time: 45 minutes

Paleo Breakfast Strata

I used to love stratas. Nothing beat stale bread, lots of butter, sauteed veggies, some kind of sweet meat and lots of eggs. Unfortunately, they didn’t like me so much. Fast forward to today. And I haven’t had a true strata in over two years. GASP!? I know. This week was looking to be busy (if only I knew HOW busy – a last minute trip to Seattle was tossed in the mix) and I needed a quick and easy breakfast that still fell within the Whole30 challenge I’m doing with a bunch of people at my gym. Cue this wonderful mistake.

I have a bunch of flax meal – I’m pretty sure my roommate wonders what it’s all for. But, I’m trying to use it up so I can make my own fresh meal (the Omega 3’s are even more potent in the fresh-made stuff). And really. I love Omega 3’s and this is a whole lot cheaper than buying salmon (which is on the menu for next week anyway). So, if you’re looking at a busy week ahead and only have time to blanch a few veggies for your breakfast and that’s about it, think about making this.

Enjoy!

p.s. A better picture is coming, I promise. I was trying to get out the house and all I had time for was my iPhone.

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Paleo Breakfast Strata

  • 12 organic, free-range eggs, beaten
  • 5 strips organic, grass-fed non-sugar cured beef bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small organic zucchini, diced
  • 1 heirloom organic tomato, diced (omit if SCD)
  • 3 leaves organic swiss chard, diced (omit if SCD)
  • 1 organic yellow bell pepper, diced (omit if SCD)
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8"x8" pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium skillet and over medium heat, cook bacon until done. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onions to bacon fat and cook until almost translucent. Add garlic and saute for a minute or two longer.
  4. Meanwhile, chop veggies and toss in a large bowl. Add onions, garlic and bacon (and remaining fat) when done. Stir until everything is incorporated.
  5. Mix in spices and flax meal. Stir. Mix in eggs. Let sit for a few minutes (this gives the flax meal a chance to “activate”) and stir again.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a knife cut yields no runny egg in the middle.
  7. Serve hot with roasted delicata squash and blanched asparagus or cut into pre-portioned sizes and place in containers for the week. Re-heat in the oven, using an oven-safe container. 

Zucchini Bread Muffins

I’m pretty sure that zucchini could cure world hunger. I mean, it grows extremely well, yielding multiple fruit (it’s a squash and squash is technically a fruit – mind blown yet?). It’s hardy. Low maintenance. And it’s packed with nutrients. It’s also extremely versatile and can be used in bread, grilled, as noodles, in salad, cooked into eggs – I could go on and on and on. But I won’t.

Thankfully, zucchini bread yields itself quite willingly to a paleo/SCD/anti-inflammation diet. And it tastes better and is full of protein due to the almond flour. There’s also no oil in it and it’s relatively low in honey. Feel free to reach for multiple slices or for multiple muffins. I made them for my drama students and they LOVED them. And were asking me to make them more. If high schoolers like them, they must be good.

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Zucchini Bread Muffins

  • 1 ½ almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • dash allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large organic eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled organic zucchini
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and prepare a muffin tin with liners (unless using a silicone muffin pan – I use silicone pans for all of my grain-free baking).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. 
  3. Place the wet ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes at medium speed until frothy fully combined. Add the zucchini and fold in with a spoon or spatula. 
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin or the silicone muffin pan and bake in the center rack for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Batter can also be baked in a oiled and almond floured bread pan.
  6. Let cool and remove.

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Rhubarb Strawberry Almond Galette

I love rhubarb. And I love strawberries. And I love the two of them together. Especially in a wonderful galette. Especially one that’s my diet friendly and, moreover, fits my sister’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Especially when rhubarb is one of the vegetables (yes, it’s a vegetable) that I can eat a lot of. It’s in the 3% carb group which means the more, the merrier!

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I read up on a few gluten-free recipes that were floating around on the internet. But they used sugar, oat flour, potato starch – items she just can’t eat. (I’m off sugar and potato starch, too but could have used stevia or coconut sugar in place of cane sugar easily enough and tapioca starch in lieu of potato starch.) The strawberries have enough natural pectin to make the “gel” that the starch would have created anyway when it’s finally cooled.

This recipe was born because I didn’t want to leave her out of Sunday brunch. We Portlanders love our Sunday brunch. It’s a way of life. Go to church, go to brunch, work in your garden or go for a hike or go fishing.  They made a whole entire Portlandia episode entitled “Brunch Village” and it’s so true. All of Portlandia is so true – it’s a little creepy sometimes all of the time. But, I digress.

For those of you who are on the SCD, this is for you.

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Enjoy!

Rhubarb Strawberry Almond Galette

For the dough:

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour
  • 1 large organic egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, chilled until hard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tbsp raw honey
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

For the fruit filling:

  • 3 rhubarb stalks, cut into ½" sections, about 2 ½ cups
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced (add more if you want to, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together for the crust. With a pastry cutter, cut in the hardened coconut oil or put in a food processor and pulse until the coconut oil is broken up and evenly incorporated throughout the mixture – about 15-20 seconds in a food processor.
  3. Add the egg and blend just until just incorporated. Dough should be able to be made into a ball.
  4. Take some parchment paper or a Silpat and line your pan. (A flat cookie sheet works best or a jellyroll pan.)
  5. Cut the rhubarb and the strawberries and mix together with the remaining filling ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Set aside.
  6. Form dough into a ball on the parchment paper or Silpat and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is a ¼"-1/8" thick circle. Note – this dough will be very sticky and using the rolling pin for the whole thing might not work. I had to eventually use water-dampened fingers to pat out the dough to finish getting it to my desired thickness. 
  7. Dump the fruit filling into the middle and spread around, leaving a 2" uncovered ring all the way around the crust.
  8. In 4-5 incremented sections, fold the galette up. It will crumble, it’s the nature of the dough. Simply pinch the dough back to where you want it to be.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes on the center rack, or until the crust is lightly browned, the edges should be a dark golden brown. (See photo below.) Remove from oven and let cool. Transferring the galette will be a two-person job – find a plate big enough and a friend to help you transfer it. Also, there will be some juice that oozes out. Just break off the blackened part and no one will know the difference!
  10. Let fully cool before you serve it. Use a sharp knife to cut and a thin spatula to serve. Store remaining galette in the fridge. But, I very much doubt there will be any left!

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Thanks, Edible Perspective for the recipe idea!

Tomato-Free “Tomato” Marinara

I told my fiance that I was making tomato marinara for dinner. His first reaction was that I wasn’t allowed to have tomatoes (they’re a nightshade and are off the list) and then he began reminding me that I was trying to get better (he’s been very very supportive during all of this – I’m one lucky lady).

I told him that it wasn’t tomatoes… it was beets and pumpkin puree.

I think I heard a pin drop.

He might have thought he’d seen a pig fly outside.

And then he shrugged his shoulders and said, “You’re a good cook, I trust you.” Did I mention that I was a lucky lady? He’s willing to take culinary leaps of faith right alongside me.

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Much to my surprise… and I think even more his, it tasted like marinara sauce.

Just LIKE marinara sauce.

And it looked like marinara sauce that had been slow-cooked for hours on end.

I was so excited! Combine this with my gluten-free dairy-free spaetzl (recipe for that coming soon) and my life just might be complete. Or pretty close to being complete. A sprinkling of nutritional yeast would, in fact, make it complete.

Just one note, the onion, which reads finely chopped, needs to be finely chopped. Otherwise you’ll get fuchsia onions like I did during my first attempt. Also, I added a splash of plum balsamic vinegar (you can find it at your local vinegar and oil specialty store – I highly suggest picking up some vinegars you like as store-bought salad dressings are off the foods list) and a splash or two of white wine vinegar to brighten things up a bit. It’s a marinara – play around with it!

Enjoy!

“Nomato” Tomato Marinara

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can beets, drained, juices reserved (oven-roasted, pureed beets are fine, too)
  • 1 (14-15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (make sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix)
  • ½-¼ cup gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 24 grinds fresh black pepper
  • ¼-⅓ cup chopped fresh basil, or ¼ cup dried basil
  • a good “palmful” of dried thyme and oregano
  • 1 tbsp honey (maybe a little more, maybe a little less)
  1. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat in a dutch oven until onions are translucent in a medium dutch oven or large skillet.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, puree the beets. Add beets and pumpkin to the dutch oven and stir until there isn’t a kaleidoscope of color. (You’ll see what I mean when you make it.)
  4. Add the stock and stir. Add the spices and stir. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. Check the balance of the spices and adjust as necessary.

I dare your family, friends, and picky eaters to tell the difference!

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Nutty Onion Soup

This was the first soup I had ever eaten where the main ingredient was nuts – cashews to be exact. It’s a recipe from The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book by Jessica K. Black, N.D. If you’re on this diet or are wanting to cleanse yourself (I’d get in contact with a naturopath doctor to find out if this diet is right for you first), then this book is a must have on your shelf.

I’d like to think I’m clever and came up with the recipe. Unfortunately, lying has never been my strong suit. This soup was surprisingly delicious. I didn’t really know what to expect. Dr. Black wrote that her daughter liked it and I usually figure if a picky child likes it, it’s at least palatable. However, this was fabulous. And filling. And low-ish in calories. (500 calories per serving but I would have been happy with just this soup and some broccoli, forget the side salad I also served.) And high in protein and potassium. And Joe asked if I could make it again. And it’s good on its own but it would also be a good base – adding broccoli would be wonderful!

I ended up buying a coffee grinder that is dedicated specifically to seeds and nuts. No coffee will be used in it. Ever. Period. No further discussion on that topic. They’re only $20 and if you’re doing this diet, I highly recommend dishing out a few bucks for one. And an immersion blender. It will save your life. And be the most wonderful kitchen gadget you could possibly buy. I use mine almost daily. 

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Enjoy!

Nutty Onion Soup

  • 1 quart (4 cups) organic chicken broth or vegetable broth (check for nightshades!)
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • 2 cups cashews or blanched and hulled almonds (I used a blend)
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives for a garnish
  1. Grind the nuts in a coffee grinder until very fine. (This can be done ahead of time and stored in a container in the fridge.)
  2. In a soup pot, saute the onions in the olive oil on medium-high heat until translucent. Let the onions cool a bit if you’re using a standing blender.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Use your immersion blender (or put everything in a standing blender) and blend until the soup is creamy. (If using a standing mixer, transfer back to the soup pot.
  4. Simmer on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Season to taste. Serve warm, garnish with minced chives.