The best part about working from home… Part 3!



This is the third and final post in a 3-part series. Last but not least, I took time one morning last week to make a quiche. My logic: make something tasty while using up the leftover veggies and ham we had just sitting in the fridge. 


Ham and Veggie Quiche


Ingredients

  • 10 eggs
  • 1 cup of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cups of baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup of ham, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of bacon fat (or coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil–whatever you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with the bacon fat.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Toss all the veggies and ham in with the eggs, sprinkle on some salt and pepper (to your liking), and stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the baking pan.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.
It’s so fast, so simple, and so delicious! Between me and Brent, it only last three mornings, but that was three mornings I didn’t have to whip up breakfast from scratch (which was a welcome break). The best part is, you can do this with just about any raw veggies you have hanging out in your fridge leftover from making some other recipe.



Enjoy!

The best part about working from home… Part 2

This post is the second of a 3-post series in which I’m sharing three delicious breakfasts that resulted from having spare time  in the morning (when I worked from home over the past two weeks). The first post can be found here: Poached Egg and Smoked Salmon over Roasted Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper.


Ham and Spinach “Egg-izza”

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • approx. 1 cup baby spinach
  • approx. 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • approx. 1/2 cup of leftover ham
  • 1/2 of one shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ghee
Method

  1. Chop the baby spinach, red bell pepper, ham and shallot.
  2. Scramble the eggs in a small bowl.
  3. Sauté the shallot with the ghee on medium-high for about 2 minutes in a small pan.
  4. Toss in the red bell pepper for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the ham; continuing sautéing for another 30 seconds.
  6. Pour in the eggs.
  7. When the eggs first hit the pan, I take a fork and carefully pull the egg from the edges towards the center for about 30 seconds to a minute. This allows more raw egg to reach the pan, which in the long run helps the egg cook through a little faster. 
  8. Layer on your spinach. 
  9. After letting the egg cook to form a solid bottom (about 2 to 3 minutes), carefully flip the whole thing over in your pan. I use the largest flipping spatula I have, and hold the pan at an angle to let the egg bake slip out on one edge about half way. I “catch” it with the spatula and flip.
  10. Let the egg-izza cook another 2 to 3 minutes. To confirm it’s fully cooked through (unless you don’t mind slightly undercooked),  lightly touch the center of the egg-izza. If it’s super soft, it still needs to cook. At this point, cover it and turn the heat down to help it cook through without burning the bottom. If slightly firm, you’re all set!
  11.  Flip out on your plate and eat up!



The best part about working from home… Part 1

I love working from home, which I do on average once a week, for a number of reasons. It saves me on commuting costs, I get to sleep in, I can work in my pjs if I want to, etc. One of my favorite perks is the ability to make whatever I want for breakfast. I’m in no rush to catch the metro the mornings I work from home, and that gives me the time to make something more creative than scrambled eggs and bacon (not that I don’t love those… I do! but variety is necessary sometimes).

Last week, I worked from home once and this week, twice. This post is the first of a 3-post series in which I’ll share three yummy breakfast creations that came out of my few extra minutes on those mornings. 🙂

Poached Egg and Smoked Salmon over Roasted Asparagus and Red Bell Pepper

Ingredients

  • 4-5 asparagus stalks
  • 1 large, roasted red bell pepper from a jar or can (or a large, fresh red bell pepper)
  • 1 egg
  • 1- 2 thin slices of smoked salmon
  • a drizzle olive oil or ghee for roasting the veggies (I used ghee for my asparagus)
  • a small splash of coconut vinegar for poaching the eggs (optional)
  • a sprinkle of salt*, pepper and chopped fresh dill to taste

Method

  1. Peheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. If you don’t have roasted red bell peppers in a jar or can, roast the red pepper for about 45 min (or until the skin is just about to blister; if you like it black, leave them in longer).
  3. About 10 minutes before the red bell peppers are ready, add the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil or ghee on top to the oven for roasting.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a light, rolling boil.
  5. Add a small splash of coconut vinegar if you like.
  6. Crack the egg into a small bowl and carefully drop it into the boiling water. If you want, you can take a small spoon and gently push the egg whites towards the egg yolk to keep it all together. I haven’t found this method to be particularly effective, but some people do.
  7. Wait 3 minutes for the egg to cook (I actually prefer to wait about 5 minutes because that will make the yolk just a little less runny).
  8. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the egg from the boiling water, and set aside on a small plate or clean bowl.
  9. Once everyone has been cooked, pile up your plate (or bowl): first, the asparagus; second, the red bell pepper (I got fancy and tried to wrap my asparagus with the red bell pepper, but you don’t have to do that); third, the poached egg; fourth, the slices of smoked salmon; last, but not least, spinkle on your desired amount of salt*, pepper and freshly chopped dill!

*Note: Smoked salmon is naturally very salty, so if you use any at all, I caution you to use very little!

This recipe is Paleo-friendly, Whole30-friendly if you use a fresh red bell pepper or if you make sure your jar/can of roasted red bell peppers doesn’t have any additives, and 21DSD-friendly. Enjoy!

Paleo-friendly Carrot Pulp Bread – Attempt 2

In case you haven’t read Attempt 1, the long story short is that it came out overly moist (yes, it’s possible, just go read that post); perhaps the better description is oily. Either way, I adjusted a few things and tried again this past weekend…

Unfortunately, this time, the bread came out too dry and crumbly. I probably should have only adjusted one or two things, not five at once. Ah well, lesson learned. Here is what I did this time. One of these days, I will get this right…

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus a little extra with which grease the pan
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups carrot pulp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon corse Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the oil, eggs, and maple syrup together in a large bowl.
  3. Then mix in the carrot pulp into the other wet ingredients.
  4. Mix in a separate medium bowl the flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients.
  6. Grease the bread pan with extra virgin olive oil (I used a pastry brush to do this).
  7. Place the bread batter into the pan and place into the oven.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
It is edible, but I can’t say it’s enjoyable. The bottom half of the loaf seems almost the right texture, but the top half is all crumbs; and the whole thing falls apart at the slightest touch. 
Maybe third time will be the charm? I can only hope…. 🙂

P.S. Sorry there are not pictures with this post. I had taken a few, but my iPhone needed to be reset recently and I ended up loosing the few pics I took for this recipe.

Paleo-friendly Carrot Pulp Bread – 1st Attempt

Disclaimer: This recipe didn’t really fail, but it wasn’t that good. This is labeled “1st Attempt” for a reason. I will revisit this recipe soon and try to fix it. Try it if you like, but read through this whole post and please tweak the recipe (as I suggest at the bottom or in your own way). And if you find a more successful way of doing this, please let me know!

Brent and I make two cups (one cup for each of us) of fresh carrot juice nearly every morning using our juicer, a pile of peeled carrots and 1 lemon. One of these days I might actually measure it out and post it, but today I want to talk about the pulp, not the juice.

Pulp from juicing… what do you do with it? This question first crossed my mind months ago, when we bought our juicer and made our first batch of juice. It pained me to just toss all that pulp in the trash. Brent soon after started a compost pile. Ok, that helped for a little while, but the compost container filled up quickly. So, we Googled it. I found breads, muffins, and other fun recipes. The only problem was that they were not Paleo-friendly.

Then last week, I was bubbling around online, scanning Paleo blogs and sites looking for inspiration, and I saw something that made me drool on Paleomg.com: Banana Bread French Toast. WOW, it looks amazing. I haven’t tried it yet, but it gave me an idea. Why not use this Paleo-friendly banana bread recipe as a template for a carrot pulp bread? I searched online also for a basic carrot pulp bread recipe, and last night I did my best to blend the two to make a paleo-friendly carrot pulp bread.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to grease the pan
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 cup carrot pulp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt (sea salt would probably be better, but I don’t have that in the pantry)
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the oil, eggs, and maple syrup together in a large bowl.
  3. Then mix in the carrot pulp into the other wet ingredients.
  4. Mix in a separate medium bowl the flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients. 
  6. Grease the bread pan with extra virgin olive oil (I used a pastry brush to do this).
  7. Pour the bread batter into the pan and place into the oven.
  8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
As I mentioned in the disclaimer at the top, this wasn’t a total flop, but it wasn’t all that good. I started with cooking it just for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough, so I kept cooking it in 10 minute increments. Finally, at 60 minutes I realized that my bread wasn’t undercooked, it was simply insanely moist. All that oil… yea, it was too much.
So, how will I try to fix this recipe in the near future? Here are a few of my ideas (a special thanks to my friend who tasted the bread today at work and helped me brainstorm ideas for fixing it):
  • use a LOT LESS olive oil
  • add a little almond or coconut flour (flaxseed has a lot of natural oils so the flaxseed meal was naturally a little oily to begin with, so adding a dryer flour or meal would help balance out things)
  • add a little more vanilla extract
  • add a little nutmeg
  • add some walnuts and/or raisins for texture and interest
I’ll post an improved recipe as soon as I perfect this. In the meantime, if any of your wonderful readers out there have ideas for fixing it or want to play around with the recipe yourselves and come up with some great ideas, share please!