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

 

 

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Dill Pickle Deviled Eggs

deviled eggsWith spring (sort of) in the air and Easter on the horizon, I thought I’d share a deviled egg recipe. I will also be making this recipe live on KATU Afternoon Live on Monday, April 10, so stay tuned. UPDATE: catch the replay of my segment HERE.

Meanwhile, I love deviled eggs! Oddly enough, I didn’t try one for the first time until I was 24 years old. Crazy, I know. Growing up, I was scared of deviled eggs. I thought they stunk and looked weird. But, I was a kid that would only eat egg yolks in the form of scrambled eggs — no runny yolks, no fried eggs, no hardboiled eggs (except bites of the white), etc. When I finally bit into a deviled egg at a friend’s house several years ago, I was shocked what I’d been missing out on. So good! Now, I’m a huge fan and that’s a great thing since I have a fridge full of deviled eggs (the first batch didn’t turn out how I wanted, so I made them again with tweaks).

Despite popular belief, deviled eggs can be healthy. I think it’s all a matter of quality. And, if you’re someone that still thinks eggs yolks are bad for you and cause high cholesterol and heart disease, you’re living under a rock. The FDA and American Heart Association reversed these claims because the science does not support it (and never did!). Eggs are incredibly healthy, especially when sourced from pasture-raised chickens. And, the yolks are the most nutritious part of the egg, as they’re full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Please don’t throw those away! But, I digress. If you’re reading and following my blog, you probably already know this anyway. If this is new information to you and you want to learn more, do some research. All of this information is accessible online.

Anyway, in terms of the other ingredients in deviled eggs, choose high-quality. I’m mainly talking about the mayo here. Dijon mustard is pretty straight forward or should be anyway, but check your labels to make sure. With the mayo, avoid those made with inflammatory soybean or canola oil, and either make your own with avocado oil (macadamia nut oil is great too) or buy this high-quality avocado oil mayonnaise.

A bonus health benefit of this deviled egg recipe is that you get a little dose of probiotics, thanks to the garlic dill pickle gut shot. It adds great flavor and healthy bugs, so yay. If you can’t find it or prefer not to use it, opt for a high-quality pickle brine instead. Please make sure there’s no weird stuff in the brine like yellow dye, polysorbate, etc. I have seen that stuff in pickles!

Cheers and enjoy!

closeup deviled egg

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cut each egg in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the yolks into a medium-sized bowl. Place egg whites onto a plate or tray, face side up.
  2. Add the mayo, Dijon mustard, gut shot or pickle brine, dried dill, sea salt and black pepper to the bowl with the egg yolks. Mash and stir well (alternatively, you can blend this in a food processor for an ultra-smooth texture). Taste and add adjust seasoning, if needed.
  3. *Spoon a little bit of the mixture into each egg white half, dispersing it evenly between the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with paprika and dried dill for garnish.

*Note: If desired, pipe the yolk mixture into the whites with a pastry bag instead of using a spoon. A plastic bag with a tip cut off works as well to pipe the mixture.

Yields: 12 deviled eggs

 

Spicy Sardine Scramble

Spicy Sardine Scramble

It’s only as of recent that I tried sardines for the first time and realized that I like the little suckers. I bought a tin of them a while back and had it in the cupboard for months before I decided to crack it open. I was kinda scared, but finally went for it. Since then, I’ve had sardines a couple more times and still much prefer to eat them in scrambles, as it mellows out some of the strong flavor. I can handle small amounts straight up with pickled veggies, but can’t finish off a whole tin like I can here.

Meanwhile, to fill you all in on what I’ve been up to — I just recently got back from a trip home to Michigan. It was a fun and eventful trip filled with my cousin’s wedding, time on the lake, lots of family time, reunions with friends, good food and relaxation. Now, in about a week, I’ll be heading to Jamaica with Jesse for 4 nights! I won a wellness retreat with ePhysiologix and get to stay at a topnotch all-inclusive resort in Negril, attend workshops, enjoy leisure time and network with other like-minded folks. It should be great and Jesse and I are stoked! We’ve never been to Jamaica before and Jesse’s never even been out of the country, except for Canada. We leave on a redeye a week from tomorrow!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can sardines in olive oil with lemon (I like this brand)
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Chili powder to taste
  • Chipotle powder to taste
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of Tessemae’s All Natural Lemon Chesapeake, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee or butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli slaw and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, place sardines in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a fork (discard leftover oil in tin). Whisk in the eggs and add the cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Once the slaw is softened a bit, add the sardine/egg mixture. Stir with a spatula to mix everything together.
  4. Continue to cook over medium or medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until scramble is cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat and drizzle Tessemae’s All Natural Lemon Chesapeake on top, if using.

Yields: 1 serving

Spicy Sardine Scramble

Simple Supper Friday: Sausage Bacon Squash Frittata

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I think I can accurately call eggs my favorite food. Seriously, they’re so versatile, nutritious and satisfying. Despite my love for this perfect food, I never really eat eggs for dinner — only breakfast. Occasionally, I’ll make a scramble for dinner or maybe my chicken curry egg bake, but never a frittata. This is mainly because I never had a good oven-proof skillet that wouldn’t end of sticking like crazy before. Luckily, I now have a handy cast iron skillet that I absolutely love. One of our friends bought it off of our wedding registry a few months ago and sent it to us. The pan makes my food and me happy, and is fun to cook with too. The really wonderful thing about it is that it’s virtually invincible and will probably belong to my great grandchildren someday. I love that. Why did I wait so long to get a cast iron skillet?

Anyway, I’ve been cooking with my cast iron skillet religiously since receiving it, but this was my first frittata I made in it. The pan did not disappoint (no sticking!) and neither did the frittata.

Happy Friday!

Sausage Bacon Squash Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices quality pork bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb bulk chicken sausage (bulk pork sausage works too)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen butternut squash
  • 10 eggs, preferably pasture raised
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

IMG_3835

Directions:

  1. Add chopped bacon to a medium-sized oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Saute a few minutes, until bacon is cooked through. Then, add the yellow onion. Continue to saute a couple minutes. Then, add the chicken sausage and break up the meat with a spatula.
  2. While meat is cooking, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, sea salt and pepper. Set aside. Then, add the frozen butternut squash to the meat mixture and stir.
  3. Once sausage is cooked through and squash has softened a bit, pour the egg mixture evenly over the top. Top with the chopped basil and continue to cook over medium-low heat uncovered for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove skillet from stove top and place under the broiler for 4-6 more minutes or until eggs are cooked through.
  5. Slice and serve with avocado and tomato slices.

Yields: 5 servings

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Simple Supper Friday: Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup.

I have been wanting to make a version of Italian wedding soup for some time now and finally did it! Granted, I know a hot bowl of soup may not be the best summer meal, but the day I made this, it was quite a bit cooler. If I recall, I was wearing long pants this day and it was before the major heat wave. Anyway, even if you don’t make it now because the weather is too warm, it’s a good one to archive. For those of you lucky folks that have air conditioning, it won’t matter and you can make it anytime while keeping cool.

The soup itself comes together quickly, but the most time consuming part (and it really doesn’t take that long) is making the meatballs. These can always be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, which may be helpful if you have a busy schedule. Also, depending on the size of your meatballs, it will take more or less time to make them, unless you’re just an awesome meatball maker. In that case, take pride in the fact that you’re that good!

This recipe was inspired by and adapted from, Chow Bella: Paleo Italian Wedding Soup.

For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 pastured eggs, beaten

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands. Form into small meatballs, about 1/2 tablespoon size and place on large plate. If desired, make meatballs larger or smaller. Once done, set aside or in the fridge until ready to use.

For the soup:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (use leaves if on stalk too)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed with excess water squeezed out
  • 12 cups broth (I used a combo of homemade bone broth and low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 pastured eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic, and saute a few minutes, until softened a bit.
  2. Add the broth, oregano, parsley, sea salt and pepper. Stir and bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Then, add the spinach.
  3. Next, drop in the meatballs and allow to cook through. You will see them float to the top as they cook. Depending on the size of the meatballs, it it will take 8-10 minutes for them to cook.
  4. Pour in the beaten eggs in a thin stream, stirring with a fork when it meets the soup. Stir in fresh basil and serve immediately.

Blueberries N’ Cream Scramble

Blueberries N' Cream Scramble.

Blueberry season is in full effect here in Portland and I am loving it! I always look forward to this time of year and take full advantage of any opportunity to gobble up these juicy, sweet morsels. Berry season doesn’t last that long, so I have to savor it while it lasts. Normally, I moderate my fruit intake a bit more, but during berry season I make an exception. Jesse and I usually go up to one of the nearby farms and pick every summer, and we will this year too. I think we may even go this weekend! You may remember my berry picking post from last year.

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This breakfast delight is basically a pancake and scramble hybrid. Its flavors are reminiscent of pancakes, with the cinnamon and vanilla, but the texture is all eggs with fresh pops of blueberry. It’s incredibly delicious and nice when you’re craving something on the sweeter side for breakfast. Pair it with a side of crispy bacon or sausage — then, you’ve got yourself a complete meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 pastured eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand and this brand)
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • Scoop of coconut butter, for topping

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, sea salt, coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla. Then stir in the fresh blueberries.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, pour in the egg mixture. Allow mixture to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or so (to get scrambled pieces).
  3. Once done, remove from pan and place a big dollop of coconut butter on top, allowing it to melt over the hot eggs. Alternatively, you can melt the coconut butter first and then drizzle on top of the eggs.

Yields: 1 serving

IMG_3606

Simple Supper Friday: Blueberry Basil Chicken Loaf

blueberry basil chicken loaf

Things are really starting to heat up here in Portland and it’s supposed to be in the 90s for the next week or so! It’s times like this that I miss having quick access to water, like back home in Michigan, where there’s beaches all around. Here, without being in the water or in ample shade with lots of cold beverages, it becomes too hot to be outside. Either that, or it’s a constant in-and-out game. In reality though, summer in Portland is really spectacular and the humidity is nothing compared to that of the Midwest. But I still wish I had close access to good swimming and clean water.

On another note, Jesse and I are going to a Primal Blueprint/True Nature Training workshop all day tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it. We signed up a few months ago, so it’s been on our horizon for some time now. I love that opportunities like this come through Portland — makes me all the more grateful to live in this wonderful city. It’s also awesome for Jesse and me to be able to share experiences like this together.

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As for the recipe, it’s simple (obviously) and refreshing, with summery flavors and a hint of sweetness. Additionally, it bakes for a short period of time, so won’t heat up the house too much or for too long, which is crucial on these hot summer days.

Jesse and I ate slices of the loaf with sauteed kale and caramelized onions, but it’s also good eaten in lettuce wraps with a little Dijon mustard — that’s what I did with the leftovers the next day for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb US Wellness Meats ground chicken
  • 1 large clove garlic or 2 small, finely chopped
  • 2 pastured eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic honey vinegar (buy here or use regular)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a medium loaf pan with butter, ghee or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Once mixed through, pour into the greased loaf pan and pat down with a spatula to spread the loaf evenly.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Yields: 3-4 servings

blueberry chicken loaf 2