Nom Nom Paleo

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

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The default emergency protein in my fridge? Hard-boiled eggs. They’re tasty, portable, and packed with great nutrition — what’s not to love?

Here’s how to make perfectly-cooked hard-boiled eggs that are never overcooked (I hate the gray-green sulfur ring around overdone yolks) and are easily peeled:

Grab a bunch of large, pastured eggs, and use a pin or thumbtack to poke a hole in the fat “bottom” end of each of the eggs.

(By the way, you may have heard that super-fresh eggs aren’t the best for hard-boiling ‘cause they’re more difficult to peel; from my experience, that’s true. Try to use eggs that are at least a week old. But if you’re “stuck” with really fresh eggs — poor you! — the techniques I use will still help maximize the peel-ability of your oeufs.)

Make sure the needle goes just far enough to piece the shell. (Quick tip: It’s easiest to keep the eggs upright by leaving them in the carton while you poke ‘em.)

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Gently place the eggs in a deep, medium saucepan and fill it with cold water. Make sure the eggs are in a single layer, and at least 1 inch below the surface of the water.

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For every 3 cups of water or so, add ½ teaspoon of baking soda. (The sodium bicarbonate’ll help the eggs separate from their shells, making them easier to peel.)

Place the uncovered pot on the stove and crank the heat to high. Once the water comes to a roiling boil, set a kitchen timer for 1 minute.

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When the minute’s up, take the pot off the heat, cover it with a lid, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Set a timer — we want to be precise about this!

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While you’re waiting, fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Then, once the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the pot and transfer them to the bowl of ice water.Completely submerge the eggs in the ice water for 5 minutes.

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Then, fish the eggs out of the icy water, gently rap them against a hard surface to crack the shells, and peel each egg starting from the bottom end (where you poked the pinhole). Don’t wait until the eggs are completely cool — they should still be warm to the touch.

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The shells should come right off, with no fuss or muss.

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The result: Perfectly cooked eggs, with no ugly gray-green rings around the yolks, no foul odor, and no telltale divots in the whites. 

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If you aren’t eating these eggs right away, store them in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week.

What are you waiting for? Boil some eggs!

(Update on 6/13/14: Serious Eats just posted The Food Lab’s definitive method to boil eggs. Mind blown.)

Egg Foo Young-ish (Spinach, Egg, Ham, & Coconut Pancakes)

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After gobbling up Fitbomb’s quick and easy savory coconut pancakes yesterday, I was inspired to come up with a version filled with veggies and meat. After eating one of my portable egg-y pucks, hubby exclaimed that they tasted like Egg Foo Young.

Egg Foo Young-ish (Spinach, Egg, Ham & Coconut Pancakes) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Melissa Joulwan’s awesome site has a great recipe for Paleo Egg Foo Young but, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what this is supposed to taste like. No self-respecting Chinese person EVER orders this dish at an authentic Chinese restaurant. (In hubby’s defense, his parents opened an Americanized Chinese joint in the late 1960s and served Egg Foo Young to the masses). But maybe I shouldn’t have been such a food snob because these pancakes were delicious.

Check out the recipe after the jump!

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Savory Coconut Pancakes

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Hubby was experimenting in the kitchen and he came up with a recipe for super simple savory coconut flour and egg pancakes. I have to admit that I was pretty dubious when he started throwing everything together, but the pancakes ended up tender and tasty!

Here’s what he gathered to make two 8-inch pancakes:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour (amount varies by brand & how dense you want the pancake)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Here’s how he made them:

He grabbed three pastured eggs out of the fridge…

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…measured out the flour…

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…and beat them together with a pinch of salt.

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Then, he melted ½ tablespoon of butter over medium heat and poured in half the batter.

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After about 2 minutes, he flipped it over…

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…and cooked it for another minute or so to finish it off.

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He repeated the same steps with the rest of the batter to make another flapjack.

The pancakes tasted pretty good plain, with a springy texture and just a hint of coconut…

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…but he opted to top it with leftover slow cooker pork pot roast and sliced avocado.

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Super-simple and tasty. Next time, I might add a little baking powder to lighten them up a bit more, but they were yummy without it.

Curried Beef, Broccoli Slaw, & Mushroom Frittata Muffins

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It’s no secret that I love frittatas. They’re even better in mini form ‘cause you can serve them as finger food at a party or store them in the fridge for a quick snack or breakfast on the go. I threw this recipe together this morning for the inaugural CrossFit Palo Alto Whole9 Nutrition Guide Orientation. Luckily, they turned out okay or I would’ve had egg on my face. (Ha!)

Mini frittata muffins can be made with whatever you have lying around, just like regular sized frittatas. Just fill up the muffin tins with filling and you can estimate the amount of eggs you need to make the batter with this ratio: for every two muffins, you need one egg in the batter (e.g. 12 muffins = 6 eggs). If you don’t want your mini frittatas to be too moist (i.e. soggy), add a few tablespoons of coconut flour. (For 15 muffins, I’ll put in 3 level tablespoons of coconut flour).

Here’s what I assembled to make 36 muffins:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 pound of grass fed ground beef
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of curry powder 
  • coconut oil spray
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 20 large eggs
  • 5-6 tablespoons of coconut flour (optional, see note above)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to 375 F and I started chopping and slicing my veggies.

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I heated up the coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan was hot, I threw in the onions with some salt and pepper and sauteed them until they were soft and translucent.

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Next, I added the mushrooms (with some more S&P) and cooked them until the liquid had evaporated.

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I tossed in the ground beef and cooked it until it was no longer pink. I seasoned the meat mixture with the curry powder and added more salt and pepper to taste. Then, I added the bag of broccoli slaw…

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…and stirred that around until the slaw was softened.

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In the meantime, I had my two boys help me put cupcake liners in my cupcake tins.

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Once the liners were in the tins, I sprayed them with coconut oil spray. If you coat the liners with oil, the muffins won’t stick as much to the paper. (Or you can skip this part and use silicone baking cups.)

Next, I divided the filling into each muffin liner.

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I cracked the eggs into a large bowl and whisked in the coconut milk and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper.

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I know this might sound gross, but I tasted the raw egg mixture to make sure there was enough seasoning. Yes, CrossFit Palo Alto members, I risked salmonella poisoning for you guys.

I ladled the egg mixture into the muffin tins, making sure the liquid only reached 3/4 of the way to the top. The muffins puff up during cooking so you don’t want to fill them to the brim.

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I popped the trays into the oven for 15 minutes and then I rotated the trays and baked them for 6 additional minutes. You know the muffins are done when they rise up to the top and they are springy to the touch when you pat the surface. I let the muffins sit in the pan for a few minutes and then I cooled them on a wire rack.

These muffins can be served warm, room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but frittatas really are awesome.

[UPDATED: I’ve since made these frittatas using silicone baking cups, and it’s a GAME-CHANGER — I’m not going back to paper cupcake liners!]

Paleo Eats: 2/18/11

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Today was insanely busy, and I’m glad I had some hearty Paleo eats to power me through to the end.

The first activity on my morning docket was the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto, so about an hour before my workout, I made myself a quick and easy scramble with three eggs and leftover stir-fried kale and bacon.

See? I don’t always make myself a frittata. Scrambles are a lot quicker when I’m short on time.

After class, I came home and snacked on macadamia nuts and coconut flakes. Then, I accompanied my mother-in-law to her pre-op anesthesia appointment at the hospital. On our way home, we stopped by Calafia and picked up a rotisserie free-range chicken, which I shredded up to make salads with greens, carrots, and sugar snap peas. I dressed our salads with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

At dinnertime, I stir-fried some ground pork with a diced onion, four minced garlic cloves, ½ a pound of sliced cremini mushrooms, Arizona Dreaming seasoning, salt, and pepper.

I served the seasoned swine with roasted bell peppers and roasted curried cauliflower.

That’s all, folks! I gotta catch some zzz’s so I’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the Whole9 Nutrition Seminar at CrossFit Palo Alto tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to meet more members of the gym and share some Paleo treats!