Favorite Slow Carb Breakfast: Baked Eggs on Bed of Bacon and Spinach

photo 650x650 Favorite Slow Carb Breakfast: Baked Eggs on Bed of Bacon and Spinach

Favorite Slow Carb Breakfast

My go-to favorites breakfast (or lunch) on the Slow Carb Lifestyle.  It is quick (about 7 minutes) and easy and ever-so-delicious.  Basically you fry some bacon, drain it, toss in fresh spinach, crack a few eggs, cover and bake a few minutes.  Done!  Delicious!  Healthy!

How to Make Baked Eggs on a Bed of Bacon and Spinach without Overthinking:

I’m just going to briefly describe the process rather than put this breakfast into a recipe format.  It is easy and flexible and you really don’t need to overthink it.  Even if it comes out as a tossed up, messy scramble it will be delicious.  Just use great ingredients!

  • Fry up some bacon in a skillet to just under the crispiness you like.
  • Drain most of the grease off, leaving the bacon in the skillet, and turn the heat to medium-low.
  • Toss a handful of fresh spinach on top of the bacon.
  • Crack 2 or 3 eggs on top of the spinach.  Add a little salt and pepper.
  • Cover the skillet and let the eggs bake on the burner (medium-low heat) until they are the consistency you like.
  • Use a spatula or just tilt and slide the whole thing onto a plate and enjoy!

**Oh, and add a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar when you add the salt and pepper.  It really adds to the flavor.

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Vegetable Side Dishes that Work With the Slow Carb Diet

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Slow Carb Diet Side Dishes

While the proteins are the star of the Slow Carb Diet, the vegetable side dishes are often what make the meal more interesting and complete.  Often however, I am so time-starved that all I do with fresh vegetables is a quick saute, a flash in the microwave or sometimes roasted.  I’m trying to get a bit more creative with produce this year and there is a wealth of information out there to be inspired by.  I bought the cookbook “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi and absolutely love it, but I find I save most of his creative vegetable dishes for the weekend.  In the recipes below I am sharing a few of the vegetable side dishes I’ve adapted that meet the creative criteria but were also quick and easy for weeknights.  Once you start down this road a whole boatload of vegetable dishes step up to meet the criteria.

Criteria for Week-night Meals:  Prep in 1/2 hour or less and Slow Carb Diet Compliant

Still time-starved, even though my kids are off at college, I look for inspiration in dishes that require minimal prep time.  Slow roasting, braising, and tagine, or stew-type recipes are fine with me, as I can be working while they cook since I work at home.  Saturday is reserved for baking however, as the Slow Carb Diet allows one cheat day per week and since it’s incredibly hard to bake delicious desserts without sampling, I bring out the sugar and fruit on Saturdays.  Sundays have become the “try something new” day, which generally involves adapting a favorite old recipe into a slow-carb recipe.

Three Vegetable Side Dishes that meet the Criteria

So, my attempts at getting more creative with vegetable dishes are basically taking me into the spices of different cultures.  Moroccan, Ethiopian and Vietnamese are my favorites so far, but I’ve got a lot of experimenting left.  I tried to use spices that were fairly easy to find, and if they weren’t (like fenegreek), I looked for substitutions or blends that gave a similar profile.

The Cauliflower dish and the asparagus dish were inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s book, adapted to be compliant with the slow carb diet.  The Korean spinach dish was only slightly adapted from a recipe for Korean Barbecue in Fine Cooking Magazine.  All three dishes were wonderful, quick and slow-carb friendly.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Baked Cauliflower with Saffron & Olives

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Baked Cauliflower with Saffron and Olives

Baked Cauliflower with Saffron and Olives

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp saffron
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into individual florets
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and cut in half lengthways
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 Tbsp chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Release the oils and fragrance of the saffron by placing it in a small bowl, pouring the boiling water over it, and allowing it to sit for about 5 minutes
  2. In a large bowl add the cauliflower, onion, olives, olive oil, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Pour the infused saffron water over the mix in the bowl and mix together well with your hands, coating the cauliflower with the oil and spices.
  3. Spoon the mixture into an 9 x 11 inch baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for a total of 40 to 45 minutes, stirring the mixture after 20 minutes and placing the foil back on to cover for another 20 minutes. Cauliflower should be fork tender, but not mushy.
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Stir in the parslet and adjust the salt and pepper if you would like more.
  5. Serve warm.
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/vegetable-side-dishes-work-slow-carb-diet/

 Recipe for Korean BBQ Spinach

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Quick Korean Spinach Side Dish

Quick Korean Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 3 tsp sesame seeds
  • 5 tsp peanut oil, or sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (omit if doing slow carb diet)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place sesame seed in small non-stick frying pan and toast over low heat, shaking pan, until they are light brown and nutty (just a few minutes - watch carefully). Add peanut oil to the pan and heat over low heat for a few minutes to infuse sesame seeds into oil.
  2. Cook the spinach in a pot of boiling water until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain well and squeeze out excess water, being careful not to burn your hands.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix unti well combined. Serve warm or at room temperature
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/vegetable-side-dishes-work-slow-carb-diet/

Recipe for Asparagus with Crumbled Eggs and Capers

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Asparagus with Crumbled Eggs and Capers

Spring Asparagus with Crumbled Egg and Capers

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 large bunches asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil, or olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1 tsp sea salt, flake salt like Maldon sea salt is great
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When water is boiling, turn burner off and cover the pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Remove eggs with slotted spoon into bowl of ice water and let cool. Peel under cool running water. * note: fresh eggs will not peel well. you really need eggs that are at least a week old.
  2. Grate the eggs on a coarse cheese grater.
  3. Bend the asparagus until the tough bottom ends snap off and compost the ends (or discard). Place the asparagus spears in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Drain asparagus. While still warm, drizzle the oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with capers, salt and pepper. Top with the grated egg.
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/vegetable-side-dishes-work-slow-carb-diet/

I’ve tended to avoid cooking fresh vegetables in the past, as they seemed to take too much time with all the washing and prep work.  Like anything else however, it’s really just a matter of doing it enough times that you don’t have to think about it anymore.  Once fresh vegetables become something you can prep on autopilot, they are really very quick and add a whole new dimension to your meals.  Agree?

 

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Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

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Lime Marmalade Bread

I’m so weary of cold and snow these days and the taste and smell of warm citrus baked goods helps keep the hope alive that Spring and sunshine will indeed come to our farm.  Last week I made Lemon Bars with Limoncello Icing for the girl’s Easter care package and this week I decided to try something with one of our lime marmalades for the boy’s package.  The lime marmalade is very intense in flavor and held up well in the baking process.

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

My son is a junior in college and has recently developed a relationship with a girl that looks like it may have some staying power.  They both enjoy experimenting with food and drink and I have been using them  as “tasters” for the cocktails I’m developing which use our shrub syrups and simple syrups.  The “Mint Julep” that I made for him last summer was his favorite, and is now a standing request when he comes home at breaks.

IMG 7203 650x446 Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

Easter College Care Package for the Boy

I found these wonderful mint julep cups online, had them monogrammed with our last name initial, and sent it to him along with a recipe for the Mint Julep and two different syrups he can use in the recipe.  Now he can impress her with his “mixology” skills.  I certainly would have been impressed if my college boyfriend knew how to serve anything other than a cheap beer!

Recipe for the Lime Marmalade Cake

Lime Marmalade Cake for the Easter College Care Package

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temp. (plus 1/2 Tbsp for glaze)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp grated orange or lemon zest
  • 3 eggs, at room temp
  • 2/3 cups lime marmalade, divided into two 1/3 cups
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (can use orange or lime also)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray
  2. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter sugar, and both zests for 3-5 minutes, or until it looks light and airy.. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in 1/3 cups of the lime marmalade, along with the citrus juice until everything is incorporated.
  3. In a clean bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, to include the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the marmalade mixture until just combined (do not overmix)
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and light golden in the center. When cake has cooled for at least 10 minutes, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan by inserting a knife between the cake and the pan and running it along the edges. Turn cake out onto a plate.
  6. For the Glaze: Heat the other 1/3 cup of lime marmalade gently until it is melted and whisk in 1/2 Tbsp of butter and the powdered sugar. Whisk until no lumps of sugar remain. Spoon the glaze over the cake. Using a microplane, zest some lime and orange peel onto the top of the glaze. Cool completely before slicing.
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/lime-marmalade-cake-easter-college-care-package/

Happy Easter!!!

 

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Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

lemonade blondies 1 650x5391 Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Sometimes serendipity hands you a prize, and these blondies are just that…a prize.  While on a phone conversation with my daughter, she interrupted me by saying “Just what are lemonade brownies?”  What?  Who said anything about lemonade brownies.  Not me.  HOWEVER, we both decided that sounded like something we’d like to taste.  After experimenting with four different blondie recipes, I created this Blondie…a lemony, tender blondie with a Limoncello-spiked frosting.  A winner!

Perfect Blondies for Easter

lemonade blondies 3 650x5591 Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Initially I thought I would ship these blondies to my college kids in an Easter care package.  As I was experimenting with the different recipes trying to create nirvana blondies (hey I like that name, maybe that’s what I’ll call them), I received a surprise package of Easter cookies from Cookie Temptations.  Well, the blondies are scrumptious in taste, but as far as festive decor goes the cookies won hands down for the care package.  So….I decided to save some blondies out for Easter treats for the hubby and I, and then freeze the rest for a future care package for the kids.

Click here if you would like to see the Easter College Care Package post.

Recipe for Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies:

Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

Yield: 10 blondies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp Fiori di Sicilia oil (optional, but really smells great)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For Icing:
  • 1 cup powderedsugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp Limoncello
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest from lemons for garnish (can also use orange zest for more color)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray, or alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper making sure it comes above the edge of the pan.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes)
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing until thoroughly blended in.
  4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and Fiori oil (if using) to the mix and blend until just combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold this dry mix into the lemon batter with a slotted spoon until blended. Do not overmix.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until just set, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Edges will be light brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  7. When blondies are completely cooled remove from pan. Whisk together all of the icing ingredients except the zest and spread over the top of the blondies with a knife (can blend the icing ingredients together in mixer if preferred).
  8. With a microplane grater held over the top of the iced blondies, grate lemons and oranges, letting the zest fall lightly on the icing.
http://www.farmtojar.com/recipes/lemonade-and-limoncello-blondies/

Happy Easter!

 

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Easter College Care Package: 2014

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Easter treats from Cookie Temptations

As I was considering what to put in my college kids’ Easter Care Packages this year, I got an unexpected treat.  A unique cookie company called Cookie Temptations customizes gourmet sugar cookies with fine chocolates and they sent me a personalized package to review.  What fun it was to have the tables turned for once and be the recipient of a beautifully packaged surprise box sent to me in the mail.  It reinforced how loved my big college kids must feel when they get my care packages.

A Change in DIY College Care Packages to “Semi-Homemade”

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Easter basket from Cookie Temptations

To date all of the care packages I have sent have been home-made and customized to my kids’ individual tastes and preferences.  I believe they appreciate the “unique-to-them” personalization that you just can’t get from the commercial college care package online sites.  I am however, as busy as the next mom with a career and obligations, and these customized cookies allowed me to give my kids some edible treats, to which I could then add the personal touches of individual Easter presents.  Nice.  No baking, freezing and wrapping this time around.

I don’t do many product reviews and was a little nervous about it.  What if I didn’t like the product, but didn’t want to hurt their business?  I decided to just give a review if it was great, and ignore it if it wasn’t, rather than giving a bad review.

Happily, everything about this product was great.  It came beautifully packaged, with each gourmet cookie wrapped and whole (not broken).  There were explicit directions on how to freeze and how to keep the cookies fresh. The customization part was the best.  I could see using these as client gifts with my business name customized on the cookies.  They were shippable.  And, last but not least, the taste was wonderful.  All in all, a great addition to the Easter Care Packages, and one I will probably use again!

Click here for more information on Cookie Temptations.

A Recipe for Homemade Easter College Care Package Treats:  Lemonade Blondies

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Lemonade and Limoncello Blondies

 

For the diehard DIY person, I did make some wonderful Easter Blondies.  They are Lemonade Blondies with a Limoncello Frosting.

You can find the recipe here.

 

 

 

 The Rest of the Easter College Care Package (Beyond Food)

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Easter Care Package for the College Girl

Since my son is coming home for Spring Break I decided to just send the Spring/Easter Care Package to my daughter, who is a graduate student in Denver, CO.  She is living (and cooking) in her first apartment this year so I try and help her out with things she might need in the kitchen.  She is also a poor grad student, so money is what she’s always looking for.  Since she shops at the farmers’ markets a lot I also added a sturdy farmers market bag (not pictured).  I think she’ll be happy with her package.

The boy is never one to be left out of care packages, so I divided the cookies and treats in half and he’ll get his surprises when he comes home.

Happy Easter all!  Did you cook up anything special for Easter dinner or for Easter treats?  Any care package online sites you’re really happy with?

Please leave a comment and let me know….and thanks for reading this.  If you like this type of content you can sign up for our monthly email over on the sidebar.

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