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Easy Paleo Egg Muffins

Adapted from Everyday Paleo and other recipes.

This is such an easy way to make cute, portable breakfast bites! Although these are best right out of the oven, they will store for several days in the refrigerator if you want to cook them at night and grab some to go for breakfast.

The cupcake liners are optional. But I ended up ordering some unbleached If You Care brand and miscalculated the amount and received MANY boxes; I believe the correct metric measurement is a shitton. (In fact, I will mail the first 5 people a free box of cupcake liners who share this post on Facebook and send me your address!) AND the bonus of using the liners is that your hands stay clean and did I mention how cute they are?

Ingredients
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 bunch (about a pound) asparagus
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
10-12 large eggs, whisked
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Melt the coconut oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add onion and crushed red peppers and stir 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, break the tough ends off the bottom of the asparagus spears and cut into small chunks (about 1/2 inch) and slice the mushrooms.
  4. Add asparagus and mushrooms to the onion in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk the eggs together in a large bowl and add salt and pepper
  6. Once the vegetables are cooked, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Then add to the egg mixture and stir together to mix.
  7. Coat a large muffin pan with oil or put liners in. Tip – fill unused muffin cups halfway with water to avoid burning the pan. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, fill each muffin cup nearly all the way to the top. 10 eggs + additions = 1 large muffin tin.

  8. Place in oven 10-20 minutes, depending on the shittiness of your oven (to borrow from the Cooking Caveman). Remove them when the tops get puffy, fluffy and golden brown.
  9. Pull them out by the liners if using, or pop them out with a butter knife.
I have a few Paleo cookbooks
I have a few Paleo cookbooks

And the variations on ingredients are practically endless! Dice up and cook green and red peppers instead, or add spinach and bacon (pre-cooked, please). Hot peppers! Top with avocado and salsa! [If I ate cheese I would totally add cheese. Shhhh]

 

Berries With Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

Whether you are vegan, paleo, or omnivore, chances are you love an easy, delicious, healthy treat! Who doesn’t? And no added sugar, yay! I keep a can of coconut milk in the fridge at all times for when the mood strikes to whip up this yummy and crowd-pleasing dessert (or mid-day snack, for that matter.) The only advance planning you need is that the coconut milk needs to be chilled in the fridge at least 3-4 hours beforehand. This recipe serves 4 people and is adapted from The Clothes Make The Girl

Ingredients
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened, organic, classic (whole fat) coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator at least 3 hours
1 pint blueberries or other berries, rinsed
1 pint strawberries, rinsed, tops cut off and sliced
1 tablespoon (or more or less to preference) of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, toasted

  1. When you are ready to prepare this dessert, put the chilled can of coconut milk, mixing bowl and beaters from the mixer in the freezer (about 15 minutes).
  2. Clean and prepare your berries, and divide between 4 bowls or parfait glasses. Store leftover fruit in the refrigerator if you want smaller portions.
  3. Toast the almonds in a nonstick skillet, stirring and watching closely for them to become light brown. Remove from heat and put them in a separate bowl.
  4. Remove the coconut milk, beaters and bowl from the freezer, then carefully turn the can over and open it with a can opener.
  5. Slowly drain the light colored liquid coconut into a small jar, then refrigerate for later use (in coffee, smoothies, curry dishes, etc.)
  6. Pour/scoop out the thicker coconut milk from the bottom of the can into the mixing bowl, add the vanilla extract, and whip until it resembles whipped cream; this just takes a few minutes.
  7. Spoon the whipped coconut cream over each of the berry dishes, then top with the toasted almonds. Enjoy!

Variations: Use a different flavor extract, such as almond, or add orange zest. Or add 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder to make it chocolate whipped cream. Or top with toasted coconut. My grandmother, who is 89, asked for chocolate sauce on hers, so naturally that is what she received and loved! (I melted some of her Trader Joe’s chocolate bar in a double boiler). Any leftover whipped cream can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. It is delicious over banana slices also! Or, between you and me, simply out of the jar with a spoon . . .

Slow Roasted Duck

This was probably the best salad I have ever made! The inspiration came from going to a wine bar for dinner the week before and trying to order the special – Warm Duck Confit Salad. It sounded so good! But alas, the kitchen had run out and I thought it would be fun to recreate to stuff my face with for the blog.

On a Friday morning, I decided I would make the salad that evening with a friend. I researched duck confit and learned it takes several days, so that was out. Also, I could only get a whole frozen duck locally, and it was already nearly noon. What follows is my Duck Counterfit (haha) salad. Somehow it turned out fantastically, even though I was “winging” it. (Sorry. Ducking. Oops, again.) I will tell you what I learned you “should” do, given more time, and what I did (ghetto style) and how it all turned out great.

Ingredients:

For the brine

8 cups of water
5 tablespoons coarse salt
1/2 orange, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and slightly mashed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bunch (10 or so sprigs) of fresh thyme
1 whole defrosted or fresh duck, 4-5 lbs, giblets removed. [I used a frozen one]

For the slow cooker
Liberal amount of coarse ground salt and pepper, enough to season surface of bird
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and slightly mashed [I grabbed from brine afterwards]
1 medium yellow onion, chopped in large pieces
3 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
10 or more sprigs of fresh thyme
2 shallots, peeled
1/2 orange, sliced [I grabbed from brine and added more. Mandarin oranges are perfect for this recipe]
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

In a large bowl, add the brining ingredients, and mix together. Then add the duck. [You are supposed to brine the defrosted or fresh duck in a sealed ziplock bag resting in a bowl and store in the refrigerator but this made a huge mess and I chucked the bag and flipped the bird after an hour. And the refrigeration police might get mad but I left it on the counter for 2 hours to defrost and brine at the same time as I was running late.]

Swimming Duck
Swimming Duck

After 2 hours, remove, rinse off and let sit in a colander to dry. [My duck was still a bit frozen so I microwave defrosted it for a bit.] Pat dry with paper towels.

Trim off the excess fat near the cavities of the duck, and set the fat aside as you will want to render it for later cooking. Duck fat is GOLD! Truss the legs back with twine, and tuck the wings under [yeah, I didn’t do this.] With a metal skewer or paring knife, pierce the thick duck skin about 30-40 times to release the fat while cooking. Make sure to do this nearly parallel to the duck; you don’t want to pierce the meat as this will stain the duck skin.

Chop up the carrots and most of the onion and put in a layer in the slow cooker, and add the fat. Put some of the aromatics (thyme, garlic, orange, shallot) in the duck’s cavity, and put the rest in the slow cooker, then rest the duck on top.

Your duck will rest on this lovely bed
Your duck will rest on this lovely bed

Cook for 8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. [If I had had more time, I would have cooked it slower and lower, and would have browned it first.]

When it is done cooking, broil in a large roasting pan at 500 degrees for about 5 (or more, keep an eye on it) minutes on each side to make the skin crispy.

Be sure to keep an eye on your duck in the broiler
Be sure to keep an eye on your duck in the broiler

When it has rested about 20 minutes, carve and serve on top of a mixed green salad and shallot dressing. IT REALLY WAS THE BEST SALAD I’VE EVER HAD.

Duck Salad With Herbed Chevre and Pecans
Duck Salad With Herbed Chevre and Pecans

With a baster, extract the fat from the bottom of the slow cooker, and strain into a jar.

When it cools, you can spoon off the duck fat from the top (especially good for cooking potatoes in) and also find something to do with the duck gelatin that is left behind. Personally, I feed the meat Jell-O to my dog as a treat as she goes nuts over it.

Mixed Green Salad with Chevre and Pecans

This is the base for my slow roasted duck salad, but would also make a great side salad or with any other protein added. I know, cheese is verboten for paleo eaters and can be omitted. However, a small amount of herbed chevre (goat cheese) makes a delightful creamy accent to this salad.

Ingredients:
For the salad:
1 large bunch of mixed greens
1 handful of plum tomatoes, halved
1/2 yellow or red pepper, diced into small pieces
1-2 tablespoons herbed chevre (optional)
1-2 tablespoons pecans
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or cherries (I combined the last 2 ingredients with a pre-packaged snack, pictured below)

For the dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
herbs and seasonings to taste (I used rosemary garlic finishing salt)
optional: 2-3 drops liquid stevia
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: add 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and 1 tablespoon chia seeds to thicken and boost nutritional value

Add the salad ingredients together, along with the roasted duck or other topping.

This combination was perfect on the duck salad
This combination was perfect on the duck salad

Put the salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar and blend them with an immersion blender (or just blend in a regular blender if you don’t have an immersion blender). Coat the salad ingredients with the dressing, toss, and serve immediately.

Duck Salad With Herbed Chevre and Pecans
Duck Salad With Herbed Chevre and Pecans

Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

This is a hearty dish that holds up well in a slow cooker. Adapted from Nicki’s Indian Lamb Stew recipe (Paleo Slow Cooking cookbook).

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
4 lbs boneless leg of lamb
1/2 oz dried mushroom medley or your favorite dried mushrooms
2 cinnamon sticks
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced

Cut the lamb into stew-sized chunks, trimming excess fat. Grind dried mushrooms (I use a mason jar and immersion blender) into a rough powder and use your hands to coat the lamb with the mushroom powder.

Mushroom coated lamb
Mushroom coated lamb

With a paper towel, lightly coat the inside of your slow cooker with the coconut oil or ghee. Place the cinnamon sticks on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the lamb. Chop the carrots and onions and add on top of the lamb. Mince the garlic and ginger and place on top of the vegetables, then add the remaining spices.

Everything in the Slow Cooker
Everything in the Slow Cooker

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Ladled over Cauliflower Rice – Yum!
Ladled over Cauliflower Rice – Yum!

This is great served over Cauliflower Rice! And it tastes even better the next day.

Superfood Chocolate Bars

My friend Jody came by last night and showed me how to make homemade chocolate and now I’m obsessed! Using antioxident and mineral rich cacao and maca powders are the key. Jody was moving pretty fast and there was not a lot of measuring, but the results were AMAZING! Using high quality, organic, nutrient-rich superfoods, herbs and spices elevate this “treat” into an evolved guilt-free superfood. You’re welcome.

Ingredients:

2 cups chunks of cacao butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup (adjust for taste/preference)
1 cup organic raw cacao powder
1 cup superfood herbs – this is where you can get creative. We used approximately the following measurements: 2 tablespoons each of maca, cinnamon, lucuma, mucuna (just a tablespoon), shiitake mushroom powder [makes it creamy], rice bran with tocotrienlos [not “paleo” but this is Jody’s recipe and he says it has lots of Vitamin E; it does not have the carbohydrate part of rice] and mesquite powders.*
Pinch of sea salt
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional but adds a great spicy kick)
Dash of cardamom
Dash of nutmeg

Whisk together the dry ingredients together in a large glass bowl, reserving some to add later if needed for consistency. Gently melt cacao butter and coconut oil over a double boiler (or in a bowl over simmering water). Once liquified, stir the vanilla and maple syrup into the oils.

You will need some kind of molds. Silicone molds are the best, but any plastic will work also, such as empty yogurt or cream cheese containers (wipe with a paper towel in coconut oil to make it non stick).

Add the oil to the powder and whisk together. You won’t have much time before the chocolate cools.

Adding the oil to the powder
Adding the oil to the powder

Whisk until the consistency is smooth and creamy, like a thicker cake batter, not grainy, for a few minutes. If it is too thin, add powder that you reserved until it thickens up.

You want it to look like this
You want it to look like this

Spoon the mixture into your silicone molds, not very high. I’d say chocolate bar height . . .  hahaha

Chocolate poured into molds
Chocolate poured into molds

Refrigerate for about an hour, then pop them out of the molds and store in the fridge in an airtight container until you eat them up.

Enjoy!
Enjoy!

*Variations: I would say if you just used the items in bold you would be just fine if you don’t plan on investing in all these other powders. Or invest in them and add them to your morning smoothies. Or you can add macadamia nut chunks! Goji berries! Dried cherries! Just make the ratio 1 cup cacao powder to 1 cup “other.” Imagine your favorite artisan chocolate bar that you pay up to $7 for and make it yourself, only better, fresher, more immediately and without the packaging. That is the kind of empowerment we offer here at Evolving Dish. : )

Cauliflower Rice is Very Nice

Pre-paleo, I was a big fan of rice. Not a big fan of cauliflower. I learned that rice was not very nutritious or healthy. I was sad. Then I learned I could easily make delicious “rice” with cauliflower. I was happy. True story!

Ingredients:
1 large head of fresh cauliflower
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil, or 1 tablespoon of each
1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Break the cauliflower into florets and remove the stems, and rinse in a colander. Optional step to soften the cauliflower – put the colander in a large glass or metal bowl and pour boiling water over the florets, letting them sit a minute, then drain.

Side note – do you have a stainless steel electric water kettle? I love mine! Boils water quickly, no plastic internal parts. Need frozen veggies warmed quickly? Skip the microwave and put the frozen veg in a glass bowl or storage container. Pour boiling water over them and let them sit a few minutes. Drain or remove with a slotted spoon. Easy and nutrients are preserved! And you can use the veg water for soup or stocks. (Or be a weirdo like me and drink it.)

Place the florets in a food processor, in 2 batches, and pulse until it looks like rice.

Don’t put too much in like I did!
Don’t put too much in like I did!

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and melt the ghee and/or coconut oil. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic, and stir until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. (Mix it up – add sliced mushrooms! Jalapenos! Other sliced vegetables, minced ginger and coconut aminos!)

Add the cauliflower and saute until it is tender, about another 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. This was a yummy bed to my slow cooker lamb stew, recipe coming up soon!