not to do! The paint brush isn’t getting any use though, as Jesse uses a spoon for drizzling! I admit, it does look (and smell) like really delicious chocolate and it is quite dark. Jesse says it’s very good.

The cake was adapted from The Healthy Chef’s naked chocolate cake recipe and the frosting was adapted from The Detoxinista’s lemon coconut frosting.

Clearly, Jesse was excited about his chocolate body paint.
Clearly, Jesse was excited about his chocolate body paint. Big drizzle much?

For the coconut vanilla frosting (double batch):

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and toss into the blender. Make sure to measure out the coconut flour exactly. Also, this can not be done with a hand mixer or whisk. You need to use a blender and be very patient!
  2. Blend for 30-45 seconds or until everything is mixed together well. Pour into a bowl once done. The mixture will not be thick yet. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to set. I recommend letting it sit overnight.
  3. Before using, remove from refrigerator and mix well. Then, let the frosting soften to room temperature for a bit. This will make it much easier to spread.

For the cake:

  • 8 pastured eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, ghee or butter (I used a combo of coconut oil & grass-fed butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, cacao or cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In a kitchen mixer or large bowl, beat together eggs, melted oil, vanilla, honey and apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer works just fine.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet and blend. Once batter is blended and smooth, stir in shredded coconut by hand.
  5. Line two 9-inch cakes pans with parchment paper and grease the sides with coconut oil. Pour batter evenly into both pans.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My cakes were done at about 24 minutes.
  7. Once done, remove from the oven to cool. Once cool, frost one of the cake tops with the frosting and stack the other cake on top. Then, frost the entire top and sides of the cake.
  8. Store any uneaten cake in the refrigerator.

Garnish with a fresh strawberry, if desired.