Vanilla Candied Brussels and Pistachio Peppered Beef topped with a Poached Egg – Serves 4

I can pretty much add an egg to everything…  And I do.   As previously mentioned, throw out the notion that eggs and their yolks are bad for you…  Totally yesterday’s news.

Egg yolks contain MORE nutrients than an egg white.  Egg whites have fewer calories and protein compared to the whole egg.  However the yolk provides extra protein along with micronutrients that include iron, phosphorus, zinc, and folate, and the fatty vitamins (A, D, E, and K).  The B-complex vitamins found in whole eggs include biotin, selenium, and choline which are crucial during the creation of the human nervous system as well as its maintenance throughout the lifespan.  

These are two incredibly easy recipes to make and/or keep for leftovers during the week.  As I always say, leftovers always taste best, plus you don’t have to lift a finger.  Basically I made both recipes and then consecutively layered them with a poached egg on top.  This can be made at breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner…  Brunch was my poison of choice.

Vanilla Candied Brussels

Ingredients: 

  • 1# Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • About 1 tbsp/enough to grease a cooking sheet – coconut oil or EVOO

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a cooking sheet with coconut oil or EVOO.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, vinaigrette, vanilla extract, and spices, then lay out evenly on the cooking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until desired texture is achieved (less than 20 minutes for more moisture or greater than 20 minutes for crispiness).  At the cooking half point, utilize a spatula and lightly toss the Brussels to ensure that all sides are cooked well.
  5. Remove from oven, set aside for use, or cool down and store.

 

Pistachio Peppered Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1# beef, ground (98% lean)
  • 1/2 cup yellow and red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced and minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (make sure all the shells are removed – you don’t want broken teeth)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced/minced/chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • About 1 tbsp/enough to grease a frying pan – coconut oil or EVOO
  • Spices to taste (2-3 shakes):  Cumin, paprika, curry powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper
  • Optional:  Salt

Methodology:

  1. Drizzle coconut oil or EVOO in a frying pan under medium-high heat.
  2. Toss into the frying pan onions, sweet potatoes, cilantro, and garlic, and mix well for about 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden.
  3. Add pistachios,peppers, spices, and ground beef to the pan.  Sautee for 10-15 minutes until beef is well cooked or has met an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (this is the minimum temperature set by the USDA to kill E-Coli).
  4. Set aside to add to a meal or cool down to store.

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Poached Egg

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups water or just enough to cover the egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Methodology:

  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and white vinegar.
  3. Drop one egg in and using a large spoon whip the water around the egg in circular motion until the whites are close to the yolk.  Cook for about 2 minutes then remove and repeat with the remainder eggs.
  4. Serve atop the layered Vanilla Candied Brussels and Pistachio Ground Beef.
  5. Don’t forget to poke the yolk for extra taste!

 

xxx – Sarah

Cashew Beef Lettuce Wraps – Serves 4

I’m all about the tortillas… Especially if they are fresh but when watching caloric intake, and trying to get ready for the holidays, the key is to swap appropriately.  I was in the mood for beef and tortillas but I decided to turn that craving into lettuce wraps and boy am I glad – these are packed with quite a powerful punch!  Sidebar – the dish is both gluten and dairy-free!

Beef is a great source of protein, zinc, and iron which play a role in our energy levels and maintenance of our body.  Its nutrients are readily absorbed since it is a ‘high biological value’ source aka from an animal rather than through a pill or powder.  Quick solutions are not always the best, in other words, put down the pills for a change.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound, ground beef (I prefer to use 90% lean/10% fat)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp roasted or regular garlic, minced
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp Sriracha sauce or salsa (I am a huge fan of the La Costena brand)
  • To taste/recommended spices: curry powder, paprika, sea salt, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes (I used all of them – one or two shakes of each spice)

Methodology

  1. In a large saucepan combine the red pepper, cilantro, onions, cashews, garlic, and apple, and toss under medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and mix into the ingredients.  Allow to cook for 10 minutes then reduce to medium or low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Set up a plate or several plates with 2-3 lettuce wraps open-faced for the beef to be topped on.
  4. Optional:  Add sliced avocado on top for an additional oomph.
  5. Serve with your favorite Vino or iced beverage.
  6. Happy munchin’ y’all!

 

xxx – Sarah

Mac Apple Beef Stuffed Peppers – Serves Four

Apples.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  This fruit is a must since it can be used with any dish!  Typically since apples are used for sweet dishes I thought I would use it with something savory.  I love the mix of sweet and savory.  I’m obsessed.  Bonus part is that apples are loaded with nutrients; an apple contains fiber, vitamin-c, polyphenols (antioxidant components), and is suitable for those with diabetes due to its low glycemic index rating.  One raw sliced apple paired with something such as a nut butter can serve as an excellent snack.

I love hamburger type recipes in the spring but nothing too spicy or over flavored.  I created this recipe with the intention of satisfying my craving for garlic, cilantro, and apples.  For those wanting something without a bun or gluten base, a pepper is the right way to go, and it can be sweet or savory depending on the color.  To further assist in the mission of making a sweet and savory entrée, yellow/red/orange peppers are an excellent addition, and in this case an orange pepper was selected.  From an artistic standpoint, the color of the pepper and beef mixture is aesthetically pleasing.

stuffed orange pepper

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large orange bell peppers; hollowed
  • 2/3 cup cilantro; minced
  • 1 small white onion; minced
  • 1 medium macintosh apple; diced
  • 2 tablespoons roasted (or non-roasted) garlic; minced
  • 1 pound beef
  • 2 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs (a go to brand for me is Jeff Nathan’s Gluten-Free Plain Panko Flakes)

METHODOLOGY

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl fold the cilantro, white onion, apple, and garlic into the beef.
  3. Add two eggs into the beef and mix.
  4. Scoop out portions of the beef mixture and fill each of the 4 orange bell peppers.
  5. Top the stuffed bell peppers with panko bread crumbs.  Place the peppers atop a non-stick baking pan or glass Pyrex container coated with coconut oil.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the meat appears cooked; if you want the peppers to be moist remove from heat earlier otherwise leave in and remove when the meat meets your desired color or firmness.
  7. Serve with potatoes, kale, or other yummy sides!  Or copy the sides used in the above photo which was a spiced broccoli/cauliflower mix and purple/Japanese sweet potatoes.
  8. Voila!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Roasted Bone Marrow Treats – Serves Two

…this is NOT for your dog.  Let’s start over.  Bone marrow is a delicacy that is starting to grace more and more menus.  A few months back I went to the Purple Pig in Chicago and had their ‘Roasted Bone Marrow with Herbs.’  Initially I did not notice the dish on the menu but noticed several tables ordering this item  and oh-ing/ah-ing.  I then realized, I had to try it, now here we are…

Bone marrow is no longer taboo to many.  As society begins to embrace various eating lifestyles such as that of a caveman or woman we are starting to realize that they were onto something.  In other words, bone marrow truly is good for us!  Bone marrow is mostly composed of fat, a minimal amount of protein, and vitamins/minerals.  Bone marrow is noted to contain vitamin-A, iron, and phosphorus.  The content of bone marrow makes for a good addition to your diet since it may assist with strengthening bone, improving iron counts for those deficient or experiencing extreme menstrual cycles, and healing of wounds/assisting with skin integrity.

Roasted Bone Marrow

Roasted Bone Marrow served with Parsley & Caper Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • Bone marrow (3 – can be halved or whole)
  • Parsley (chopped; 2 cups)
  • Shallots (minced; about two sections)
  • Lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Capers (2 tablespoons – drained)
  • Mary’s Herb Crackers (gluten-free)
  • S&P

STEPS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pop in the bone marrow either whole or halved on a cooking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Portion and prepare each ingredient as listed.
  4. Toss into a mixing bowl the following: parsley, shallots, capers, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Mix well.
  5. Add S&P to taste.
  6. Scoop out the marrow and place atop the salad to eat OR serve the salad with marrow on crackers.  You cannot go wrong with either method.
  7. Then when you’re done…  clean off the bones to make sure there is no salt or residue from the salad AND give to your canine!
  8. Now both you and the pup can be delirious together.

As the food connoisseur that you are it is important to remember balance.  You can have your cake and eat it too – same applies for bone marrow.  There are good sides and bad sides.  For the most part, I will sing its praises because like anything else, consume wisely and do not overindulge.

 

xxx – Sarah