Quichebello and Spiced Cauliflower Soup (Whole30 Compliant)

 

Porto-Quiche and Spiced Cauliflower

I was talking to my good friend, Laura, on the phone the other day, and she was telling me about making what boiled down to a personal-sized quiche with a portobello cap as the crust.  She made it with just eggs and herbs, which I will try eventually…but tonight I doctored it up a little to go with the second part of dinner: spiced cauliflower soup.  This soup is…well, it’s amazing.  Super creamy.  You’d never know there isn’t any heavy cream in it (though if you’re primal, feel free to add some cream).

A disclaimer: I have this titled as Whole30 Compliant.  In the quiche, I personally used a half of a piece of lacy Swiss cheese.  Obviously if you’re doing a Whole30, you would omit the cheese.  In lieu of the cheese (if you want some extra silkiness and such), feel free to add about a quarter cup of coconut milk.  The addition of that in eggs always seems like cheese to me when I’m eating them.  Anyone else?  Just me?  Okay.

Quichebello

Serves 2

2 large portobello caps, stems removed and gills cleaned out (the quickest way to do this is the scoop/scrape out the gills with a spoon)

3 large eggs

1/4 C scallions, sliced thin

4 grape tomatoes, sliced thin

2-3 large basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 tsp dill, roughly chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 C full-fat coconut milk (and/or 1/4 C cheese)

 

1.- Preheat your oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.  If foil, spray or rub with olive oil or coconut oil.

2.- Rub caps with olive oil or coconut oil (not a lot required, just get them slightly moist) and set on baking sheet, top-side down.

3.- Whisk eggs until scrambled and slightly frothy.  Add in coconut milk and whisk until well combined.  Stir in all veg, herbs, and spices.

4.- Spoon egg mixture into each cap, leaving about a centimeter or so between the eggs and the top of the cap.  If you’re using cheese, this is where I put a quarter of a piece of cheese (these were big pieces) on top of each cap.  Bake for 15-20 minutes (or until eggs are set).  Sprinkle with fresh, chopped dill and serve.

 

Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4-6

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

3 small onions (or 2 med), diced

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cardamom

1 tsp salt

ground pepper, to taste

crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

4 cloves minced garlic

4 1/2 C broth (I used beef bone broth–use whatever flavor you’d like)

1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped

1 C full-fat coconut milk

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

chopped dill (to garnish)

 

1.- In large pot, heat oil on medium low.  Add onions, bay leaf, cumin, salt, turmeric, cardamom, coriander, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Saute until onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).  Add garlic and saute another few minutes, just until starting to get soft.

2.- Add broth and cauliflower.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes (you want the cauliflower to be soft but not falling-apart-mushy).

3.- Remove pot from heat and transfer soup to a blender (or use your stick blender right in the pot).  Blend on high until silky (if you don’t have a NutriBullet, you should get one just for soups…it makes everything SUPER creamy).  Transfer back to pot and stir in the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar.  Bring back to heat over medium-low.  Ladle into bowls and top with a chopped dill garnish.

Paleo Breakfast Cups (Whole30 Compliant)

 

Paleo Breakfast Cups

These are something that I’ve seen 100,000 versions of on Pinterest; however, I’d never tried them until now.  I basically put together what I would normally put in scrambled eggs into a muffin tin that had ham in the cups.  So…let me clarify something about these being Whole30 compliant–technically, compliant lunch meat is VERY hard, if not impossible to find.  This is the only thing we use lunch meat for, so when we are on a Whole30, we usually avoid these.  If I really feel like making them (and they ARE delicious…so I would make them every day if I didn’t think I’d get sick of eggs every day LOL), I just get the best quality lunch meat that’s available.  Around here, that’s Boar’s Head…and I honestly can’t remember whether this “flavor” is totally compliant or not.  I get Boar’s Head Black Forest ham.  Never tried Boar’s Head lunch meat before?  You’re seriously missing out.  It’s delicious.  It’s more expensive, but it’s worth the price…ESPECIALLY the medium-rare roast beef.  Octothorpe DROOL.

You can add whatever you want to these, but here is what I used:

Paleo Breakfast Cups

Serves 4-6

12 slices Boar’s Head Black Forest ham

12 eggs

1/4 C chopped yellow onion

1/4 C chopped green onion

1/2 C chopped mushrooms

1/2 C chopped Roma tomatoes

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 – 1 C chopped spinach

2 Tbsp chopped basil (or 2 tsp dried)

1/2 C canned coconut milk

salt and pepper

1.- Preheat oven to 425.  Oil muffin pan and place one piece of ham into each cup.  Press it down slightly so it resembles a cupcake liner.  If your ham (or whatever meat) is thin, use two slices.  A little bit of the egg mixture will seep out, regardless, but they’re easier to handle if there’s a little substance.

2.- Crack all eggs into large bowl.  Whisk until scrambled.  Add coconut milk and whisk to combine.  Stir in all add-ins and seasonings.

3.- Pour about 1/4 C or so of egg mixture into each ham cup.  Put in oven and bake 15-20 minutes, or until desired done-ness.  Figure on people eating two or three each.  Well…three if it’s the entire meal.  Two if there are side dishes involved!

Bacon-Wrapped Peach Kabobs (Whole30 Compliant)

 

bacon-wrapped peach kabob

This was another one of those meals where I pulled out what I needed to use from the refrigerator, and tried to put everything together into some sort of edible fashion.  What did I have?  A couple chicken breasts, a couple zucchini, some mushrooms, a couple peaches, and about six pieces of uncooked bacon.  This particular bacon IS Whole30 compliant–but most of the stuff you can find at the grocery store is not, so keep that in mind.  This is pure salt-cured bacon from our favorite local farmer.

Anyway, the bacon-wrapped peaches might sound a little weird, but they were actually really good.  When you cook the peaches, they’ll get a little soft (not quite mushy, but soft); however, that softness is counterbalanced by the crispy bacon wrapped around it.  Salty, sweet, soft, crispy…it’s a food-gasm just waiting to happen.

If you’re using wooden skewers, don’t forget to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours) to keep them from burning in the oven or on the grill.  Feel free to marinate the chicken and veg if desired–I didn’t marinate and it turned out fine, but I can imagine how a BBQ or Asian ginger marinade would go really well with these!

 

Bacon-Wrapped Peach Kabobs

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts

1/2 pound mushrooms

2 zucchini

2 peaches

6 slices bacon

salt and pepper

12 skewers

1.- Preheat oven to 425 (or grill to medium-high).  If using oven, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a metal cooling rack on top.

2.- Cut chicken into medium cubes, mushrooms in half, and zucchini in 1″ chunks.  Cut bacon in half so you have two shorter pieces (your six pieces will turn into twelve).  Cut peaches in half, pull out pits, and cut each half into three wedges.

3.- Lace each skewer with two pieces of chicken, two pieces of zucchini, two mushroom halves, and one peach wedge wrapped in bacon.  I found it was easiest to wrap the peach so the bacon overlapped on the skinny part of the peach and skewer through the overlap and then out through the wide part of the peach.

4.- Line skewers on cooling rack and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Put in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Primal Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

 

pizza2

One of the things I miss with the whole paleo thing is pizza.  The funny thing is that I don’t even like pizza that much…but when I want it, I WANT the pizza, like, yesterday.  Anyway, there is probably a way to make this strictly paleo and Whole30…but I’m sorry, I’m not interested in any pizza that doesn’t have cheese.  Call me crazy like that.

Getting the consistency right on the crust is the hard part.  This is not going to be a chewy, identical crust to your favorite slice.  The crust is nothing like regular pizza crust.  What I have found is that you want to make the crust as thin as possible without having bare spots.  The best consistency for this is going to be more like a pliable cracker.  Additionally, it doesn’t cut all that neatly into slices.  I mean…if you’re really steady with your hands and take a long time, it will resemble slices (like in the picture above).  But seriously, it took me almost 10 minutes to cut those pieces…so unless you’re taking pictures, just shovel it in your mouth.

 

pizza1

Primal Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

1/2 head cauliflower, shredded (I used the shred setting on my food processor, but you could use a cheese grater as well)

1 C grated Parmesan Reggiano (or whatever parm you like to use)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg, whisked

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp onion powder

olive oil

pizza toppings (on this one, I used sliced Roma tomatoes, mushrooms, and fresh mozzarella)

salt and pepper

 

1.- Shred cauliflower.  Put 2 C in microwave-safe bowl and heat for 8 minutes.  Remove from microwave and let cool (if you spread it out over a larger area, it will cool faster).  You want it tender, but not mushy.

2.- Preheat oven to 450.  Grease a pan with olive oil (remember to make it large enough to spread your crust pretty thin).

3.- Mix cauliflower, egg, grated cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Pour over baking sheet and use the back of a spoon to smooth and flatten.  Drizzle or spray with a little more olive oil.

4.- Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, or until browning and getting crispy.  Remove from oven, add toppings, and bake until cheese starts to bubble (about 5 more minutes).

Grilled Beef Shoulder Steak (Whole30) and Pancetta & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (Primal)

 

shoulder steak and stuffed mushrooms

What to make?  What to make?  Our meals are usually determined by going through a quick assessment:

(a) Is Isak actually napping?

Yes: I can make something more involved.

No: The quicker the better…heat and eat!

(b) Is anything thawed?

Yes: Assess cut and size

No: See if anything can be quick-thawed…if not, it’s cafeteria time!  (sometimes I love living on a college campus–when I don’t have time to cook, the cafeteria is there to do it for me!

(c) Is it something that should have been started this morning in the crock pot?

Yes: Make a note and cook it tomorrow.

No: Take it out of the refrigerator and plan a meal!

(d) What kind of sides do we have?

Nothing: Make a stew or a meat/veg baked dish.

Lots of options: Pick a couple or use them all in a stir fry.

 

Tonight was no different.  I had a piece of beef shoulder steak (also called “London Broil”) that was thawed and ready for cooking.  I also had a package of big mushrooms, some pancetta, goat cheese, and grape tomatoes.  For the steak, I decided to do a basic sear in the cast iron skillet.  All the other stuff?  STUFFED MUSHROOMS!  When in doubt, if you have big mushrooms and a bunch of other random stuff that can be chopped up and mushed together, the answer is always stuffed mushrooms.  Always.

 

Grilled Beef Shoulder Steak

Serves 4

1-2 pounds beef shoulder steak

dry mustard

salt and pepper

 

1.- Heat cast iron skillet (or grill) to medium-high heat.

2.- Pat steak dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle dry mustard over the surface of the steak, brushing it over the meat.  Do this on both sides.  Salt and pepper liberally.

3.- Toss the steak in the pan and cook a few minutes on each side, depending on how thick your steak is.  Ours was about 3/4″ thick, and I cooked it about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Take it off the heat, cover the skillet with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Slice it and serve it up!

 

Pancetta and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

12 large mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

1/2 C pancetta, chopped small

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp parsley (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley)

1/4 C diced grape tomatoes

1/4 C goat cheese

olive oil

ground black pepper

 

1.- Preheat oven to 425.  Grease glass baking dish with olive oil.

2.- Heat small skillet over medium-low heat.  Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat.  To warm oil, add pancetta and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes.  Remove from pan into glass bowl and let cool a few minutes.

3.- Add parsley, tomatoes, goat cheese, and pepper to pancetta mixture.  Mix well until slightly crumbly and well-combined.

4.- Place a small spoonful of the pancetta mixture into each mushroom cap.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil and crack a little more pepper over each cap.

5.- Bake for 13-15 minutes–serve immediately and enjoy!

Simple Grilled Chicken (Whole30 Compliant)

 

grilled chicken

So, I haven’t posted in just over a month because I somehow injured my knee and ended up having to have surgery.  Not fun.  I officially start physical therapy tomorrow, so we’ll hope the best for that!  All of the damage I’ve had in that knee leads me to believe that there’s lots of extra gelatin in my future!  I’ll definitely be making some more bone broth this week (and with a boat load of bones that I have from our favorite local farm, GRASSLAND OASIS).  As a side note: if you are in the general vicinity of San Antonio and looking for some paleo, primal, AND Whole30 compliant bacon…their’s is DELICIOUS!  Seriously…life-changing bacon.

All that being said, I haven’t been able to cook in almost a month.  I’m just now getting to the point where I can stand up (relatively comfortably) for enough time to cook…but last night I didn’t have to!  THE HUBBY made dinner for me!  We live on a university campus, so we don’t have a grill…but I love the quickness of being able to grill a piece of meat.  Enter: our newest kitchen purchase, the T-FAL OPTIGRILL.  We’ve been playing around with it for the last couple weeks, and it seems to work really well so far.  I’ll let you know later on if we end up hating it–but for now, we love it.

 

Simple Grilled Chicken (Whole30 Compliant)

Chicken leg quarters, rinsed and patted dry

Salt

Pepper

Ghee

 

1.- Preheat your grill.  Rinse chicken and pat dry with towels.  Slide a chunk or two of ghee under the chicken skin.  Sprinkle leg quarters with salt and pepper as desired.

2.- Slap those babies on the grill and cook until done!  (You want the internal temperature to be 165)

 

On the T-Fal, these take a little longer to cook because they aren’t an even thickness and they contain bones.  Just watch the temperature of the thickest part of the chicken.  For us, it took about 20-25 minutes for the chicken to be done all the way through.