Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recipes: Paleo, Paleo, Paleo

Ladies and gentleman, I have some new recipes for you that I've been testing out. All Paleo, all Gluten Free, all pretty darn good.

First up from my current favorite cookbook, Ham and Egg Cups. As much as I love the quiche recipe, I was getting a little tired of it, so I gave this new one a try. I like it because, again, as with all recipes in this book, it's easy. The egg cups are convenient and last for the week so you can take them for breakfast in the morning. Nice and quick. One thing on the ham you should know- most processed meats contain nitrates. Nitrates are bad. You can buy sliced meat without them, but you have to go to a health food store like Whole Foods. Just something to keep in mind.

I decided to play around with this recipe a bit to see what I could come up with. I wanted the cups to be a bit bigger in size, so I bought a large 6 cup muffin pan and omitted the ham for bacon. I added more veggies and did two eggs per cup. I did not, however, sauté the veggies. In the original batch it almost seemed like the flavor was cooked out after everything was said and done, so I let the veggies bake with everything else. It worked out great because it's really like an entire meal all in one egg "muffin". Two eggs, two slices of bacon and veggies. Perfect. I had my mom taste test it and she gave her seal of approval. The original recipe is below followed by my variation on it.

Ham and Egg cups with
my banana smoothie = yumminess.
Ham and Egg Cups
Taken from Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie & Charles Mayfield

1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
12 large eggs
12 slices of ham

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute shallots and mushrooms in skillet with butter
3. Coat muffin pan with olive oil and place ham slices in cups. You may want to cut a sliver in each ham slice to allow it to fold over itself when placed in the round muffin cup.
4. Spoon out the sautéed mushroom/shallot mix into each cup.
5. Crack individual eggs into the ham cups.
6. Cook for 15-16 mins or until edge of ham is slightly crisp. (It took me about 20 mins to get the edges crisp)

Bacon, Egg and Veggie "Muffins"
1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
A few spinach leaves, per cup
12 large eggs
12 slices (nitrate free) bacon

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. Coat skillet and muffin pan with olive oil.
3. Cook bacon in skillet for about 5 mins, just to get it going a little bit. Dry off all fat and oil from bacon and layer, two pieces at a time, into each muffin cup, covering entire cup. 
4. Spoon in equal parts shallots, mushrooms, chives. Layer spinach leaves on top. 
5. Crack two eggs onto each cup.
6. Bake for 15 - 20 mins, or until bacon is crisping and eggs are fully cooked.

Variations: Mix up the veggies. Add bell pepper, kale, asparagus. Get creative and have fun!

On to the next one...

Remember how I tried out the Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes and the Easy Chicken BLT's from Eat Well, Feel Good: Practically Paleo Living by Diane Frampton? Well there was one more recipe I wanted to try. 

Da na na na na na...I give you: Thai Coconut Chicken. I switched this recipe up quite a bit from the original, which can be found here. The reason? I wanted to work with what I had in my kitchen and I was too hungry to be patient and go buy the rest of the ingredients. That being said, one day I'll probably try it the original way, but I really liked it this way. It had an Indian flavoring to it and I love me some Indian food. One thing I would suggest is that you could use more coconut milk to give it a richer taste and to have a little more left for the sauce. I didn't do that this time around, but after it was said and done I wished I had a little more left.

Thai Coconut Chicken, Carrot Souffle, and Veggie Salad
Thai Coconut Chicken

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup Tamari
1 TBSP ginger
2 TBSP's coconut oil
1/2 TSP salt
1/2 TSP cardamom
1/2 TSP cumin
1/2 TSP black peppercorn chipotle

1. Combine coconut milk, tamari, ginger, cardamom, cumin, and black peppercorn chipotle in a Ziploc bag and shake well to mix.
2. Remove half the mixture from the bag to a bowl and set aside.
3. Place the chicken breast in a Ziploc bag and marinate for at least two hours.
4. Heat a medium sized skillet. Add coconut oil and sear the marinated chicken breasts for about 4 minutes per side.
5. Remove chicken from skillet. Place on a cutting board and cut into large-ish bite sized pieces.
6. Place reserved coconut milk mixture into the skillet. Add salt and simmer to a low boil.
7. Add chicken pieces back to the skillet and continue cooking on low until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. 
8. Eat.

Last, but not least, Carrot Souffle. In one of the many past lives I'm not sure I lived, I think I may have been a rabbit, due to the large amounts of carrots I consume. Therefore, I had to try this. Someone else I know actually tested this out before I had and in their review they thought that the soufflé had come out greasy and salty, so I altered it to adjust what they had encountered. 

Overall it was pretty good. Not necessarily my favorite, but that might be because it was so different. I would suggest giving it a try and seeing what you think.

Carrot Souffle
Taken from The Food Lovers Make it Paleo by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason

2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 quart organic chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut oil (I used 1/3 cup)
2 TBSP's fresh lemon juice
3 eggs
1 TSP salt (I used 1/2 TSP)
1/4 TSP ground cinnamon
1 TBSP coconut flour
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP's minced onion

1. In a large soup pot, boil carrots in chicken stock until soft, about 20 mins.
2. Preheat oven to bake at 350 degrees.
3. Drain carrots from chicken stock and place in a food processor or blender.
4. Puree carrots until smooth.
5. Add coconut oil, lemon juice, eggs, salt, cinnamon, coconut flour, and vanilla to food processor/blender and continue to blend until smooth.
6. Add minced onion and blend again just enough to evenly distribute onions.
7. Pour into a 2 quart souffle dish, lightly greased with coconut oil.
8. Bake uncovered for 45-60 mins. Souffle should be firm to touch before eating.
9. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Enjoy folks. Let me know what you think!

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