Archive for the ‘eggs’ Category

Quickie: Pasta-less Carbonara

This is a quick meal hack: making carbonara without pasta.  Generally, I don’t eat a lot of pasta anymore, but occasionally, I just say “screw it” and make a bowl of the real stuff.  None of this shirataki/squash BS; I have real rice sticks with my pad Thai and real spaghetti with my tomato sauce.  But this week, I flat-out forgot to buy a box of pasta, and my pantry is such that pasta just isn’t a staple I keep stocked.  So I’ve come up with a quick, easy, grain-free way to enjoy the eggy-creamy-cheesy-bacony goodness of carbonara without pasta.

Potatoes.  Yeah, not low-carb, but they’re delicious and I find them far easier on my digestion than gluten grains anyway.  I mixed in some diced zucchini as well, since I’m starting the produce and protein challenge tomorrow and also because I overbought zucchini at the market (easy to do this time of year).

Potatoes alla Carbonara

Potatoes alla Carbonara

3-5 small red potatoes, cubed

1-2 zucchini, diced

1 egg + 2 egg yolks

2-4 Tbsp. cream

1/2 c. grated hard Italian cheese (I think I used Romano)

6 strips of bacon, baked and chopped, grease reserved

Start by steaming the potatoes until just tender.  While the potatoes steam, whisk together eggy goodness, cream, and some pepper if you want.  Add the zucchini to the steamer about 5 minutes before the potatoes finish.  Remove your steamer basket and empty the water out of your pan and put the veggies back in over medium heat.  Add 3-4 Tbsp. bacon grease and stir to coat.  Add in the egg mixture and 1/2 the cheese.  Stir until a creamy sauce forms.  Add in the bacon.  Serve over a bed of kale and top with the rest of the cheese.  Makes 2 generous servings.

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet.


A Perfect Egg

I have to say that I love a perfectly soft-boiled egg.  It’s such a treat, especially since it generally involves cooking just one egg at a time, right before eating it.  It also involves a stopwatch and a delicate ballet of preparing the rest of the meal.  Did I ever tell you about when I did ballet as a tiny child?  It did not end well.

Anyway, this is my beautiful, real, nourishing, traditional breakfast: homemade soaked-grain bread, pastured butter, yogurt with fresh, local blackberries, and one, perfect, soft-boiled egg.


To soft-boil an egg, you will need: an egg (preferably at room temperature), a pot containing enough water to cover the egg completely plus a generous grab of salt, a burner, a pin (preferably clean), a stopwatch, an implement with which to transport your egg to and from the boiling water, and a final resting place for your egg.  A shot glass works amazingly well, though I used an adorable Vietnamese tea cup that my sister gave me as a gift.

Poke your egg with a pin.  Not just anywhere, but rather on the big end of the egg.  The purpose is to pierce the air sac in the white to allow expanding hot air to escape, or something like that.  Boil your salted water.  When it’s boiling, reduce the heat to hearty simmer and lower your egg into the water.  Start your stopwatch.  After 5 minutes, remove your egg and run it under cold water for a few seconds, until it is cool enough to handle.  Place in final destination.

Smack it on one end (I’m a big-ender) and peel back the shell to get at the gooey, golden, amazing treasure within.  Savor that first plunge of spoon into egg.  Dip pointed triangles of buttered toast into the yolk.  Spoon up jiggling blobs of egg onto the toast.  I suppose bacon would work as well, if you don’t do bread.  Scrape the last remnants of egg from the shell and survey the carnage.

Kind of like that.

It is absolutely possible to adapt this recipe to make more than one egg, though you might want to wait until after adding your eggs to lower the burner heat to give the water a chance to return to a boil/simmer.  Also, you will have to be quite swift and remember which egg went in first so you can take them out in the order they went in to avoid over/under-cooking.

If you’re having toast and yogurt and such with your egg, make the toast while the egg cooks.  Unless you know your toaster takes longer than 5 minutes to toast.

Also, check out my new tumblelog, A Little Wild.  It’s a place where I can share mostly random pictures, and maybe other random, food- and wild-life-related tidbits.  Mostly pictures right now.  I’ll be sharing a few random things from Rome over the next week or so.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Quick Meals and a Weekend Brunch

I thought I’d take this Saturday morning to share some of the quick meals, along with my brunch today, which was decidedly un-quick.

Egg Foo Yung is one of my favorite applications for a quick, often meatless, meal. Eggs are fairly cheap, and these omelette/pancake things tend to use pre-cooked veggies, so they’re good leftover vehicles. This one used leftover roast chicken, collard greens, and some sliced onion. Just fry up the onion, shred the chicken, chop the greens, and stir the whole thing into 2-3 beaten eggs with a dash of tamari. Pour into a pan and cook covered for 3-5 minutes, flip and cook until browned.

Stir-fries are another great quick meal. This one is ground beef with carrots, onions, curry powder, cabbage, and coconut milk. Brown the beef, add the onions and carrots, add the curry and coconut milk, and then the cabbage and cook covered until the cabbage is tender. Delicious and quick, and the fat from the coconut milk means I can use a little less meat and still have a filling, nutritious meal.

This is my brunch from today. Definitely not fast, but so worth it. It’s Saturday, after all. I fried up some slices of sweet potato in ghee and bacon grease, and served it with a scramble of eggs, kale, and bacon. All washed down with some green tea. Yum!

A Quick Pick-Me-Up: Custard Steamer

One thing I discovered that I love is milk steamers. At a coffee shop, a steamer is basically a flavored latte without the coffee. That is, hot milk and flavoring mixed together. But ever since I learned that citric acid can have MSG in it, and most flavor syrups have citric acid, I haven’t ordered any flavored coffee drinks out at coffee houses. But I can make my own, with nourishing sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, and organic flavorings. And today, I learned that adding a beaten egg yolk and heating it with the milk makes a rich, drinkable, warm custard.

Custard Steamer
1 cup whole milk (milk and cream would be amazing)

dash of salt

1 tsp. or so of honey
1 egg yolk
flavoring of choice
Heat the milk, salt, and honey until the honey dissolves and steam starts to rise from the milk. Beat the egg yolk in a small dish (I used the mug from which I drank it and just rinsed it in between) and add about 1/3 of the hot milk. Add this back to the milk in the pan and heat over medium heat until it thickens and simmers at the edges. Made with milk, it will take on the consistency of half-and-half, and just barely start coating the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring of choice (vanilla is always good). I like to strain it into a mug and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before drinking. It thickens as it cools.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.
Don’t miss the newest article at Wellness the Wild Woman Way!

Eat The Egg Yolk, People!

So many places I turn I see people eating egg whites, supposedly in the name of health. My younger sister used to even buy the expensive Omega-3 eggs, and then throw out the yolks because she didn’t like them. So I just wanted to post a rant and try to convince people to eat those yolks. No, I’m not going to cite studies, although they do exist, that say that the dietary cholesterol in eggs is not a risk factor for heart disease. Nor is the saturated fat. Nor am I even going to cite information that says that egg whites prevent the absorption of biotin.

What I did do is put the nutrition information for eggs, egg yolks, and egg whites into my nutrition software. Guess what? A large egg contains 6g of protein, 27% of the RDI of vitamin B12, 22% of riboflavin, 13% of vitamin D, and even some vitamin E. Just the white of that egg? It has just over 3g of protein and 13% of the RDI of riboflavin. Yes, people, almost HALF THE PROTEIN in an egg is in the white. And virtually all of the beneficial nutrients. And if you look at equal volumes of egg white versus whole eggs, the whole eggs actually have MORE protein than the egg whites.
Eat the egg yolk. If you’re on some diet where you avoid fat at certain times, save the egg yolk and eat it later, when you’re not avoiding fat. If you’re avoiding fat all the time, stop. Egg yolks are practically the whole reason for eating an egg anyway.

Kale Vinegar and Poached Eggs in the Garden

One of Susun Weed’s recommendations for women at risk for osteoporosis is to make herbal vinegars with plants that have a high calcium content. Similar to the nourishing practice of adding a spoonful of vinegar to broth to help extract minerals, tincturing calcium-rich plants in vinegar helps to extract calcium into the vinegar. I made kale vinegar this summer by packing a jar with fresh kale and then filling it with apple cider vinegar.

This vinegar can then be used when cooking more greens to help release their calcium, as well as add more calcium to the dish. I use my vinegar to poach a combination of kale, mushrooms, garlic, and a couple eggs for a nourishing, grain-free breakfast that benefits from the wisdom of the herb woman.

Poached Eggs in the Garden
1/2 portabella mushroom, chopped into large pieces
1-2 Tbsp. butter or ghee
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2-3 cups chopped kale
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. kale vinegar
1 Tbsp. water
Saute the mushrooms in some butter or ghee over medium heat until cooked through. Reduce the heat and add garlic and more butter, and saute just until the garlic becomes fragrant, less than a minute. Add the greens and toss with the garlicky, mushroomy butter. Add the water and vinegar and immediately crack the eggs on top of the greens. Cover and steam for 4-6 minutes, or until eggs are done to your liking. You can add salt and pepper if you like. Makes one hearty serving.

Frugal Frittata

So all the pictures for this recipe are still on my camera, but I wanted to get the recipe up for Pennywise Platter today. This is a classic Spanish tortilla, made for two. It’s nutrient-dense, and uses eggs, which are frugal, potatoes, which are even more frugal, and green onions, which I always end up wasting when I get them because they always come in bunches that are bigger than I need.

I used a recipe from Simply Recipes for inspiration, but then adjusted the amounts to fit what I needed and had on hand. It’s incredibly simple, if a little labor intensive. I suppose if you were so inclined, you could steam the potatoes instead of frying them to save a little time, but I imagine it would leave your tortilla wetter.

Anyway, I thought you would enjoy another simple weeknight meal. Anyone who read my menu plan on Sunday knows that I wasn’t really planning on making a tortilla, but I ended up with a few more potatoes than I needed, and a few extra green onions that were not going to last to the end of the week.

Spanish Tortilla
adapted from Simply Recipes
3 small red potatoes, sliced 1/8″ thick
3 green onions, white and light green parts sliced
olive oil
4 eggs, beaten with a little milk and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add olive oil to a small pan over medium heat. Add the sliced potatoes in about 3 batches, so that there is a single layer of potato slices in the bottom of the pan. Fry on both sides until cooked through, and maybe slightly golden. As the potatoes cook, remove cooked slices to drain on a paper towel before cooking more. Salt the hot potatoes. When the potatoes are done, reduce the heat to medium-low, add more oil if you need, and add the green onions. Saute until slightly tender and fragrant, then remove from the heat. Add the potato slices back in, overlapping them in about 2 layers. Pour egg mixture over the potatoes, and give it a little shake to make sure everything is even. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean, and there is no oozing from the cut (the tortilla will puff slightly). Loosen from the pan and invert on a plate. Cut into wedges. Serves 2.