Nom Nom Paleo

Cheesy ‘N Beefy Mini Frittata Muffins

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This morning I asked Big-O what kind of mini frittata muffin he’d most like me to create. Without a second thought, he blurted out, “Meat and cheese. Like a burrito but without the salsa, beans, rice, or tortilla.” Little man, your wish is my command.

Here’s what I assembled to make 12 muffins:

  • 1 pound of grass fed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Arizona Dreaming seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut oil spray
  • 6 large eggs
  • Heaping tablespoon of full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to 350 F and melted the ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the pan was hot, I threw in the onions and sautéed them until they were translucent and soft.

Next, I dumped in the ground beef and used my wooden spoon to break it up in the pan. I seasoned everything with salt and pepper. When the beef was no longer pink, I added the Arizona Dreaming seasoning and stirred everything to make sure it was dispersed evenly.

I removed the seasoned beef from the skillet and let it cool to room temperature.

You’ll have way more filling than is necessary for 12 muffins but now you’ll have extra cooked protein. Score!

While your meat is cooling down, line your muffin tins with cupcake liners and spray with coconut oil spray. I like to place my muffin tins on my open dishwasher door when I spray them because then you don’t get grease all over your counter AND it gets cleaned off when you run the dishwasher. (Another great tip from Cook’s Illustrated).

I filled the muffin tins more than halfway full with the cooled beef filling. Then, I whisked the eggs and yogurt with some salt and pepper. I ladled the egg mixture into each muffin, filling them up ¾ of the way to the top. At the end, I topped each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese.

I placed the muffin tins into the oven and let them bake for 15 minutes. Then, I flipped the trays around and baked for 8-10 more minutes.

I removed the muffins from the tin and let them cook on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes.

I know they’re kinda ugly but they were a big hit with the kids. See? You can make all sorts of mini frittata muffins! Just make sure the ratio of eggs to muffins is 1:2. Start cracking them eggs!

Paleo Eats: 3/5/11

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As soon as I woke up this morning, I barreled out of bed because I knew I had a s-load to do before attending the all-day Whole9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop. First, I drove to pick up my weekly veggie CSA box.

When I got home, I quickly baked up a batch of mini frittata muffins with the curried ground beef, shallots, mushrooms, and chard filling I made yesterday.

I was bringing these savory cupcakes to snack on at the workshop.

(Note to self: don’t keep the foil liners on the mini muffins ‘cause they cause condensation on the bottom — eww!)

Before leaving the house, I scarfed down some breakfast: mini bratwursts, leftover roasted asparagus, and homemade guacamole.

We arrived at Mad Dawg Fitness right when the workshop started.

We quickly took our seats and geeked out big time to the scores of valuable and practical nutrition information presented by the Hartwigs.

We broke for lunch at 12:45 a.m., at which time I passed around the mini frittata muffins to my CrossFit Palo Alto peep. Then we walked to the nearby In-N-Out to grab some bun-less burgers. Hubs and I both ordered protein-style, triple meat, mustard-fried burgers with whole grilled onion, hold the spread.

Probably not strictly Paleo but them burgers taste good.

We walked back to Mad Dawg after lunch. The afternoon session, just like the first half of the presentation, totally fired me up to commit to eating clean for life.

I originally intended to order takeout for dinner but after the workshop, I decided to eff that notion and make some Whole9 approved nosh at home.

As soon as I got home, I quickly threw a pan of roasted chicken and shallots into the oven.

Melissa and Dallas told us to pile our plates high with veggies, so I chopped up half a head of cabbage and made some stovetop-braised cabbage

…and prepped some carrots that I roasted in the toaster oven.

By the time the chicken was finished cooking, the veggies sides were done as well.

Yummy and on the table in just 45 minutes.

Plus, my dinner isn’t pro-inflammatory. Score!

After dinner, I vacuum-sealed and seasoned two racks of pork ribs with Chili Con Carne seasoning, salt, and pepper.

I’m going to sous vide them tomorrow after they marinate in the fridge overnight.

Nighty night!

Paleo Eats: 3/4/11

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This morning, I knew I’d have to load up on food ‘cause I needed some tasty fuel to power me through my morning class at CrossFit Palo Alto. As a result, I fried up a three-egg scramble with nuked frozen broccoli and some canned fire-roasted tomatoes for breakfast. For whatever reason, I never feel like eggs are enough protein (!) so I also chowed on a few slices of organic roast beef deli meat.

The WOD only lasted 10 minutes (and 5 minutes of it was rest time) but I was wiped when I finished. I felt like my heart was gonna explode out of my chest after the first 30 seconds of kettlebell swings!

When I came home, I drank a bowl of garbage soup and ate a handful of macadamia nuts.

Little-O and I met up with my good friend, H, for lunch at Anatolian Kitchen. This place is a yummy new Turkish restaurant off of California Avenue in Palo Alto. I ordered the combination plate sans rice and it came piled with doner kebab, chicken shish kebab, lamb shish kebab, and a nice salad.

I was really happy with the quality and quantity and can’t wait to come back to try some other items. (CrossFit Palo Alto peeps — this place is only a few blocks away so stop by after your workout to chow on meaty goodness!)

For snack, I ate a crapload of macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, and coconut butter but I still had room for a small cup of  coconut milk topped with strawberries.

In the evening, I prepared a batch of curried grass fed beef with shallots, mushrooms, and chard.

I’m gonna use this filling for mini frittata muffins I’m baking tomorrow morning to take to the Whole9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop at Mad Dawg Fitness. I can’t wait to meet and learn from the Paleo nutrition mavens in person!

For dinner, I fried up some lamb burgers…

…sautéed mushrooms with onions in butter…

…and broiled some avocado oil tossed asparagus.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I’m gonna catch some zzzz’s so I can be a good listener tomorrow.

Paleo Eats: 2/23/11

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Today was a busy day of cooking and shopping since I wanted to cram in some last few hours of meal preparation before I started work tonight.

When I woke up, I packed Big-O’s lacto-Paleo lunch which consisted of a leftover mini egg frittata, raw almonds, cubed cheddar cheese, baby carrots, and strawberries.

Then, I threw together a new batch of mini frittata muffins. This time I didn’t even take out a frying pan to prepare the filling; I just chopped up some chicken apple sausage (that comes pre-cooked) and frozen broccoli that I microwaved for a minute.

I packed eighteen muffin liners to the brim with filling so I whisked nine eggs with a dollop of yogurt, a healthy sprinkle of Sunny Paris seasoning, salt, and pepper for the binder.

The right ratio of eggs to number of muffins is approximately 1 egg: 2 muffins. Also, the muffins do collapse a little bit once they are out of the oven so don’t be surprised if they turn out a little concave after cooling.

As I was waiting for the muffins to bake, I made myself a breakfast plate with a leftover mini frittata muffin, sliced organic deli chicken, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas.

I also ate a handful of macadamia nuts and almonds so that I’d have enough fat to keep me satisfied until lunchtime.

I took Little-O to his class at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo and afterwards we stopped by Whole Foods to pick up some last minute groceries.

For lunch, I whipped up a batch of crab salad with my leftover Paleo mayonnaise

…and ate a 1/3 pound serving over a bed of greens and shredded carrots.

I also roasted three red bell peppers on my gas range that I’m going to pack in my work meals.

I preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F and asked my mom (who was watching the kids) to dump in the previously vacuum-sealed grass fed T-bone steaks at around 4:00 p.m. Then, I went to bed for a couple hours.

When I woke up, I roasted some Brussels sprouts with bacon

…that I tossed with rendered duck fat from the braised duck legs I prepared the other day.

I dunked two frozen packets of Cascadian Farms winter squash puree into my SousVide Supreme right after I took out my T-bone steaks (which had been bathing for 2 hours). I dried my steaks and reserved some of the liquid in the bag for the mushrooms I’d be sautéing later.

While my hubby grilled the steaks outside (just a minute and a half on each side to get a nice char), I sautéed some cremini mushrooms with sliced shallots, minced garlic, Fines Herbes seasoning, salt, pepper, and some reserved steak juice from the sous vide bags.

Then, I took out the defrosted winter squash puree packets and mixed them with some butter, salt, and pepper.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Truth be told, I split the 1-pound steak with my hubby but it photographs better as an intact steak.

After dinner, I packed my meals and got ready for work. My mother-in-law is in the hospital for one more night for observation so it’s nice that I’ll be there all night in case something happens and I can check in on her first thing in the morning. See? There are some benefits to working graveyards at the hospital.

Paleo Eats: 2/21/11

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Today was a busy day of food shopping and meal preparation.

When I woke up, I quickly made a batch of mini frittata muffins with a pound of ground beef and leftover stir-fried kale and bacon. I had help in the kitchen with this batch just like last time…

Today I only made 18 muffins so I whipped 10 eggs with a dollop of yogurt as my “batter.”

Mini frittatas can be made with whatever leftovers you have in the house – just like the full size versions

For breakfast I fried an egg and ate it over a bowl of leftover braised cabbage.

I also ate a mini frittata muffin – just to check if the seasoning was right. Really.

After breakfast, the kids and I went to Sigona’s and Costco to stock up on produce and toilet paper.

When we got home, I heated up some leftover curried cream of broccoli soup with added leftover rotisserie chicken.

I also ate another mini frittata muffin with some baby carrots and sugar snap peas.

As soon as Little-O took a nap, Big-O and I prepared some braised duck legs that I’ll serve later this week. When the duck was finished, I put it in a storage container and popped it in the fridge.

At dinnertime, I made my first attempt at making Paleo mayonnaise. Although I wanted to make the versions put out by the good folks at the Food Lovers Primal Palate and Melissa Joulwan, I didn’t have enough macadamia nut oil. As a result, I modified a version I found in my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook that turned out great and was super quick.

Since I had a successful batch of mayo and cans of crabmeat in my fridge, I decided to make a quick crab salad for dinner. I served the crab salad over a bed of greens along with some broiled asparagus and guacamole.

That’s it for tonight!