Fiesta Deviled Eggs

I mentioned Monday that we’re just swimming in berries right now.  We also have an overabundance of eggs, so we’ve been eating quite a few of those, too.

Over the weekend, I hard boiled two dozen – those that didn’t peel well became Scotch Eggs and the rest became these extremely tasty deviled eggs.

I’m not sure what possessed me to make a pico de gallo and mix it with egg yolks, homemade mayonnaise and diced avocado; well other than the fact that I’ve got lots of onions and the first of the summer’s tomatoes and peppers that also needed to be used, as well as plenty of cilantro from the garden and a couple of avocados that were on sale, as well.

It turns out that it was an inspired idea – these were a delicious lunch, served alongside a salad dressed with my next recipe and some fresh watermelon.

Oh, summer…I just love you.

Make your own mayo, and these are not only vegetarian, but Whole30 to boot – to say nothing of deliciously fresh and zesty.

Note:  I’m listing these as an appetizer, although we had them for lunch two days in a row.  Because of the avocado, they didn’t keep as well as other deviled eggs do, so it’s best to eat them all when served.

Fiesta Deviled Eggs. Turn an ordinary gathering into a fiesta with these fresh and zesty deviled eggs!

Click on the image to enlarge

Fiesta Deviled Eggs
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 9 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the eggs in half, lengthwise. Place the yolks in a large glass mixing bowl, reserving the whites.
  2. Mash the egg yolks with a fork until crumbly. Mix in the tomato, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, 2 tablespoons cilantro and the mayonnaise until well-blended. Gently fold in the diced avocado. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the reserved egg whites; garnish with the remaining tablespoon of cilantro.
  4. Serve immediately.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 207 calories, 18.5g total fat, 201.5mg cholesterol, 98.9mg sodium, 186.5mg potassium, 3.6g carbohydrates, 1.3g fiber, 1.6g sugar, 7g protein

Mango-Avocado Salsa

The three recipes I have for you this week are really all part of the same recipe – you just need the first two to make the final dish.

Isn’t that clever of me?

Seriously, though, I thought it would be better to break it down this way, rather than throw a single seemingly long and complicated recipe at you all at once (although it’s really neither long nor complicated).  Besides, each component can be either enjoyed on it’s own, or as part of other dishes.

You’ll see what I mean when it’s all said and done.

The first part of the final dish is today’s recipe:  Mango-Avocado Salsa.

I love a good salsa, of which the evidence is in my basement – we canned about 20 pints of the stuff, both spicy and peach, last summer (and I better get on to eating it all if I want to make more this year).  Fresh raw salsas are my favorite, though, and this one may be the best so far.  It could not be more delicious, or more simple – and just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

It is also Whole30 and vegan.  Everybody should be happy.

Mango-Avocado Salsa. Sweet, creamy and spicy, this salsa is a great addition to your Cinco de Mayo table!

Mango-Avocado Salsa
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • the juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Lightly toss the mango, avocado, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  3. Nutrition (per serving): 75 calories, 4.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4.2mg sodium, 224mg potassium, 9.2g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 5g sugar, 1.1g protein

Sauerkraut

I have never liked sauerkraut.

I’m sorry, but it’s nasty.  Or at least the commercial stuff is; you know, those bags of limp cabbage in sickly green liquid you can often find in the pork section of the meat department around St. Patrick’s Day and New Years (at least here in Ohio you can).  It’s salty and vinegary and has an awful, slimy texture and I’ve NEVER been able to develop a liking for it.

So when we began fermenting we started with kimchi, which we both happen to love.  I then moved on to fruit chutneys – cranberry-orange is my favorite so far, although I did a peach chutney last summer that was really, really good – but I still resisted making sauerkraut.  I just couldn’t believe that I’d like it.

But eventually Beloved and my Young Diabetic Friend (who adores sauerkraut, even the commercial stuff) talked me into making some.

To say that I was astounded at how good it was is a bit of an understatement.  It is crisp and tangy and livley; nothing at all like the crap you buy at the store.

And I was hooked.

I tend to make ferments a quart at a time because the last time I made multiple batches I had to toss some – despite claims that you can eat kimchi months and even years after it’s been fermented, I’m a bit of a worry-wart and tend to err on the side of caution; as much as I believe in the numerous health benefits of fermented foods, I am not too crazy about the idea of contracting botulism in the process of obtaining all those lovely probiotics.  So this recipe makes just a quart – a good amount, especially if this is your first foray into homemade sauerkraut.

It’s quite simple, too; it’s just thinly sliced cabbage, kosher sea salt (I use RealSalt), caraway seed and filtered water.  You can add whey if you want, but I’ve not had any problems with it fermenting without it – it’s usually bubbling away in 3 days, although it’s taken as long as 5.  After that, I stick it in the fridge and we eat a little bit every day (or try to, anyway).  It is absolutely spectacular on Applegate Farms Grassfed Beef Hot Dogs with a little mustard.  So much so that it’s become my favorite “quickie lunch” lately.

The size of the cabbage I use are generally slightly larger than a softball.  It will seem like a lot of cabbage for a single quart jar once it’s been sliced or shredded, but once you begin to pound it down into the jar, it does all fit.  I top the kraut with extra-virgin olive oil to keep it submerged under the liquid while it’s fermenting; it can be poured off – or just stirred in, which doesn’t hurt the flavor or texture at all, once you begin eating the ferment.

Note:  Do not use tap water when making ferments; the chemicals, which aren’t good for you in the first place, can hinder – even prevent – the fermentation process.

Sauerkraut. Tangy, crisp and flavorful, homemade sauerkraut is as delicious as it is nutritious!

Sauerkraut
Serves: 16
[i]Yields one quart.[/i]
Ingredients
  • 1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • filtered water
Instructions
  1. Have ready a clean, dry 1 quart glass jar.
  2. Layer the cabbage into the jar until it is about 1/4 full. Sprinkle some of the salt on top of the cabbage and pound it down with a wooden spoon or pestle until the cabbage begins to give off liquid. Sprinkle in a bit of the caraway seed.
  3. Repeat layering the cabbage, salt and caraway, pounding in between each layer, until all of the ingredients are in the jar. Add filtered water to cover the cabbage if necessary. There should be about 1 inch between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar.
  4. Top off the sauerkraut with about 1/4 cup of olive or coconut oil to keep the cabbage submerged. Cap tightly and store at room temperature (on a counter out of direct sunlight is fine) for 3 days, or until the sauerkraut begins to bubble. Transfer to the refrigerator.
  5. Eat within 3 months.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 12 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 713.5mg sodium, 79.6mg potassium, 2.7g carbohydrates, 1.2g fiber, 1.4g sugar, <1g protein

Maple Roasted Cashews

Outside of the occasional baking I do with almond flour, we don’t eat very many nuts.  I buy either cashews or pistachios during the school year because The Young One likes to take an ounce in his lunch every day (and those are the only kinds of nuts he cares for) and we’ll snack on a handful once in awhile, but they’re not a huge part of our diet.

Every so often, though, I’ll buy both – especially if they’re on sale.  I like to buy “raw” cashews and roast them myself, and try a different seasoning when I do; lately it’s been the mixture I use for kettlecorn on the infrequent occasion that I make popcorn (also usually for The Young One’s lunches).  This week, though, I thought I’d do a maple preparation.

It’s not something I’ll be doing again any time soon.

Not because they’re bad.  On the contrary, these are ridiculously good.  So good that I made them Saturday afternoon and they were gone by mid-morning Sunday.  I don’t think The Young One even got any of these – they were mostly devoured by Beloved.  (Not to worry; I got a handful or three myself.)  I won’t make these often simply because I can’t afford to purchase that many cashews.  We’d go bankrupt.

Note: I roasted the cashews beforehand; the recipe will work best with dry-roasted, unsalted nuts.  This could be made with any type of nut or combination, and the recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Maple Roasted Cashews. Not too sweet, not too salty, these are absolutely addictive!

Maple Roasted Cashews
Serves: 16
A serving is one ounce.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a shallow, rimmed baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together the nuts, syrup, sugar and salt until the nuts are well-coated.
  3. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring twice during the process to avoid burning.
  4. Allow the nuts to cool before storing in an airtight container.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 109 calories, 7.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 61.8mg sodium, 102.1mg potassium, 8.2g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 3.2g sugar, 2.6g protein

 

Honey Roasted Pork Belly

This came about as part of my recent effort to use up the “odder” bits in the freezer before we get our next side of beef in a couple of months and our next hog shortly afterwards.

If you’ve been hanging around here for any amount of time at all, you know that I love me some pork belly and some Asian food.  Recently I found the recipe for Char Siu – Chinese Barbecued Pork – on Foodgawker and was immediately smitten.  An Asian recipe for pork belly?  Count me in!

Of course, I tweaked the recipe to make it more suitable for my diet (I really need to learn to make my own hoisin sauce) but the recipe is essentially the same.  The biggest change is the marinade time – the original recipe calls for 2 to 3 hours, but it really should go for 4 or more.  I marinated mine for 8, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it overnight.  It’s just going to make it all the more tasty.

In the interest of transparency, this was not Beloved or The Young One’s favorite pork belly recipe, although they certainly didn’t turn it down.  I, on the other hand, loved it and would gladly eat it again.

This is extremely rich, so I served it as an appetizer.

Honey Roasted Pork Belly. Sweet honey and exotic five-spice complement the rich meatiness of this excellent pork belly dish.

Honey Roasted Pork Belly
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound pork belly, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice wine, tamari, coconut sugar, garlic powder and Chinese five-spice. Place the pork belly in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Turn several times to coat the pork and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  3. Remove the pork belly from the plastic bag, allowing the excess marinade to drain off (discard the marinade); place the pork in an oven safe dish just large enough to hold it. Brush the top with one tablespoon of the honey.
  4. Roast the pork for about 45 minutes to an hour, turning it halfway through; brush with the remaining honey. The pork is done when the outsides begin to crisp and turn dark brown and the center of the meat feels firm.
  5. Remove the pork from oven and allow it to rest, loosely covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into slices; arrange on a platter and serve.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 243 calories, 20.1g total fat, 27.2mg cholesterol, 348.8mg sodium, 110mg potassium, 10g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 8.2g sugar, 4.5g protein