Sunday, January 15, 2017

Things I've learned: Save that Green Salad

Things I've learned: Save that Green Salad!

If I use enough crispy veggies in my green salad... and romaine lettuce or cabbage... I can save the leftovers for the next day. Honestly- I like all of the crisp veggies to marinate in a vinaigrette. What's crispy? Broccoli, onions, carrots, apples, celery... jicama, snap peas... what else?

And truth be told - if I can save myself from prepping One More Salad... I'm good with that.

Hot Food Tip - Egg Shells

We go through a LOTTA eggs. And, inevitably shells get into the mix. Slippery little buggers! I read somewhere (and I'd credit it if I could remember where) that the best way to fish the shells out of a bunch of eggs is with its owns hell. It's almost magnetic. Forks or fingers seem to repel - but the egg shell grabs right on... well, practically.

It works great in a bowl of eggs - and in a hot pan (you're an adult right? be careful) if you're frying eggs.

Homemade Sausage - 2 ways

Sticking to Whole 30 and not getting bored means finding ways to be creative with food - making it delicious and comforting. And sausage? Mmmmm... almost as good as bacon. I've found these two ways to make both Italian sausage and breakfast sausage from two of my very favorite Paleo gurus: Nom Nom Paleo & Melissa Joulwan. You can find good recipes to put these into - and I'm including one each at the end.

For each version - I use 1 lb. ground turkey and 1lb ground pork. I drizzle some avocado oil in to keep it from being too dry. Probably 1T or so (but more like 3 good circles of drizzle with my avo oil jar). Mix by hand and "crumble" into a hot skillet. Break into pieces into the pan and cook until thoroughly done.

Italian Sausage: Thank you, Melissa Joulwan - this is delicious. Full recipe here with variations: CLICK Here it is listed out:
4 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried Italian Herb Mix (I like Penzeys.)
1/2 tablespoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons coarse (granulated) garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika (sweet or hot)
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1. In a medium bowl, crush the dried parsley and Italian herbs with your fingers to release their flavor.
2. Add the fennel seed, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix with a fork and transfer to an airtight container for storage.
3. Use 1-2 tablespoons of Italian Sausage Seasoning per pound of ground meat. If you like it smokin’ hot, increase the paprika and red pepper flakes by about half.

Breakfast Sausage: Thank you Nom Nom Paleo - I love it better than store-bought! This is for one pound of ground meat - adjust accordingly.  The recipe is from her book Food for Humans.
Maple Sausage Patties  
2 T maple syrup
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 tsp. fresh thyme
½ tsp. fresh rosemary
½ tsp. ancho chili powder

Since I cook Whole 30 (no sugar!) I omit the maple syrup and add red chili flakes for some kick. 

Italian Sausage Recipe:
Through the #snowpocalypse - both Dave & I have continued on with #whole30 - no small feat because I could REALLY use a glass of wine after all of the snow-management we've been up to - (and keeping Dave's energy up too with all of the snow workouts? Oy!). This was part of last night's dinner (day 10!). Homemade Italian sausage (half chicken & half pork with @meljoulwan 's Italian seasoning mix) with lots of sautéed veggies & compliant jarred marinara. Served with roasted asparagus & over spaghetti squash for me - baked potato for the boy (after 2 hours on the roof shoveling the last of the snow). #paleo #januarywhole30

Breakfast Sausage Recipe:
Crumbled into an egg casserole? So great for easy weekday meals, and - the recipe is my first blog post here! LINK here for full recipe.  

Roasted Vegetables - a.k.a. easy Ratatouille

The short of it: Roast a pan of chopped veggies (onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini & or squash,) for one hour at 400 degrees - stirring every 20 minutes and adding a can of tomatoes for the final 20 minutes. Be sure the pan is the right size to be full. If they're spread out, they will dry out too far.

The long of it:  I love to make a big pan of this to keep on hand for easy vegetables, especially when I find a good looking eggplant. I've made this for years, and just realized its straight-up ratatouille (a vegetable dish consisting of onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, fried and stewed in oil and sometimes served cold). Serve over grilled chicken, with Italian sausage, whatever sounds delicious!

I basically chop a mixture of onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini & or squash, in whatever proportions you like. You can use green peppers - but the end result will be more savory than nearly-sweet. Not a bad thing. This batch was, I THINK, one each: zucchini, 2 yellow squash, one big sweet onion, the equivalent of 2 peppers (I had 3 partial yellow, red & orange peppers) & a decent sized eggplant. Even sizes so they roast at the same rate.

Toss in olive oil & Salt/Papper, and put in a 9x13 pan. (be sure the pan is the right size to be full but not overflowing. If they're spread out, they will dry out too far - use a smaller pan if you're short on veggies).  Roast at 400 for 20 minutes, then stir. 20 more minutes then stir and add a can of tomatoes. I like the variety with some flavors - garlic, or basil, oregano & garlic. Let it roast a final 20 minutes or until its done to your liking. Personally - I like it well cooked - it almost makes the dish into a sauce.

Variations: It's basically an Italian dish - add some spices if you'd like. Garlic, thyme, oregano? Hot chili flakes? Splash some balsamic into AFTER its done cooking as a flavor enhancer. YUM.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Make Ahead Egg Frittata - Whole 30

Before oven and after... 
I wanted to have some easy breakfasts, since my husband is joining me on the Whole 30 this round. SO... I looked up egg casseroles for some techniques.  Honestly, I can't recall who I "stole" this from... but basically found... sautéed or blanched veg + eggs + meat (cooked) at 350 until cooked.

Here's what I did: sauté some veggies... add to a greased 9x13. Crumble cooked sausage ( had some homemade pork/ground turkey sausage - ala Nom Nom Paleo {thanks Frugal Nutrition} - but sub chili flakes for maple syrup for W30 compliancy). Top with whipped up eggs, seasoned as you like.

I baked at 350 for about 35 minutes, making sure eggs were cooked.

Heated in the morning and topped with Valentina's. 
In the dish: shredded raw sweet potatoes, and sautéed broccoli, kale, red and green peppers, onions.

What would I change? white potatoes vs. sweet potatoes and add jalapeños or chili flakes ... I like savory in the mornings. but it was still yummy.
NOTE: I changed it up a bit. This time, I pre-roasted potatoes with cajun spice (my FAV is Slap Ya Mama's) instead of raw shredded sweet potatoes, and the veggies are broccoli and red peppers.