Mexican Breakfast Meatzza

Happy Monday (or so I keep telling myself).  I’ve got a bit of a case of the fuzz-brain today, so just bear with me for a bit.

I got an interesting comment on Facebook this morning, re: the Baked Eggs with Ratatouille recipe.  At the beginning of that post I wrote, “It’s August 1st – welcome to Day 1 of the Whole30.”   A very nice woman pointed out that August has 31 days, and thought I’d made a typo.  I’m so glad she said something.

I automatically assumed that everyone who reads my blog understood what that meant, entirely overlooking the fact that I get a ton of traffic from Facebook/Foodgawker/Tastespotting/Photograzing etc. and not all of these people – darn few, in fact – know what the dickens a Whole30 is.

Whole30 is a very strict paleo diet protocol that one follows for at least 30 days.  By strict, I mean no grains of any kind, no sugar or sweeteners of any kind (even stevia), no dairy of any type, no legumes (including peanuts), no soy, no industrial seed oils, no white potatoes and a few I probably am missing but can’t think of right off the top of my head.  Paleo “treats” are also a no-no, as are paleofied versions of “problem foods” such as pizza.  If it sounds boring, it can be if you let it (I disagree with the reasoning behind some of the restrictions, which I’ll probably go into at a later date), but as they say – it’s just 30 days, and for the most part it is a great way to detox and take stock of your diet.

I gave up grains for the most part (gluten-bearing grains all together), cut down on dairy, eliminated refined sugars, legumes, processed soy and industrial seed oils three years ago while embracing grass-fed/pastured meats and eggs and locally grown, sustainable fruits and vegetables 3 years ago and haven’t looked back since.  I lost some weight (although not nearly enough) and my health improved vastly.

Now, having said that I have periods where I begin to “drift” – too many gluten-free baked goods, a few too many white potatoes, too much alcohol, etc.  I successfully completed a Whole30 last August, and while I didn’t see the results I’d hoped for – my biggest reason for doing it was to find some relief for the worst of my menopause symptoms (I’m 50, in case you’re new here), which was a bit of a bust – that doesn’t mean it didn’t do me any good.

Over the last six months or so, those very symptoms that were driving me so crazy last summer have greatly decreased in frequency and severity; I can only conclude that after an extremely rough five years, I’m finally on the downside of the peri-menopause mountain I’ve been climbing.  And since I know what’s coming, and have a different set of expectations this time around, I’ve decided that it certainly couldn’t hurt to do another Whole30 again this August – if I feel it is hurting me, there’s no law that says I’ve to stick it out for the entire 30 days, is there?

So, for those of you who are new or happened to stumble upon my humble little corner of the interwebz, that’s my story in a nutshell – what a Whole30 is and why I’m participating this month.  All of the recipes posted here between August 1 – 30 will be Whole30 compliant…and they will be delicious.

Anyhoo.

We had this Sunday morning; it’s the result of a suggestion from Beloved when I asked what he’d like for Sunday brunch (always a big deal in our house).  Frankly, I simply took my Mexican Meatzza recipe, scaled it down slightly and changed the toppings to make it suitable for breakfast.

And Holy Mother of Pearl, is it good.  Even The Young One ate it (minus the vegetables, of course).  It was a great brunch dish, and could easily be doubled if you’re serving a crowd.  It went very well with the fruit salad I’ll post later this week.

This can, of course, be modified in any way you like – if you’re okay with dairy, by all means, put some cheese on it (The Young One did).  Might I suggest a good quality Mexican cojita?  It would be nice topped with salsa, too, or hot sauce (I believe my better half doused his in Tapatio).

Note:  I used an 11″ x 17″ cookie sheet for this, and it shrank quite a bit as the fat rendered out; the “crust” cracked in a couple of places, as well.  It didn’t affect the taste at all, but it might work a little better in a slightly smaller pan.

 Mexican Breakfast Meatzza. Pizza for breakfast? You bet - South of the Border style!  Gluten and dairy free.

Click the image to enlarge

Mexican Breakfast Meatzza
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 recipe [url href=”http://www.janssushibar.com/enchilada-sauce/” target=”_blank”]Enchilada Sauce[/url]
  • 8 large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the pork and chorizo together in a large bowl. Pat out into a medium-size cookie sheet or other shallow, rimmed baking sheet to a uniform thickness, pushing it up the sides slightly to form a rim. Spread the enchilada sauce evenly over the surface of the meat.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through, or until the meat is cooked through. Carefully pour off any fat and liquid in the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Scramble the eggs in the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat until done to your liking.
  5. Scatter the eggs evenly over the surface of the meatzza; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cut into eight equal pieces and top each piece with the tomato, avocado and onion before serving.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 503 calories, 40g total fat, 267.9mg cholesterol, 686.8mg sodium, 693.9mg potassium, 9.8g carbohydrates, 2.8g fiber, 3.3g sugar, 25.9g protein

Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros

Well, I thought I was back on schedule last week, but everything just caught up with me, and I had no time to post Thursday or Friday (and nothing to post, quite frankly).  Beloved had to leave on a business trip early Saturday morning, so we took the day off and celebrated Father’s Day on Friday.  Darling Daughter also had to leave Saturday, but since her flight wasn’t until early afternoon we got to spend the morning together as I ran to pick up our CSA share and eggs for the week.

Since she had a long flight from Podunk to Las Vegas, I made her a nice lunch to keep her sated while on her journey.  Part of it was scrambled eggs, topped with diced avocado, cheese and salsa.  As I watched her eat, I kept thinking, “My, that looks good…”

The next thing I knew, I was planning this for my Sunday brunch.

Since it was just me, I didn’t care to go to all the trouble to make an authentic ranchero sauce, but the combination of the eggs, jalapeno and fresh tomato more than make up for it (and keep it, as the title says, quick and easy).  At the request of Darling Daughter, Mexican Meatzza had been part of our menu so I had some queso cojita left over in the fridge, as well as a perfectly ripe avocado on the counter.  Add to that some sweet yellow onion and some diced jalapeno in the freezer – part of last summer’s harvest – and I had the makings of what is one of the easiest most delicious brunch dishes I’ve prepared in quite some time.

You may notice the absence of corn tortillas here.  I didn’t have any in the house, and even if I did I’m not sure I’d have used them – we had more than our fair share of indulgences while my kids were visiting and I’ve had quite enough of “borderline” acceptable food for the time being.  You can, of course, use them if you wish; soften them in a little hot lard or olive oil first, then place them in a small, oven-proof dish.  Top with the remaining ingredients, starting with the onion mixture, and proceed as directed.

Note:  Use ghee instead of butter and leave off the cheese and this is not only delicious, but Whole30 compliant.

Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros - a deliciously simple version of the classic Mexican egg dish.

Click on the image to enlarge

Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated Mexican cheese, such as queso cojita (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a small, oven proof skillet, cook the onion and jalapeno in the ghee over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully crack the eggs into the onion mixture, taking care not to break the yolks. Scatter the tomato over the top of the eggs.
  3. Bake the eggs for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still liquid.
  4. Remove from the oven and gently slide the contents of the skillet onto a plate. Top with the avocado and cheese, if using, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 404 calories, 31.3g total fat, 395.9mg cholesterol, 249.4mg sodium, 886.9mg potassium, 16.3g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 5.5g sugar, 17.4g protein

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Happy Tuesday everyone.  If you live in the U.S., I hope you enjoyed your three-day weekend; if you don’t, I hope you had a reasonably pleasant Monday.  Ours was lovely, and I took yesterday off from blogging, as well as my “real job.”

It was sorely needed, because this week will be hectic as we prepare for The Young One’s graduation on Sunday; his father, grandmother, Darling Daughter and Oldest Son all arrive on Saturday.  Oldest Son will stay through the following Saturday, allowing us to celebrate his 30th birthday Friday, and Darling Daughter will remain another week, flying back to Las Vegas on Father’s Day.  I’ll try to keep to some sort of regular blogging schedule for the next two weeks, but I make no promises.  I’m not making anything “new” the week that Oldest Son is here, but I’ll try to rerun a couple of “oldies but goodies” if I don’t have anything fresh.  Things should be a little calmer the week it’s just Darling Daughter, and since she’s my adventurous eater (and an excellent cook), I”ll probably have something new for you that week.

At any rate, I made this particular recipe on Sunday morning for our brunch.  Blueberries were on sale at our natural foods market, and since we were having The G Man for the night Sunday, I bought two half-pints (the boy loves blueberries).  Indeed, the majority of one container found its way into his little belly over the course of the 24 or so hours we had him; the other half-pint went into these little gems.

Lemon and blueberry pair naturally, and they are delicious in these moist, tender muffins.  They have a light, fruity flavor, and aren’t overly sweet – just scrumptious.  Even The Young One ate an entire muffin, and he’s not a blueberry fan at all.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins. Lemon and blueberry pair naturally, and they are delicious in these moist, tender muffins.

Click photo to enlarge

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons white rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup ghee or clarified butter, melted
  • the juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously grease a one-dozen muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda and coconut sugar. Stir the eggs, ghee, zest and lemon juice into the almond flour mixture, beating lightly by hand with a wooden spoon, until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 182 calories, 12.4g total fat, 60.1mg cholesterol, 163.8mg sodium, 147.1mg potassium, 13.3g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 5.6g sugar, 2.1g protein

 

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy Monday, everyone – I hope your weekend was nice.  Ours was; the weather was gorgeous and Sunday we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a couple of Beloved’s Killer Margaritas while we tried not to laugh at The G Man when he called everyone “butt-head.”  Ah, 3-year-olds…they’ve gotten to the point where they realize they can shock people (or make them laugh) with what they say.

It’s funny when you’re the grandparent.

Sunday is also usually my “brunch” day, and I was at a bit of a loss this weekend.  Then I ran across a picture over at Foodgawker depicting a version of this recipe and said, “That’s it!  We’re having those for Sunday brunch!”

I have to tell you, as far as Beloved was concerned, this was a huge hit – he loved them.  I must admit, they were pretty darn good and they weren’t that difficult at all – it’s just sausage, scrambled eggs and baked sweet potatoes with a little cheese.  And really, the cheese is optional so if you’re avoiding dairy it’s really no big deal.

The recipe calls for regular breakfast sausage, but it would be great with a good hot Italian sausage or even a Mexican chorizo, and it’s perfectly suited for whatever else you might want to stir in; it’s a wonderfully versatile recipe.

Leave out the cheese and it’s Whole30 compliant, too.

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. All of your favorite breakfast foods stuffed in a delicious, nutritious sweet potato!

Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 8 ounces breakfast sausage
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes and pat them dry. Poke several holes in the surface with the tip of a sharp knife and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until they give a little when gently squeezed. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
  3. While the potatoes are baking, cook the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink in the center. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and discard all but a tablespoon or two of the fat.
  4. Lower the heat under the skillet to medium low. Whisk the eggs in a bowl; cook in the fat from the sausage until softly scrambled and fluffy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl, reserving the skins; lightly season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the sausage, scrambled eggs and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese until well-mixed. Spoon the mixture back into the reserved sweet potato skins and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops.
  6. Return to the oven and bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are heated through.
  7. Serve with salsa, if desired.
  8. Nutrition (per serving): 414 calories, 29.2g total fat, 256.5mg cholesterol, 642.8mg sodium, 456.4mg potassium, 13.8g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 3.1g sugar, 22.9g protein

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

And here it is, April already.

I’d like to tell you that I’m joking when I say I feel absolutely vile, but I’m afraid it’s all too true.  I’ve had a horrid cough since Friday, and thought I had another case of bronchitis, but this morning my sinuses have decided to join in on the act.  That feels like allergies, and I suppose it could be – I’m not running a fever.  Mostly, though, I’m just really, really tired; I don’t know why I waited until 2 a.m. last night to realize, “You know, there are things in this house you can take for that cough, you silly broad.”

Nyquil is a good thing.

At any rate, I know I have at least one reader that will be glad to see this recipe, which is really good if you are fond of lemon poppy seed anything (I’d considered trying to make a pound cake).  They’re not too sweet and not too tart, but have a nice lemon flavor; a really nice Sunday brunch treat.  Based on my revised Savory Almond Muffin recipe, they’re also quick and easy to make.  You can’t beat that with a stick.

If I had the energy to beat something with a stick.  Which I don’t.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - Bursting with poppy seeds, these gluten-free muffins are bright with lemony flavor.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup high-oleic safflower oil
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously grease 9 cups of a one-dozen muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda and coconut sugar. Stir the eggs, oil, zest and lemon juice into the almond flour mixture, beating lightly by hand with a wooden spoon, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the poppy seeds.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the 9 greased muffin cups. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 216 calories, 15.8g total fat, 62mg cholesterol, 199.5mg sodium, 174.9mg potassium, 12.7g carbohydrates, 2.4g fiber, 5.2g sugar, 2.4g protein