If you're going low carb, this bunless morning egg sandwich is just what you're looking for. You definitely need rings of some kind to ensure the eggs are round. I bought some inexpensive ones from Daiso. The recipe suggests Mason jar rings. I know people also have used empty (and washed) tuna cans.
Also, instead of frying the egg, you're steaming it. Watch more in the video:
What Would I Change In the Bunless Morning Egg Sandwich
What's great about this recipe is you can go any way you want. I personally love turkey sausage patties on my egg sandwiches. You could also use Canadian bacon.
If you have guacamole leftover, you could use that in place of avocado.
I also always have Laughing Cow cheese wedges on hand. This morning, I used Swiss and Herb. I also always have the chipotle one around. It melts differently, and I like the creaminess of it.
This is going to be messy no matter how you cook it. So make sure you have a lot of napkins on hand.
Make Your Bunless Morning Egg Sandwich A Meal
If you want something like potatoes but don't want the potatoes, see if you can get Green Giant cauliflower tots. I made some this morning to go with my egg scramble, and it was perfect. I confess to not enjoying them with the burger. They're not really like tater tots. Ok, they're trying to be. But if you want a tater tot and you have a cauli-tot, you'll be disappointed. If you decide you want some cauli-tots to go with your Paleo breakfast, you'll be happy.
Add in some fruit as well. Blueberries and oranges (separately) seem to go best with morning egg muffins to me.
Just an aside, delicata squash is wonderful. No peeling or de-seeding really necessary. And it has a thin skin so it's easy to cut up and toss in a pan with onions and olive oil for a delicious side.
If you don't have a slow cooker or a pressure cooker, you should slice it in half lengthwise.
Then scrape out the seeds. If you have a jack-o-lantern scraper leftover from Halloween, it does a GREAT job on this. Then put the halves flesh side down, skin side up in a baking dish.
If you're using an oven, roast it at 400 for about 30-45 minutes. It depends upon the size of your squash.
If you have a microwave, add 3/4 to 1 inch of water and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes, turning your dish halfway through cooking if necessary, until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
Then you let it cool down and scrape out the goodness.
What If You Have Kitchen Appliances
You definitely may want to go to your local thrift store and get a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Or ask a friend to play around with it. It's not for everyone, but I think it can short-cut a lot of the boring work.
You cut out the step of having to cut open the squash and scrape out the seeds if you use a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
For a slow cooker, poke about 10-12 holes into the skin. I use a fork so I don't have to do as many punctures. Then place in the slow cooker with about a cup and a half of water. Turn it on low for 4-6 hours. Then let it cool on a cutting board until it's ok to touch.
If you're using a pressure cooker, use a rack. Add in the minimum amount of water your pressure cooker needs to come to pressure. One of mine is about a cup and another is a cup and a half. Put the squash in and cook at pressure for 12-20 minutes. It depends upon the size of your squash. Do a quick release and let it cool on a cutting board.
Paleo skillet chicken with seared avocados is a fast and filling meal for a weeknight. Let's be honest…if you eat just a salad with some meat on it, you're hungry again in an hour or two. Why is that? Because you didn't have enough fat. Fat's necessary for us to feel satisfied. Avocado is a very healthy fat.
I love the South of the Border bent for this recipe. People are particular about the level of heat and spice in their dishes. The recipe calls for a fresh poblano pepper and some ancho chile spice. Poblanos are pretty mild. If you want to spice it up, you could use a fresh jalapeno or a serrano. If you want it really spicy, try a habanero chile pepper.
Remember, the heat is in the seeds and the ribs. So you may learn to like the flavor of one pepper over the other. If so, adjust how you cut it up, and how much you put in.
You could purchase a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. That's my favorite for making guacamole. It's a warm heat. But be careful…it's strong.
This Paleo skillet chicken does call for sour cream. Because it's been fermented, some Paleo folk feel it's ok to use. If you don't, use curdled full fat coconut milk.
Are you looking for a quick breakfast idea? Sundays can be a great day for prepping food for the rest of the week. You could make the Asian noodle salad for lunches the rest of the week. Today, I found an egg muffin recipe that's quick, cheap, easy and delicious.
She already suggests some additional ideas like ham & broccoli, spinach & feta or sausage, peppers and mushrooms. You can change up the cheeses to match your desires. I also like the Laughing Cow cheese wedges. They melt really well and have some lovely flavors. My favorite is the Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle flavor followed by Swiss and Garlic.
You can save time by buying pre-shredded cheese, pre-cut onions, and sausage crumbles. I love Jimmy Dean's turkey crumbles.
Figure out your favorite quiche or what you have as leftovers in the house. You can season the eggs with some paprika, nutmeg, chili powder, thyme…the sky is the limit.
Just remember, if you use pork sausage or chorizo, you will want to drain the meat after cooking and blot off as much of the excess fat as you can. Some people rinse it under running water. I don't because I like a little of that flavor left on. My favorite is the Jimmy Dean pork sausage with sage. You can pre-slice it and store the rest in the freezer.
A friend makes his with a slice of Canadian bacon on the bottom. Then he puts in the additional vegetables and cheese before pouring on his egg mixture.
You can also make it with a slice of bacon going around the side of the muffin tin. That contains everything.
Add in a variety of vegetables as well. You could put in shredded squash or sweet potato as well to make it seem like a bit of a hash.
How to Make a Well Balanced Breakfast
Have a side of some fruit. Right now, I'm into tangelos and grapefruit as sides. My mom had always sliced grapefruit in half and had me use the special grapefruit knife to slice the sections. Then I'd put a little pure maple syrup on, and eat that way. When I was in college, my housemate would just peel and eat the grapefruit.
It may seem obvious but for me, it was like a light went on. It had never occurred to me to eat one that way.
You could buy some of those pre-formed hash brown patties and toss it into the toaster oven. You may want to pop in the egg muffin near the end so it warms up. I don't have a microwave, but you could nuke it for a little bit to get it all warmed up. Just remember to let it sit for a minute so the hot spots even out.
If want to stay low carb, don't do the hash browns. Also, don't have any toast or English muffins or bagels. You know the drill.
I dug up some of your favorites made non-dairy for today's post. If you're like me, you LOVE cheese and yogurt and….well I won't go on. That's what's kept me from doing the Whole 30. I gave up soda on my 50th birthday. I drink decaff coffee since I was around 40 and found out it affected my blood pressure.
While I do love my wine, I'd have no problems giving it up for 30 days and sometimes have. A friend likes to play Parched in March. And I can cook without grains. I do that about 2 to 3 times a week.
But dairy? That's where I stall out. So I knew if I really wanted to try it (purely for research to help you, of course), I'd need to find some substitutes for cheese. I've already tried soy-based cheeses. The American slices are good on toast…but then I wouldn't be eating toast during the Whole 30. I could still melt it on broccoli and zucchini, though.
No, what I needed were things that I could rotate in that I use almost daily like yogurt and cream cheese. I love making cucumber subs. And once I found a few of those, I found some other good nut-based cheeses. Let's go take a look.
Cream Cheese Favorites Made Non-Dairy
You can make a cream cheese substitute out of almonds and cashews. The key is to soak them for at least 8 hours so they're soft. Most recipes call for a food processor. I don't have one, so I use my Vitamix. If you use a blender, make sure it's got enough power to cream the nuts. Also, one cup of raw, unsalted nuts can create enough for a few days.
Store any extra in the refrigerator for up to one week.
One other quick tip is that you drain the soaked nuts before tossing them into your food processor. Otherwise, you end up with nut milk instead of nut cheese.
You will need to add in some additional items like 3 Tablespoons each of lemon juice and melted coconut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Then you can start playing around. You could add in 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit jam or preserves. I'd recommend sugar-free or something you've made yourself. You could use very ripe fruit as well.
If you like chocolate, add in some cocoa powder and a healthy sweetener.
You could also add in some vanilla paste and adjust the lemon juice down to get a deliciously creamy treat.
Finally, you could add in some chopped walnuts and pecans along with maple syrup.
You want to find a nice mix of things like vinegar, nutritional yeast and miso paste to mimic a savory flavor. There are a lot of recipes out there for using almonds or cashews. This is also a great ricotta substitute.
One recipe I found uses 2 Tablespoons each of yellow miso paste and apple cider vinegar and 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Then season with garlic powder and salt. If you use almonds, you may need to add in some unsweetened almond milk for consistency. Another nut cream cheese base recipe uses 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the miso paste.
Then you can add in dill or chives or roasted garlic or just about anything you happen to like.
Whipped Cream Favorites Made Non-Dairy
You can make an excellent whipped cream out of full-fat coconut milk that's been refrigerated until it's cold (so, overnight is good). You do that so the coconut cream will separate to the top of the can. Enjoy the coconut water while you whip the heck out of the coconut cream.
You definitely want to make your own from scratch since a lot of manufacturers put in additives and preservatives and goodness knows what else to mimic the texture of dairy ice cream.
Culinary Nutrition has a simple recipe that they make up, and then put the ice cream in the freezer. Alton Brown showed how to do this in a Good Eats once. He mixed it up periodically to reduce the ice crystals and have a more consistent product.
For many years, it seemed cool to make fun of the poor Brussels sprouts. They smelled funny when you cooked them. They usually only showed up at Thanksgiving. And often, they were steamed within an inch of their poor lives. But no more.
Learn to Love Brussels Sprouts
They can be easy to cook, and work well with a variety of flavors like bacon and apple. Here's a video on cooking them simply.
Did you know that those mighty little sprouts can enhance DNA repair in cells and help block the continued growth of cancer cells. They are best cooked by steaming, roasting, or boiling, and combined with a variety of spices and dressings. They vegetables make a fabulous base for casseroles and salads or work as a satisfying side dish.
Hubby and two friends all loved shaved Brussels sprouts salad. It's not my personal favorite way of preparing them. I'd suggest trying one and see if you like it. The difficulty is getting the sprouts shaved finely enough. But put it in front of my hubby and two friends? It's gone in a second and they're asking for more.
Want More Ideas?
Pasta with Bacon, Shredded Brussels Sprouts, and Lemon Zest
I love that this uses orecchiette pasta. I think that means “little ears.” It's a fun shape and gives you a happy experience eating. And instead of bacon slices, you could use pancetta. I have a bunch of Myer lemons right now that would go great with this.
Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo and Garlic
There are a few types of chorizo available. I'm more used to the Mexican style than the Portuguese or Spanish style. Chorizo is spicy so go carefuly with additional seasoning. That doesn't mean it's hot. I found that out once when I was in a Caribbean restaurant and wanted Cajun style spicing. I was young and didn't know there were vast differences. Anyway, seasoning matters. Taste as you go and find what you enjoy.
Brussels Sprouts Braised with Cider and Bacon
I have braised sprouts before and didn't like it. But I think it was my recipe. I want to continue trying braised veggies. This could be good with plain cabbage as well. Or I may be fooling myself and will never actually like them and always prefer roasted or grilled or steamed. The thing is you should try and get comfortable with different methods. You don't have to like it. Just go on to the next method and find the way you do enjoy them.
Even MORE Ideas!
Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce
This is a whole meal. I love that it calls for whole-grain Dijon mustard which has a nuttier flavor to me. You can also add in 1 tablespoon of light cream to add a little bit of lovely luxurious flavor into a sauce without adding a lot of calories. I like the mouth-feel of a finished sauce that seems to be creamy.
In this Craftsy course Love Your Vegetables (w/ Anna Bullett), AnnBullett said that overcooking vegetables can take you past the sharp flavor and into a sweeter, more mellow flavor. When I overroasted Brussels sprouts the other night, they were very soft, and very sweet.
Chicken mushroom sage casserole is a great time saver. I'm going to review how to make it healthier, and then lower carb. Finally, I'll make recommendations to make this in a slow cooker. You can also make this with any leftover turkey you may have.
They use a lot of butter. Granted it does add to the flavor. And they're using it with flour to make the gravy. What I'd recommend is not putting so much butter in and see how it turns out. You could probably cut it back by two tablespoons and not affect the flavor.
Also, I'd look for rice instead of a rice mix. It will save you money. And what would you do with the spice packet that's leftover anyway.
Wild rice would go great with the sage and mushroom flavors. So you may want to find a package of wild rice. You may need to parboil it a bit before it goes into the oven since it usually takes about an hour. If you put it with the chicken, it would dry out the poor chicken thigh before it would be done.
So one way would be to put in the rice and other ingredients for thirty minutes. Then put the chicken on it and cook the rest of the way. You could substitute chicken breasts, but they cook faster so you'll need to keep an eye on it.
You could also substitute in turkey. My market sells turkey legs and turkey wings as well as the usual turkey breast.
Another option would be to take ground turkey or chicken and use that so it's more like a sausage rice instead.
How to Make In the Slow Cooker
I looked for similar recipes. Most called for cream of mushroom soup. My concern with that is the amount of sodium in the cans. Plus, I'm trying to advocate natural from scratch. However, there are now some healthier cream of mushroom soups out there. And you can make it yourself.
Here's two good sounding recipes. They also call for rice mixes. If you substitute in real wild rice blends, you will need to increase the fluids:
I thought I'd start something new by doing a Nom Nom Paleo books review. I'm addicted to cookbooks. So much so that sometimes I'm so busy reading that I have to scurry to get anything on the table by 6pm. Thankfully I have my Instant Pot, chicken in the freezer and there's always vegetables hanging around.
What Is Nom Nom Paleo
Nom Nom Paleo was a blog started by Michelle Tam to chronicle her move to a Paleo lifestyle. She was working the night shift and found she was gaining weight and had poor energy. I always loved her authentic energy and enticing photos done by her husband Henry Fong.
At first, Michelle wrote articles for regular cooking and slow cookers. She then joined the Instant Pot cult and started updating her recipes. My absolute favorite is the kalua pork. I can eat that as is, in tacos, in salads, and also in wraps. It's super simple and yet very flavorful and flexible.
If I were to do it all over again, I'd read Ready or Not first. It allows you to start from where you're at and ease into the primal lifestyle. And even the authors aren't perfect. They tend towards the Paleo lifestyle, but also use butter. It's not about perfection, but about cooking good meals from real foods.
Michelle also wrote in a “conversation” using the questions she gets the most like if she ever gets bored of the Paleo eating. She feels better without gluten because of her body. Everyone will respond differently.
I personally love to mix it up with some meals being low carb and others having carbs when I'm cooking Mediterranean style. So in a nutshell, these books will inspire you. And there's nothing that says you have to be strict. just get inspired and try new things because it's fun.
When you read the books, they're full of comics and photos, and you really feel like you're in their house. She's got picky eaters, and works hard to ensure that everyone feels happy. On Wednesdays, she does a Facebook Live in the evening to demonstrate a recipe.
Are they ok on e-readers?
I know some ebooks look pretty crummy on Nooks and Kindles. So, yes, they look fine. I did almost buy Ready or Not as a real book because it's color coded for which stage you may be in (Get Set, Ready, Kinda Ready, Not Ready and Beyond Ready).
Still, it's easy enough to move around if I'm on my Fire or reading using the Cloud Reader. The only downside? If I want to print something out, it's difficult. But that's OK. I'll keep my Fire with me in the kitchen.
If you want to prepare quality meals at home, it's important that you know how to keep your knives in good shape. We talked a little in the past about knives. I wanted to go more in depth as to knife types and keeping them sharp and well cared for.
Types of Kitchen Knives
There are quite a few types of knives that you can use in the kitchen. The main two are a paring knife and a chef knife. The chef knife does most of the work when cutting up vegetables and cheese and things. The paring knife is great for cutting into a bell pepper and doing more close work.
I have two sizes chef knife which is great when you have large and small things you're cutting. Also, I use the smaller chef knife on mushrooms, smaller potatoes, and onions and the larger chef knife on large onions, potatoes, and butternut squash.
I have a small serrated knife for tomatoes. I used to go crazy trying to slice them until I invested in the tomato knife. It's so awesome.
And I have a carving knife that came with the set. My husband loves that. When I need to carve meat, I use a large serrated knife that I bought just for that purpose. It has a different blade pattern than the bread knife. The meat knife is the one on the left and has more a scalloped edge. Also the meat knife has the bumps going towards the outside whereas the bread knife has the bumps going on the inside, if that makes sense.
Finally, the kit I bought came with a utility knife. I don't often remember that it's there. I used to use it for cheese, if I remember correctly.
The bottom line is that you need one good chef knife and one good paring knife to do the majority of your prep work. After that, you can get when you find you would use the most. Or you can be like me when I was 22 and moving in to my own place after college and thinking “I need a good knife set.” So I went to Emporium (yes it really was that long ago) and found a good set on sale. And it's lasted me 28 years and counting. I've never had them professionally sharpened because I take good care of them.
This was the large chef knife, small chef knife, carving knife and fork, paring knife, utility knife, tomato knife, meat carving knife and bread knife. Whew. And yet, I really only use 2 of them the most. But it is nice to have the others.
The carving board is a maple one I bought off of Amazon. I had no idea how big it would be! Another tip on how to keep your knives in good shape is to use a good cutting board. Don't cut on tile. So let's move into the other tips.
Taking Care of Your Knives
There are some simple things we can do to keep our knives sharper and happier. First off, don't let it hang around in the bottom of your sink. Things can fall on it or hit the blade knocking it out of alignment. Wash it right away and put it away. It also ensures no rust gets on them. If you have stainless steel, it shouldn't happen…but why take a chance.
Store your knives carefully. You don't want them jumbling around in a drawer. I have a wooden knife block that I got with my knives. If you don't have the space in your kitchen for a block, try and find a cover for the blade to protect it.
When scraping food that you've cut, use a food scraper. If you don't have one, use the back spine of the knife rather than the blade side.
Use the steel to hone your knives regularly. It's actually not how you sharpen. Knives have an edge that can sometimes get folded over one way or the other. The steel helps straighten the edge of the blade.
Keeping Your Knives Sharp
This was a great video on sharpening your kitchen knives. I have the third motorized sharpener. It reminds me…I should go sharpen my knives before Thanksgiving.
And that, in a nutshell, is how to keep your knives in good shape!
Sumac chicken with cauliflower and carrots is a quick and easy sheet pan dinner. You know how I love easy clean up. But what is sumac? It's a spice made from a dried berry. I'll tell you more after the video.
If you can't find it or don't want to buy any, you can mix the zest of a lemon with some salt and use that in place of the sumac.
What Would I Change
Not a lot. This recipe sounds really delicious. I may use a little less oil. You could substitute in lamb in place of chicken. And I would be interested in trying it on pork. I love making pork with either a bit of lemon juice or orange juice.
You could substitute in romanesco for cauliflower, or do a mixture of both depending on what you have on hand.
Another good substitution is parsnips in place of the carrots. I just got some baby turnips in my CSA box. I'd probably cut them in half and add them in as well.
You could put in leeks and whole garlic cloves. I'm always using roasted garlic cloves in other areas, so if you're going to be heating up your oven anyway, toss in some garlic to get roasted as well.
How Mine Turned Out
I'm updating this since I made it this weekend. It was really tasty. I'm a huge sumac fan now. I found a small box in my local supermarket for under $4. (Safeway if anyone is asking. Safeway has a great spice section compared to my Nob Hill. I didn't check Lunardi's or Whole Foods.)
I only used two pieces of chicken and a few carrots and cauliflower florets. However, I did add in some small potatoes that I quartered. And I didn't finish it with the extra olive oil. I did chop up fresh flatleaf parsley from my garden with cilantro and it added a great herby flavor and smell to the dish.
Here's how it looked before putting it into the oven for the first twenty minutes:
And here's where I added in the onion wedges before the final twenty minutes. I did stir things up a bit.:
Here's the final dish. I should get prettier dishes, but I so love these Southwestern dishes hubby and I bought from Costco or Priceclub when we were first living together.
Make It More Paleo
To make this dish more primal, you'd want to use sweet potatoes or turnips rather than white potatoes. And you'd want to substitute in ghee for the olive oil.