Low Carb Egg Casserole

Another good “on the run” food. Make this low carb egg casserole ahead for a convenient breakfast! I made it to take for a LARPing weekend.

 

low carb egg casserole

The original experiment, with sausage, as described below. Sorry, it smelled so good I forgot to take a picture until it was mostly gone…

If you are strictly Paleo, you can skip the quinoa. If not, cook up a cup (with two cups water) but stop before it’s all the way done – “al dente” is a good goal. Drain off any excess water. Brown 1 lb of sausage (I *love* the Country Sage bulk sausage at New Seasons) in a large skillet with high sides – it reduces the dishwashing later. When it’s done, take it off the heat and mix in the quinoa and a dozen eggs right in the skillet. I actually did this last night with 8 eggs, since that’s what I had, and they came out fine, but I tend to buy XL eggs. You can add in spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, onion… you get the idea. Depending on how heavily seasoned the sausage was, add in some spices. Salt, pepper, dill, etc. Of course you can experiment with ground beef, turkey, or chicken. If you are vegetarian, use mushrooms in this low carb egg casserole instead of meat.

You can use a casserole dish or muffin tins. These won’t rise much, so go ahead and fill the tins pretty full. If you used quinoa and/or lots of veggies, it won’t all fit in one muffin tray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. If you are doing dairy, sprinkle some grated cheddar on top about 5 min before the end.

Low carb egg casserole with spinach and bacon

Here’s a version with quinoa, eggs, spinach, pepper bacon, and a little cheese on top. I made both the bacon and the quinoa first, then threw them in the dish with the raw eggs and spinach. Baked at 350 until done.

 

These give you protein and some fat (great in the morning!) and some slower-burning carbs. Good stuff for running around in the woods killing bad guys with foam swords! Or, you know, paperwork at the office.

Bone Broth Kale Soup (aka LARP soup)

Okay, so these are not, strictly speaking, recipes. They are more of a set of guidelines, really. Feel free to experiment: That’s how these were born. I needed some nutrient-dense food that I could take into the woods for a weekend of LARPing (Live Action Role Play – improv acting meets D&D, aka exercise in costume), so I developed stuff that could travel and store well. I will be using these for busy work weeks, too!

LARP Soup: First we start with…

Bone Broth aka Stock: This is amazing stuff. Use it as a base for any kind of soup! Since I started making it, my nails have gotten crazy strong. It’s terrific to build immunity, too.

CIMG0427

Here’s the short version:More detail: 

I like beef, and ideally I get grass-fed /organic bones, but I have to admit sometimes I just use the ones at Fred Meyer. Throw as many as will fit into a crockpot, with a little splash of vinegar (that helps suck out the nutrients). Optional: an onion (sliced in big chunks) or carrots for flavoring. I keep a ziplock in my freezer to hold rinds from hard cheeses, veggie scraps, etc, and empty it into my next batch to deepen the flavor. I have done both fancy ones with everything in, and plain bones-&-vinegar. Use whatever you have. Add enough water to cover the bones. Set the crockpot to low. In a few hours, your house will smell amazing! If you like, add a bay leaf or two in the last few hours of cooking, not a whole bunch at the beginning as pictured here. This batch turned out too bitter. Bleech. CIMG0430

After 24-36 hrs (or AN HOUR, using an Instant Pot), use a slotted spoon to remove the bones and cooked-into-oblivion veggies. There will be a layer of oil on the surface. Do NOT attempt to “taste” the broth from that. It will not be a pleasant experience, trust me. Instead, pour all the liquid into a soup pot and put it in the fridge. When you come back to it, an hour or a day later, the fat on top will have congealed into a hard, white disc. Crack it like ice and peel the fat away from the gelatinous goodness underneath. You can save the fat for later use (it makes really tasty scrambled eggs) if you are into that sort of thing, or just chuck it. You can heat the bone broth and enjoy as is, or with a few add-ins like garlic or pepper.

Cooled broth

If you want to continue to LARP soup, put your soup pot containing the freaky-looking beef jello on the stove, medium heat. Toss in kale, sliced mushrooms, carrots, yams, parsnips… whatever you like! I love adding natural bacon (cooked separately, first). Trader Joe’s has a great chicken sausage that works beautifully, too. Time your additions so veggies go in first, then meats, then pre-cooked meats. Don’t forget fresh crushed garlic, grated ginger, or any other favorite herbs along with salt, pepper, etc. When the kale is limp and dark, you are done! Remove from heat, serve, and bask in the praise of your loved ones. This freezes beautifully for reheating later. If that’s your plan, take it off the heat a little earlier.

It looks (and smells!) better in person, trust me!

Enjoy!

PS – See my Instant Pot post for a secret weapon that makes getting the solids out of your broth quick and easy!

 

 

Healthy carrot “muffins”

Here’s what they look like with crushed walnuts sprinkled on top. Don’t forget to butter the muffin tin before pouring in the batter!

These high-protein, non-grain, low-sugar muffins look, taste, and smell great, and even the texture is terrific! I altered them from a previously existing recipe, which is why there are actual amounts. :)

1 cup almond flour
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
8 oz pureed carrots
a squeeze of honey

NOTE: This resulted in essentially non-sweet muffins. Enjoy them straight up, decorate them with honey and butter when you reheat them, or  add sweetener (honey, stevia, etc.)  to the ingredients list if you must.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and butter your muffin tins. Mix dry ingredients first, in a medium size bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the moist ingredients. Slowly pour the wet into the dry mixture. You don’t want to over mix or your muffins won’t rise as much. Using a 1/4 cup, scoop batter into each tin. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes or until cool.

PS – My buddy Q says these are great cold. She also recommends adding coconut. Yum!