Ham and Broccoli Frittata

Frittata

A frittata is simply a fancy word (well…Italian word, actually) for an egg-based dish. Call it a baked omelette or a crustless quiche, if you prefer. No matter what you call it, it’s a great way to get some protein and veggies in at any time of day. There are no real set rules for a frittata and, in fact, any recipe is really more of a template than anything else. If dairy is in your life, go ahead and add some cheese. If you want double the meat or a purely veggie dish, go for it. The sky’s the limit. So grab whatever is in the fridge, mix it with some eggs, and dinner will be ready in 30 minutes.

I chose ham and broccoli because I had some ham in the fridge and my son likes broccoli. It worked great! Have fun mixing and matching your own favorite ingredients. These keep really well too so you can store the leftovers in the fridge for a snack or post-workout meal or whatever you need throughout the day!

Ham and Broccoli Frittata

2 tsp. fat of choice (F.O.C.), I used lard from a happy pig

1/2 an onion. chopped

10 oz. ham, chopped

1 1/2 c. broccoli, cooked

10 eggs

1/2 c. coconut milk

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt fat in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and sauté onion and ham until golden, about 8-9 minutes. I did this in a large cast iron skillet so it could go directly into the oven, but if you don’t have a pan like this, you can just transfer the mixture to a cake pan too.

2) Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces and add to the ham mixture.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper until frothy. A blender or mixer works great for this.

4) Pour the egg mixture over the ham and put in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes. It’s done when it is puffy and golden brown. Serve as is or make it fancy with a dollop of paleo mayonnaise or other sauce!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

Brussels sproutsRoasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables. Take just about any vegetable, add a fat, some salt and pepper, and heat from the oven and you wind up with a sweetly caramelized, tender and delicious, totally transformed creation. Even if you think you don’t like a certain vegetable, I challenge you to try it roasted. You just might change your mind.

Brussels sprouts and mushrooms are a wonderfully earthy combination. When roasted, they both become tender but they also retain some density to them, almost a meaty chew. A winter staple in our house, I hope you like them too!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered

2 1/2 c. thickly sliced mushrooms

1/2 an onion

5 cloves of whole, peeled garlic

2 Tbsp. fat of choice, melted if solid (I used freshly rendered lard from a pastured pig)

3/4 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

2 tsp. parsley, optional garnish

1/2 tsp. orange zest, optional garnish

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet.

2) Slice the halved onion lengthwise down the middle and then crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Break apart and place on the baking sheet with the sprouts and mushrooms. Add the garlic, lard or other fat, salt and pepper, and toss thoroughly to combine.

3) Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until tender and well caramelized, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, taste to adjust seasonings, and add parsley and orange zest if desired.

Serves 4

Paleo Beef Stroganoff

Paleo Beef Stroganoff 2013

Do you have a pressure cooker? If you do, this recipe is done in less than an hour. If you don’t, it’s okay – you can still make this recipe. Just follow the instructions until it talks about the pressure cooker timing and either cook it on the stove top or in the oven for 2-3 hours until your meat is tender. Whichever cooking method you choose, the flavors in this recipe are rich and hearty, just perfect for a cold winter day.

Beef Stroganoff has been around for 150 years or so. It has stood the test of time for sure, sometimes disappearing for a while but always coming back into vogue. For most of its history, however, noodles were the base. Not so in the paleo world – here it’s all about zoodles! I quickly steamed my zucchini noodles for this recipe because they don’t need any flavor other than their own. All the deep, complex deliciousness comes from the beef and mushrooms.

If you’re short on time, break out the pressure cooker. If it’s a lazy weekend, you can let this simmer and fill the house with its wonderful aroma while celebrating the simple pleasures of the season!

Paleo Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. stew beef, cut into 1 in. chunks

3 tsp. coconut oil, divided

1/2 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 medium onion

8 oz. baby portabello mushrooms, thickly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2/3 c. beef broth

1/2 c. full fat coconut milk

1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

Directions

1) Coat the beef with 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Use your hands to rub it all over the meat and set aside for a few minutes. Melt 2 tsp. coconut oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to get nice and hot and then brown the beef on all sides. This is best done in batches to avoid steaming the meat. It takes about 4 minutes per batch, adding additional oil as necessary. Remove each batch of browned beef to a bowl to catch any juices.

2) Add onion, mushrooms, and 1/4 tsp. salt to the pot, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

3) Return the meat to the pot with the mushrooms and onion, add the garlic, paprika, thyme, and onion powder and stir to coat everything. Add the beef broth to the pot, close and seal the pressure cooker lid, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to the point where the pressure cooker top is gently, but steadily, rocking (for me this is just below medium on my stove). Keep at this steady pressure for 15 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat. Allow the pressure to dissipate on its own, which should take about 10 minutes.

4) Remove the lid, add the coconut milk, and simmer over medium-high until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Serve over zucchini noodles (below) with a sprinkle of parsley.

Steamed Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles, zoodles3 medium zucchini

salt

Directions

1) Cut the tops and bottoms off your zucchini. If you have a spiral slicer, use the flat blade to create these beautiful thick ribbons. If you have a julienne peeler or are using a knife, slice your zucchini into long strands.

2) Place the zucchini in a strainer over the sink and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let rest for about 20 minutes to allow some of the moisture to be pulled out of the zucchini.

3) When you are ready to eat, rinse the zucchini well and steam for about 2 minutes. I used my steamer bowl in the microwave, but you can use whatever you have. We just want the zucchini lightly steamed, not mushy.

4) Place in a bowl or on a plate and top with the Beef Stroganoff. Enjoy!

Serves 2-3

Garam Masala Creamed Collards

Coconut Milk Collard Greens with Garam Masala

Collard greens are my new favorite green. Don’t get me wrong…I still love kale as well as all the others, but not too long ago I learned that I didn’t have to cook collards for 45 minutes with bacon to make them taste good and that, in fact, they cook up in minutes. MINUTES! When I heard that, I decided to give it a try in the morning with my eggs. I have eggs with some sort of green nearly every day so it seemed like a great place to start. Let me just say that I immediately converted. Not only do collard greens cook quickly, but they are less bitter than kale and generally less expensive.

If you need even more reason to try collard greens, how about an amazing nutritional profile? Because they have that too! Collard greens are so full of vitamins and minerals that reading the list seems like Superman and Wonder Woman joined up to fight cancer. In addition, collard greens have high levels of calcium coupled with exceptionally high levels of Vitamin K, which helps promote bone growth. I don’t consume much dairy, if any, so my major source of bone strengthening comes from the leafy greens I eat every single day and the heavy weights I lift so those nutrients have something to do.

I don’t just love collard greens for their nutrition, though. They are incredibly versatile, which I always appreciate, taking trips around the world depending on the spices and seasonings. This preparation came about because a wonderful friend of mine mentioned she’d like a creamy collard recipe and it’s cold outside so I turned to some warming spices to go with it. My version isn’t swimming in (coconut milk) cream because I wanted the flavor without the soupiness this time. Serve this along side a steak, chicken, fish, even eggs – you really can’t go wrong. It’s so easy and so good!

Garam Masala Creamed Collards

1 tsp. coconut oil

1/2 an onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch of collard greens

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. water

1/2 tsp. garam masala

1/2 c. full-fat coconut milk

Directions

1) Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes until translucent.

2) Remove the stems from the collard greens and wash the leaves. Roughly cut them into 4 vertical strips, stack them in a pile, and cut them into horizontal strips about an inch wide. This doesn’t have to be perfect; you’re just looking for strips that are comfortable to eat.

3) When the onions have softened, add the garlic, collard greens, salt, and water. Give it a good stir and place a lid on the skillet. Steam for about 4 minutes.

4) Remove the lid and add the coconut milk and garam masala. Continue to cook the greens until most of the liquid is gone and the leaves are tender, about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and serve.

Serves 2

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

There are a lot of reasons to love soup. First of all, it is incredibly nourishing. You can add, fit, squeeze, hide (all depending on whether or not you like your veggies!) so many vitamins and minerals in soup that if you ever made a list, it might look like an 8 year old’s letter to Santa. You can make soups chunky or smooth or somewhere in between and, in my opinion, you can eat them all year round. I generally like to keep my soups on the lighter side with mostly vegetables, sometimes with meat, but this time I was looking for something really comforting, almost like a warm, cozy sweater to wrap up in. Let me tell you – this soup is it! It was so good that I immediately froze some so that I’d have leftovers. I’m thinking I’ll break it out on the very next snow day, which happens to be today!

Curry powders can vary a lot. Mine is a pretty mild one because I like to have some control over the spice in my dishes by adding additional cayenne or ginger, for example. I used enough to give it a little kick at the back of the throat. Make sure you use a curry powder you like and, if you aren’t sure how spicy yours is, adjust the quantity as you go along. I sure hope you love this soul-warming soup as much as I do!

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

2 t. coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. + 3/4 tsp. salt

1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato, about 1 pound

1 medium carrot

1/2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 3/4 lb.)

3 cloves or garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. curry powder

4 cups of stock or broth (I used homemade turkey stock)

1/2 c. coconut milk

2 scallions, optional

Directions

1) Peel and roughly chop the onion, sweet potato, carrot, and cauliflower. Melt coconut oil over medium-high heat and sauté the vegetables with 1/2 tsp. of salt until they begin to soften, about 8-9 minutes.

2) Add garlic and curry powder and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.

3) Add stock and 3/4 tsp. salt, if you are using unsalted stock. If you are using commercial stock or broth, wait to salt your soup at the end. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium and maintain a rapid simmer for about 30 minutes. Leave it uncovered so that the soup can reduce a little bit while the vegetables soften.

4) Once everything is soft, puree using an immersion blender. This can also be done in a regular blender or food processor, just be careful blending hot ingredients.

5) Add coconut milk, heat through, and taste to see if the soup needs any additional seasoning. Top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

Turkey and Celery Salad with Cinnamon-Citrus Dressing

Turkey salad with celery and clementines

What do you do when you have a bunch of leftover turkey and a boatload of clementines? Make salad, of course! This beautiful salad uses an exotic spice blend to completely transform holiday leftovers into something quite exceptional. It’s creamy and crunchy and satisfying with sweet little bursts of clementine that bring the sunshine back to any winter-weather day. If you don’t have any turkey left, just use any leftover poultry. You might even want to quickly poach or grill some just so you can try this recipe!

I used a mandoline to slice my celery really thin, very quickly. I love having a mandoline, but then again, I love all of my kitchen gadgets. If you don’t have one, you can easily slice the celery with a knife.

Turkey and Celery Salad with Cinnamon-Citrus Dressing

Dressing

2 T. paleo mayonnaise

Juice from 1/2 a lemon, about 2 Tbsp.

1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

3/4 tsp. salt

3-4 grinds of pepper

Salad

6 clementines

6-8 oz. of cooked turkey or chicken breast, chopped

5-6 celery stalks, thinly sliced, about 2 cups

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. toasted walnuts, chopped

A few toasted coconut flakes to garnish, optional

Directions

1) In a large salad bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, salt and pepper.

2) Peel the clementines, cut them through the middle at the “equator”, and then break off each little half-section. Place in the bowl with the dressing.

3) Add the chopped turkey, sliced celery, scallions, and walnuts to the clementine pieces in the bowl.

4) Toss everything together very well to combine. Top with coconut flakes if you like and any additional salt and pepper.

Serves 2