Deviled Eggs with Avocado

Easy deviled eggs that are perfect for any gathering or just because. Good mayo and Dijon, along with a hint of curry take them to a new level. And topped with a bit of avocado makes them near perfect.

deviled eggs on tray with greens and avocado
deviled eggs with avocado and greens
deviled eggs with avocado and greens
egg shells

It was an ordinary early Sunday evening on a mid-summer day, sunny and mild; my family busy taking in the season’s richness in the back yard. I sliced a few radishes and sprinkled them with coarse salt, enjoying a moment of solitude while watching the crystals bounce off the luminescent slices. I decided to sit on the counter with my little plate of salted radishes, sipping a glass of Semillion. Something I don’t ordinarily do, because I’m a creature of habit and my habit is mostly rushing. But not on that particular day. That day lent itself to slowness, to pleasure; a time to enjoy life’s simplicity. As I sat there feeling quite French, yet looking ordinarily beach bumm-y in my grey T-shirt and cut off jean shorts, legs dangling off the counter, I thought about how much I appreciate and admire simple ingredients.

I often think about the one ingredient I simply couldn’t live without. One that permeates into my every day; that is fundamental and indispensable. And after pondering that for a bit, I decided it would undeniably be eggs. Give me eggs and a few other basics and I would be set. I find the humble little egg to be versatile, nutritious and in my book, a perfect food.

It’s no exaggeration, my refrigerator is equipped with at least 1-2 dozen eggs on most days because anything less, would send me into minor despair. I also believe I’m secretly looking for excuses to use them, be in it pancakes, fried with sliced avocado or topped on any dish for dinner, in omelettes, baked in pretty much anything, soft boiled for lunch with salad or in deviled eggs - which just so happens to be one of my favorite appetizers.

I make them for nearly every gathering because they’re easy to eat, nutrient dense and just plain delicious.

Deviled eggs are all about the condiments

You may think that mayo is mayo but the truth is it’s not. Using the best possible mayo will create the best possible deviled eggs. I often feel the need to reiterate what a difference quality ingredients make, particularly when only using a few to create a dish.

Now, I get it, you may not be in the mood to make your own, but I assure you, it’s absurdly easy to and only requires a handful of ingredients. You can check out my speedy recipe here. But if that doesn’t convince you, buying a good quality mayo will work too.

And as far as mustard, don’t worry, I don’t make my own and do leave that one to the experts, but I do wholeheartedly believe that a good Dijon mustard can make just as much of a difference in your deviled eggs as mayo. Find a good brand that’s not overly salty and has balanced flavors.

Easy to peel eggs every time

It’s been my experience that making simple dishes requires a good, consistent method that works every single time. And when it comes to hard boiled eggs, my magic number is 13. Thirteen minutes of boiling will ensure the eggs are perfectly cooked and easy to peel. But the most important part is boiling the water prior to adding the eggs. And you’re guaranteed to find satisfaction in peeling.

The timing of deviled eggs

Another important piece when it comes to deviled eggs is making sure you work quickly once the eggs are peeled to ensure the yolks are still warm and easily blend into the mayo mixture. This way you will avoid clumping and the deviled eggs will have an overall smooth texture without using a food processor or blender.

If you’re not serving them right away, no problem, you can refrigerate the egg white halves and deviled eggs mixture overnight in a piping bag or plastic bag and just let it come to room temperature the next day, cut off a tiny corner and you’ve got a piping bag.

When you’re ready to assemble the deviled eggs, squeeze in as much mixture as you’d like and top with chopped avocado and a little freshly chopped dill. Enjoy!

deviled eggs with avocado and greens
deviled eggs with avocado and greens
deviled eggs with avocado and greens
deviled eggs with avocado and greens

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paleo deviled eggs 

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • Cooking time 13 minutes

  • Serves 12 deviled eggs

Ingredients

  • 6 pastured eggs

  • 1/4 cup mayo - you can make your own or try use this brand

  • 1 tsp good Dijon or yellow mustard, depending on how tangy you like it

  • 1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar - I use Bragg

  • 1 tsp fresh dill chopped plus more for garnish

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill pickle

  • 1/8 tsp curry powder

  • pinch of pepper

  • pinch of smoked or regular paprika

  • 1/2 avocado diced into small pieces

  • optional - pinch of salt

Equipment

  • medium sauce pan

  • spatula

  • mixing bowl

  • zip lock bag (if you have a piping bag, use that instead)

  • scissors

Directions: 

  1. Add 4 cups water to medium sauce pan. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat. Carefully using either a spoon or small strainer, place the eggs in one at a time and turn heat back up. Boil eggs for 13 minutes.

  2. Remove eggs from heat and immediately run under cold water for 1 minute. If you have ice available, add some as well. Discard water and peel eggs. This process should ensure your eggs are easy to peel.

  3. *Note - very fresh farm eggs will be more difficult to peel.

  4. Meanwhile add rest of ingredients to a bowl besides avocado and egg yolks and combine. Peel eggs and cut each lengthwise in half. Scoop out the egg yolks and add them to bowl with the rest of ingredients and mix well breaking up any lumps. If you want a smoother texture, you can use a food processor.

  5. Next add mixture to either piping bag or use a plastic bag and cut a small bit off the corner, depending on how thick you want your swirl. Add as much as you’d like to each egg white and top with chopped avocado and fresh dill for garnish. 

  6. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.


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Deviled eggs are a staple appetizer for any gathering at my house. They’re easy to make, are nutritious and a crowdpleaser. They’re paleo, whole 30 and vegetarian too. #deviledeggs, #appetizers #whole30appetizers #paleoappetizers #calmeats #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #paleolifestyle #paleofood #eggs #eggrecipes
Deviled eggs are a staple appetizer for any gathering at my house. They’re easy to make, are nutritious and a crowdpleaser. They’re paleo, whole 30 and vegetarian too. #deviledeggs, #appetizers #whole30appetizers #paleoappetizers #calmeats #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #paleolifestyle #paleofood #eggs #eggrecipes
Deviled eggs are a staple appetizer for any gathering at my house. They’re easy to make, are nutritious and a crowdpleaser. They’re paleo, whole 30 and vegetarian too. #deviledeggs, #appetizers #whole30appetizers #paleoappetizers #calmeats #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #paleolifestyle #paleofood #eggs #eggrecipes

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Gut Friendly Lemon Garlic Hummus

If you struggle with food sensitivity or gut issues in general, hummus is probably not your go to dip. But if the chickpeas are soaked and peeled first, they behave quite differently once whipped into a delicious, creamy hummus that’s bursting with flavor. This hummus is light and lemony and works perfectly to accompany your favorite vegetables.

c
greens and hummus
gut friendly lemon garlic hummus
hummus and tomato

Hummus - oh hummus. I’ve had a turbulent relationship with hummus over the years. I love it, but it most definitely does not love me back. Or if it does, that love lasts but only a few short hours before feeling its wrath.

Like all legumes, chickpeas tend to be a source of struggle for those suffering with food sensitivity and gut issues. But I find myself time and again coming back to them, especially to chickpeas in an attempt to make them gut friendly and easy on digestion.

Considering the proximity of Romania to Turkey and Greece (which are renowned for hummus) I never had it growing up. Romanians borrowed and made versions of nearly every other food, but that one seems to have slipped through, either due to lack of resources or otherwise.

Regardless, the first time I tried hummus was one of those mini divine experiences. I had no idea what it actually was, I just remember thinking, there was life BH (before hummus) and PH (post hummus). And no, it was never about the stuff you dip into it, as I freely use my fingers to do the work (you know you do it too).

However, once the post eating bliss wore off, came the pain, discomfort and agony. And if you’re reading this blog, chances are I don’t have to go into the detail of what hummus does to you - you’re all too familiar with the symptoms. But what if I told you there is a way to make chickpeas and hummus easier on digestion? So much so that you will experience no negative symptoms. I set out to test my theory of giving chickpeas and hummus a makeover.

What makes chickpeas difficult to digest?

Chickpeas and most legumes contain phytic acid and certain sugars that are difficult for the body to break down, causing the unwanted side effects. They also contain lectins, which inhibit proper absorption of key nutrients. I found two factors that can make all the difference and those are soaking and peeling.

Peeling and soaking chickpeas

Yes, it takes a bit more time, but I’ve come to view peeling chickpeas as a rather ritualistic act, meditative even. It forces me to slow down and be present in the moment. And in our mad rushing world, a little slowing down is good, even essential for the soul.

So what I’ve done is taken uncooked chickpeas, soaked them for 12 hours, popped them in my Instant pot (or you can do it on the stove top), cooked them until soft, tossed them in a bowl of cold water and peeled them.

Silky smooth lemon garlic hummus

Not only does peeling them make them significantly easier on digestion but it creates a smooth, velvety hummus that tastes far better than anything store bought.

I like using only the basics - soaked and peeled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, good extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and water. Everything gets tossed into a food processor and the end result is a creamy, mouthwatering hummus. if you’re anything like me, you’re going to be eating quite a bit of it right out of the food processor so get some veggies or a big spoon ready and dig in.

hummus and tomatoes
hand and tomatoes
hummus, vegetables and greens
hummus and vegetables
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gut friendly lemon garlic hummus

  • soaking time: 12 hours

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 14 minutes in the Instant pot or 1.5 hours on the stove top

  • makes: 4 cups hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb uncooked chickpeas (we will be using 3 cups cooked)

  • 5 tbsp runny tahini

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tsp ground cumin plus extra

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra

  • 3 tbsp lukewarm water

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1 small clove garlic

  • 1 tsp dried oregano


Equipment:

  • large soup pot

  • food processor

  • instant pot (optional)

  • large bowl


Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, add dry chickpeas and cover with 8 cups water (chickpeas will expand while soaking) and let soak for 12 hours or overnight.

  2. Once soaked, discard water and rinse chickpeas. Add chickpeas back to soup pot along with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. then reduce to a simmer for 1.5 hours

  3. If using the Instant pot, add chickpeas along with 6 cups water. Set the timer to 14 minutes on manual. Once finished turn off Instant Pot and let it naturally depressurize.

  4. Very carefully remove the chickpeas from either stove top or IP, give them a rinse and add them to a large bowl of cold water. Toss the chickpeas around with your hands to start loosening some of the skins.

  5. *If you’re suffering with food sensitivity, I highly recommend peeling enough chickpeas for 3 cups. If not, you can skip the peeling part.

  6. Next, add 3 cups peeled (or unpeeled) chickpeas, garlic, salt, lemon juice, tahini and cumin to food processor and turn it on. Add water and 1/4 cup olive oil slowly while the food processor is running. This will give the hummus and extra creamy consistency.

  7. When finished, transfer hummus to a shallow bowl and drizzle with as much olive oil as you’d like, sprinkle with oregano a little extra cumin and a sprinkle of salt.


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If you love hummus but struggle with food sensitivity, don’t worry, this hummus is made with soaked and peeled chickpeas and it’s much easier on digestion than your traditional version. #humms #vegan #gutfriendly #easydugestion #easydigestion #calmeats #chickpeas #guthealthy #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #hommos #garlichummus #lemonhummus
If you love hummus but struggle with food sensitivity, don’t worry, this hummus is made with soaked and peeled chickpeas and it’s much easier on digestion than your traditional version. #humms #vegan #gutfriendly #easydugestion #easydigestion #calmeats #chickpeas #guthealthy #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #hommos #garlichummus #lemonhummus
If you love hummus but struggle with food sensitivity, don’t worry, this hummus is made with soaked and peeled chickpeas and it’s much easier on digestion than your traditional version. #humms #vegan #gutfriendly #easydugestion #easydigestion #calmeats #chickpeas #guthealthy #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #hommos #garlichummus #lemonhummus

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Roasted Artichokes with Lemon Aioli

roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli

I’m no stranger to life’s dark moods, to anxious thoughts, doubts, fears and unmet expectations. I’m no more or less human than anyone else. But I believe in pleasure too and love and the beauty of small things. Like watching a bee burrow itself into a flower, drinking the sweet nectar only to happily make its way out and buzz about to the next one. Small, beautiful, unnoticed.

Then there is the artichoke, maybe not necessarily small, but beautiful and previously unnoticed by my eyes. In my far too frequent trips to the market, I never stopped to pay much attention to it. I found it intimidating; those pointy leaves, a little closed off - perhaps a defense mechanism? After all, the goal is to just get to the very best part - the heart and the only way to do that is to peel layer after rough layer.

But one day, while making my typical rounds I suddenly stopped short when spotting the artichoke bin. I had one thought and one thought only. I want to photograph it! I never thought beyond that, like maybe I’d actually eat it? And like it…a lot?

I returned home, dropped my shopping and got to work. Nothing else mattered, just the beautiful artichokes. And so it began; one thing led to another and then next thing I know, I’m siting at my kitchen counter with a plate of artichokes, about to eat them for the first time. So I sat, mesmerized and sucked into the moment, enjoying bite after bite, slowly, meditatively even, dipping, and biting, dipping and biting until I got to the very best part, the essence of the choke.

As for the dip, since mayo and aioli are staples in my house, it wasn’t a difficult decision. And a simple lemony aioli was the ideal companion for these mysterious, divine leaves.

I’ve eaten many things in my life, but I don’t believe anything has brought me quite as much pleasure as photographing, preparing and eating an artichoke has. A true delight for the senses, a celebration of life’s small pleasures all in one small, green, rough and yet so delicate vegetable.

roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli
roasted artichokes with lemon aioli

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roasted artichokes with lemon aioli

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 35-40 minutes

  • makes: 2 artichokes

Ingredients:

  • 2 artichokes

  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest

  • 1/4 cup good mayo (for vegan option use egg free mayo)

  • 1/4 tsp finely minced garlic

  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp salt divided

  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Equipment:

  • roasting sheet

  • parchment paper

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim artichoke leaves by snipping just the tops with scissors. Cut stem and leave about 1-2”. Cut artichokes in half and rub with lemon half and squeeze juice all over the artichoke halves. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Lay artichokes face down on parchment paper lined roasting sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, combine mayo, mustard, pinch of salt, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice in small mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

When artichokes have finished cooking, remove one leaf at a time and dip bottoms in aioli and enjoy!


Roasting artichokes is one of the easiest way to enjoy them, especially when paired with a tasty lemon aioli. Check out this delicious and simple recipe. #artichokes #roastedartichokes #vegan #calmeats #paleo #whole30 #dairyfree #appetizerrecipe #appetizer #glutenfree #grainfree #lemonaioli #starters






How to Cook a Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

soft boiled eggs with radish and avocado
soft boiled eggs with watermelon radish, avocado and greens
soft boiled egg and watermelon radish

The window was slightly ajar letting out some of the steam that had built up in the small kitchen. My grandmother feverishly stirring what looked like an absurdly large pot while chattering about the neighbors. I sat at the kitchen table staring out the 7th story window, daydreaming and patiently waiting with my piece of fresh, crusty bread. Six minutes is a long time for a kid.

I turned back to the scene behind me. My grandfather’s towel wrapped hand, swiftly maneuvering past my grandma with the boiling pot; some sort of bickering exchanged. Cold water running, I waited; stomach growling. I knew the routine. It was predictable, timed and always perfect.

As he cracked the top open, I could see the orange glow against the white. It was a magical sight. A pinch of salt, a dash of pepper. A beautifully cooked soft boiled egg. It was the perfect egg for dipping my bread in it first, then scooping out the white with the spoon. A few pieces of hard, aged salami, tea and breakfast was complete.

Something as simple as eating an egg, when done slowly, with intention, can become nearly ceremonious. There was an utter delight in having this carefully cooked egg before me that took just minutes to make. I’m not certain I appreciated it as a 7 year old, but the memory is deeply ingrained and I look back on it with fondness.

I hesitated writing this blog post because it seemed a little silly at first…everyone knows how to cook a soft boiled egg, right? But after posting an image on my Instagram feed about cooking the perfect soft boiled egg and receiving questions about the technique, I thought maybe not. So a single egg is getting its own blog post. After all, the egg is a coveted food around these parts. So let’s jump right in to the method of cooking the perfect soft boiled egg.

soft boiled egg and watermelon radish
soft boiled egg and watermelon radish

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how to cook the perfectly soft boiled egg

  • prep time: 1 minute

  • cooking time: 6 minutes

  • makes: 2 soft boiled eggs

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic eggs

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 cups of water

Equipment:

  • small sauce pan

  • timer

Directions:

Add 4 cups water to small pot. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and gently place eggs in water without bouncing them. Return heat to boil, cover with lid and set your timer for 6 minutes.

After 6 minutes, dump out water and run eggs under cold water for 1 minute.

You can crack the top or peel the whole egg and serve right away with salt and pepper

*Bonus: To cook a perfect hard boiled egg, follow the same steps for boiling water, reducing heat but just add eggs and boil with lid on for 13 minutes. Rinse under cold water for 1 minute and peel.


If you’re looking to make the perfect soft boiled egg, you’ve come to the right place. In this post you’ll find out exactly how to cook the perfect, gooey, delicious soft boiled egg that will be perfect every single time. #softboiledegg #egg #howtocookeggs #boiledegg #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #recipe #calmeats #grainfree #dairyfree #realfoodrecipes

Zucchini Pancakes from Korean Paleo Cookbook

korean paleo cookbook
zucchini pancakes
zucchini pancakes
zucchini pancakes

Have you ever had gochugaru? I hadn’t until recently and it was eye opening.

I feel, while I try my best to eat and cook a variety of food, I inevitably get stuck in my ways and in my food bubble. I know what I like and I generally play around within my comfort zone without much sway. But when Jean Choi, the author of Korean Paleo asked if I would review her new book, I was honored and excited to cook outside my safe space.

While there are numerous recipes I will be making, I wanted to try something that I felt was a bit intriguing. A recipe with only a few ingredients but one in particular that I had never been exposed to before - gochugaru. I didn’t know what to expect.

A zucchini pancake seems fairly straight forward, right, but in this case, it is utterly transformed the moment it touches the sweet and sour dipping sauce. For me it was a moment of awe. After the first bite, I had to stop and take in the experience - it was new, unfamiliar and intriguing. A simple sauce can elevate a food to new heights and in the moment, I knew, I was going to love the rest of the book as much as this recipe.

Unless you have a specialty or Korean market in your area, I recommend purchasing gochugaru on Amazon as well as the cassava flour, which isn’t commonly found in your standard stores.

So let’s talk about the pancakes. You’ll need zucchini, cassava flour, egg and sea salt. Few ingredients but they create a crispy, light, savory pancake that melts in your mouth. And I hope you will experience the same moment of intrigue as I did the moment you dip a delicious hot zucchini pancake in the sweet and sour sauce.

So be sure to check out Jean’s Korean Paleo cookbook and get your hands on incredible, flavorful recipes!

zucchini pancakes with sweet and sour dipping sauce
zucchini pancakes
sweet and sour dipping sauce
gochujang
korean paleo cookbook

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hobakjeon - zucchini pancakes from korean paleo

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 5 minutes

  • yields: one large panacke or several small

Ingredients:

For pancakes:

  • 2 cups zucchini, julienned (about 1-2 zucchini)

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 cup cassava flour

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil of your choice

For sweet and sour dipping sauce:

Equipment:

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for sweet and sour dipping sauce and set aside.

Toss the julienned zucchini with the sea salt in a bowl. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Use a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the zucchini, and reserve and set aside the liquid.

Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl and add the cassava flour, egg and 1/2 cup of zucchini liquid. Mix with a fork. If the batter seems too thick, add more zucchini liquid. (1 tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter. If you run out of liquid, use plain water.

Heat your choice of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Wait 5 minutes until the pan gets very hot. Add the entire batter if you want to make 1 large pancake, or you can add a few tablespoons at a time to make smaller pancakes. Let it cook for 1 minute and then reduce heat to medium and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy on the bottom. flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes adding more oil if needed.

Serve immediately with a side of sweet and sour dipping sauce. You can cut the pancakes in smaller pieces or rip them apart as you eat.


A delicious crispy zucchini pancakes dipped in a mouthwatering sweet and sour sauce. Recipe created by Jean Choi, author of Korean Paleo. @whatgreatgrandmaate #whatgreatgrandmaate #koreanpaleocookbook #koreanfood #zucchinipancakes #koreanzucchinipancakes #paleo #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree #calmeats #jeanchoi