Baked Prosciutto & Egg Cups

My new obsession! Easy. Versatile. Reheats well. Very tasty.

I made this last Sunday and have been eating two of these each morning when I get to the office. I made half with cheese (leftover in fridge), half without. I’m not going to lie, cheese makes everything taste better. In the future, at least in the near future, I won’t be using cheese though. It’s lean-out season, which means Bex is off the dairy for a while. Although I didn’t throw in any veggies this time, I can see small diced mushrooms or onions, broccoli or spinach – whatever you fancy – being tasty and will help add some diversity if you make ’em regularly.

Also, keep in mind that I used a muffin pan with 12 cups. If you’re only has six or eight cups, adjust your egg and prosciutto count accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • coconut oil
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 3 large basil leaves (or dried, chopped basil works too)
  • 12 eggs
  • ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat each muffin cup with coconut oil and fit each with a prosciutto slice. Divide half the basil (if leaves; sprinkle to taste for dried) and any other fillings (cheese/veggies). Crack an egg into each cup and add remaining (or another sprinkle) basil, the remainder of your cheese/veggies and a touch of black pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes; let rest for five. Run knife around cups to unmold.

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Primal Shepherd’s Pie

At JF’s request, I made shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight. I’d never had it before, at least not that I can remember, but it sounded like a hearty wintertime dish and he mentioned it as a meal idea a few times.

I was a little nervous bc I went into it blind. Turns out, though, this is one of the least complicated meals I’ve come across. Most of the ingredients are things I had anyway; just had to run to the store for a few small bags of frozen veggies – a whopping $4 purchase.

When cooking, I tend to loosely follow recipes, but since I had no previous experiences with this dish, it was a little difficult to just wing it. When I asked if he had a recipe in mind or if I should look for one, he said he normally just threw stuff in … which wasn’t much help since I didn’t have any clue as to a typical ingredients list.

I got lucky though and found a recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple, which I was able to use as a template. I only used one cauliflower last night, but have included two on the list below because the spread on top was a little light – especially if you choose to forego the cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1.5 cups frozen carrots
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Break the cauliflower into florets and boil for 20 minutes.

Put soft cauliflower pieces into a food processor with butter and cream and process until smooth. Add pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat evoo in a skillet over medium-low. Add onion and sauté several minutes until soft. Add ground venison and brown. Next, add peas, green beans and carrots. Cook for another five minutes, approximately.

Stir in the coconut oil, almond flour, broth and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for another five minutes. Add pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and pour into a casserole dish. Spread cauliflower mash over the top and, if desired, cover with cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

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Almond Butter Fruit and Nut Bars

Aack! Easiest “recipe” ever. Seriously. Almond butter and applesauce + whatever dried fruits and nuts you have on hand + shredded coconut = the perfect secret weapon against your sweet tooth. I’ve listed the ingredients I used below, but ultimately you can flavor these however you want. Try something new each time and have fun with it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries (unsweetened if you’re luckier than me and can find ’em)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • cinnamon

Method:

Put almond butter and applesauce in pot on low heat. Add nuts, cherries and coconut and stir well.

I lined a pie pan with aluminum foil, but you could use pretty much any type of baking pan you’d like and/or parchment paper. Spread mixture evenly onto pan and stick in the freezer. I sprinkled some cinnamon on mine before I put them in the freezer, but it’s not a must.

Once frozen, just break off a piece and go. Excellent for those moments when your sweet tooth hits and you need a fix without falling too far off the wagon.

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Spicy Curry Stuffed Peppers

I’ve made stuffed peppers a few times before, but this is, by far, the most tasty outcome I’ve gotten. The secret, you ask? Tomato paste.

For the filling, I used spicy sausage from the Dekalb Farmers Market. I had 1lb, 4 oz in the fridge and needed to cook it, so I had way more filling than needed for two peppers. Easy fix, make four peppers.

Or, get creative and find another veggie to pair with the extra topping.

UPDATE: I ended up putting my leftover filler atop cooked eggplant/squash slices for a quick dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 large green peppers (depending on if you want leftover filling to use for other things or not)
  • evoo
  • 10 crimini mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb ground mild Italian pork sausage
  • 1 Tbsp indian curry
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)

Method:

Hollow out green peppers.

Dice mushrooms and onions. Caramelize in frying pan over evoo. Add black pepper to taste. Process caramelized onions and mushrooms in food processor.

Brown ground sausage in evoo over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion mixture back to pan. Add indian curry and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly.

Stuff green peppers with mixture and cook in oven at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

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Scottish Eggs

When Jocelyn was in town over the holidays, she had a little birthday dinner at an Irish pub in Alpharetta called Olde Blind Dog. One of her friends was basically obsessed with their Scottish eggs and raved about them for the first 30 minutes we were seated. All the while, I had no idea what Scottish eggs even were until the dish arrived at the table.

Since then I’ve been curious to try them, so when I came across a recipe yesterday, they jumped straight to the top of my recipes-in-waiting pile.

This dish is both easy to prepare and versatile. I ate one out of the oven with half an avocado for dinner last night, but it’d also be great for a grab-and-go breakfast out of the fridge with fruit or as part of a post-WOD refueler.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, hard boiled
  • 12 ounces ground sausage

Method:

Divide the sausage into four 3-oz sections and flatten into pancakes. Place a hard boiled egg on each sausage cake and form meat into a coat around the egg.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees et voilà!

Nutritional Info: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/scottish-egg/#ixzz1AMvgiJgh

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Flat-Iron Steak & Julienned Veggie Stir-Fry

(recipe adapted from page 160 of Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages)

I opted to turn this into an entree rather than a side, so I added meat, although the original recipe was designed as a vegetable dish. Came out tasty, although the steak could’ve done with some marinating before throwing into the pan.

Used my (oft-ignored) mandolin tonight. It still isn’t quite my favorite kitchen  gadget, but it certainly has it’s shining moments. Although I chopped the red and green peppers with a knife and the carrots were pre-cut, it would’ve taken forever to slice up those squash. If only it didn’t wear out my shoulder so much – or cause such a big mess. Oh well, pros and cons to everything, I guess.

Ingredients:

  • evoo
  • 1 package flat-iron steak, cubed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup julienned carrots (I got the pre-cut bag; if you’d rather do it yourself, use 2 large carrots, peeled)
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium yellow squash, julienned
  • 1 medium zucchini, julienned
  • black pepper, to taste

Method:

Heat evoo in large skillet over medium heat and saute steak and garlic for a couple minutes. Add carrots and peppers. Stir so veggies come in contact with the pan at some point and continue browning for five minutes. Mix in squash and zucchini (and black pepper if you choose). Cook over medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Veggies are done when tender.

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Banana Walnut Muffins (or Bread)

(recipe adapted from posting on CFPT’s blog by one of the trainers)

I’ve made these muffins a few times now, and they never disappoint – always moist and delicious (ha, that’s what he said).

I baked these when I was home over the Thanksgiving holiday and managed to leave my muffin pan at mom’s house, so when the urge to make these struck again tonight I was forced to experiment with cooking them in a small, square casserole pan. Had to cook longer tonight, as expected, but turned out just as yummy – although not nearly as travel-friendly.

All-in-all, this is a quick and easy recipe and a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth without going overboard. Next time, I plan on cutting out the agave and adding more banana/vanilla – hoping it doesn’t aversely affect the taste too much; it’d be great be able to transform these into strict paleo muffins.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal (I always use Trader Joe’s bc it’s the cheapest by far)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup baking walnuts

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, the riper the better
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup raw, organic agave (or honey)
  • 3 T olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 3 T almond butter, unsalted

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place walnuts in to roast on a cookie sheet. Keep an eye on them as they tend to burn easily.

Liquify bananas in food processor. Add honey and almond butter, pulse. Whip eggs and add in with oil and vanilla, pulse again.

In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients including walnuts.

Mix wet and dry ingredients. Pour into muffin cups or bread pan.

Depending on whether you’re making mini-muffins, regular-sized muffins or a bread loaf, cooking time will vary. It can take anywhere from 12 – 20 minutes, so keep a close watch to prevent accidental burning.

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