grilled radicchio salad with fennel and soft boiled egg

radicchio salad-14.jpg
radicchio and fennel
endive
radicchio and red onion
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad

All recipes start with an idea, an ingredient, a spark of inspiration. For this recipe it was radicchio.

I was’t sure it would work and was going to shoot straight for the tried and true romaine as the base, but instead spotted the beautiful small, leafy, red radicchio and decided it would be my ingredient du jour. My thinking was, I’d toss it in the oven along with red onion (because let’s face it, red onion makes everything better) and sliced fennel. To add some crunch and fresh texture, a few endive leaves and toasted walnuts. And for a little creaminess, soft boiled eggs. I was going to even toss in some roasted potatoes in the mix and top the whole thing with a tangy mustardy vinaigrette.

I was all set, ready to get on with the new recipe. So I opened the oven, reached in and pulled out my trusty oversized tray, which lives there. As I grabbed the tray, I suddenly recalled turning off the oven but never pulling out the almonds I’d roasted several minutes prior.

Everything happened quickly. I burned my hand, knocked the entire tray of almonds all over the oven, floor, etc. No problem - cleaned the mess up and was really ready to start.

Oven on for preheat, I was blissfully chopping away at vegetables, eager to see how everything would turn out. That was until I smelled burning. And I mean burning burning, not like I’m burning food. A quick peak in the oven made me realize the almonds I’d previously spilled made their way to the pilot light and now my oven was on fire. Panicked and not wanting to make a heinous mess, I resorted to water and baking soda to put out the flames.

Frustrated beyond belief, my kitchen a disaster, I decided the roasting was off until I could take apart the oven and remove the culprit. But I wasn’t giving up. After all that mess, it was on to plan B - the grill.

So radicchio, fennel and red onion were now getting the grilling treatment. Sure part of me wanted to give up and just repeat the whole thing the next day but I’m stubborn and wasn’t going to let a little fire get in the way of my radicchio salad dreams.

Grilled vs. roasted radicchio

Since the incident, I tried both. Honestly it comes down to personal preference. I really like the way food tastes on the open flame but roasting it also allows it to cook in its own juices so it’s kind of a win win no matter which way you go with the process.

Red onion and fennel also hold up surprisingly well on the grill, so you’re good there too if you decide to grill.

Potatoes or no potatoes?

That is entirely up to you. If you want it paleo skip the potatoes, if you’re whole 30 or vegetarian and want to make it a heartier meal, get those potatoes in there and this salad will become more like a filling dinner than simply a salad. I kept it low carb but it tastes spectacular with potatoes too! And sweet potatoes are a great alternative too!

The perfect egg

Okay the word “perfect” is awfully subjective but in my “egg” book, the sweet spot is between 6-7 minutes depending on the kind of texture I’m after. For this salad, I wanted a little more bite but still a little jammy-ness so 7 minutes exactly it was. The key is to shock the eggs in ice water as soon as they’ve finished cooking.

grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad
grilled radicchio, fennel and soft boiled egg salad

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  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10-20 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 head radicchio, sliced into 8 pieces

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced

  • 1 endive, leaves peeled

  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into thick pieces

  • 2-4 eggs

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 3/4 tsp salt divided

  • 1/2 tsp pepper divided

  • 1/4 tsp lemon

  • 1/2 tsp honey

  • 2 tsp ricewine vinegar

  • 1 tsp quality dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp toasted walnuts

  • optional: roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes


Equipment:

  • grill if not using oven

  • medium pot

  • small mixing bowl

  • large roasting sheel

  • small roasting sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions:

If using potatoes, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and chop potatoes. On parchment paper lined sheet, potatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss together. Roast potatoes for 25-30 minutes stirring once, and set aside.

Combine radicchio, red onion, and fennel with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss to combine. Either roast for 20 minutes (turning vegetables after 10 minutes) or grill on medium heat for 5-10 minutes per side until radicchio, fennel and red onion have softened.

Add walnuts to small tray and toast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring pot with 4 cups of water to boil. Add eggs and boil with lid on for 7 minutes. Immediately remove pot from heat and run eggs under cold water for a minute. Peel and cut in half.

In small bowl, combine remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, rice wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and mix well.

In large bowl or plate, peel endive leaves and layer on the bottom. Once radicchio, onion and fennel have finished roasting, add them to bowl with potatoes (if using), pour dressing over and top with eggs and walnuts. Serve right away.


If you’re looking for a delicious salad without the lettuce, check out this grilled radicchio and fennel salad with endives, soft boiled eggs, toasted walnuts and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s simple yet delicious! #paleo #whole30 #vegetarian #calmeats #salad #radicchio #fennel #softboiledeggs #endive #whole30salad #paleosalad #saladrecipe #summerrecipe



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

3 ingredient avocado and greens omelette

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I wake up early. Sometimes I wish I would allow myself an extra hour of sleep, especially on days that I work from home. But the need for alone time in the morning is much stronger than the need for extra sleep, which most sleep experts would probably frown upon, including the logical part of me (Since I wrote a post about it). But, until my children learn to sleep in later, I will suffer the consequences of not enough sleep, which I will likely regret around the age of 50. 

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Mornings have always held a special place. Rolling out of bed and getting on with the day, doesn't quite work for me. I want 2 cups of coffee, food and time to just be. The silence of the morning feels purifying in a way. An invitation for the day to be whatever it may. In those moments, there's blind possibility. 

January is quiet. I listen closely for a chirp, a sign of life outside my house, but aside from the occasional car and the hum of the refrigerator, there's silence. I have permission to collect my thoughts and because quiet moments are a rare commodity, I appreciate them even more. 

It's New Year's Day. While I rebel against the notion of resolutions, I do enjoy the feeling of a fresh start. Life is a series of reinventions, whether it's in the middle of the year or on January 1st but I do understand the need to hit the re-set button after a potentially gluttonous month. 

Most people opt for a diet change around this time of year and while I think that's a good thing for many reasons, I often think it ought to be more of a permanent shift. One in the direction of eating whole, real food that's minimally processed. People often assume this means eating bland food or needing to spend countless hours creating a dish. It means, using real ingredients and making delicious food that's simple and satisfying. It doesn't have to be complicated to be good. 

Take this 3 ingredient breakfast for example. In the time it takes to wait for 2 pop tarts to pop out of the toaster, you can cook this very basic omelette. All you need are eggs, salt and pepper, some fresh greens and avocado. You'll feel full, your blood sugar will be stable and you won't need to have a snack an hour later when you would have otherwise crashed. 

As you can see I have a bit of an obsession with avocado and eggs - rightfully so they're pretty spectacular when combined. So check out this speedy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) you can whip up in 4 minutes. It's also fantastic with a little sriracha drizzled on top!

egg breakfast (10 of 15).jpg

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3 ingredient avocado and greens omelette

  • prep time: 3 minutes

  • cooking time: 4 minutes

  • makes: 1 servings

Ingredients:  

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 avocado sliced

  • sprouts of your choice (optional)

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • pinch salt

  • pinch freshly ground pepper (it's a small touch but freshly ground is so much better)

  • optional: sriracha sauce for drizzling on top

Equipment

  • medium frying pan (I own these)

  • medium bowl

Directions

Preheat frying over medium heat. In bowl, whisk together eggs, slat and pepper. 

Add olive oil to the pan and pour in egg mixture. Evenly distribute it throughout the pan. Let cook for 2 minutes until set then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes until that side is set.

To assemble, place omelette on plate, add sprouts and avocado slices and fold over in half. 

Optional, drizzle sriracha over top.

Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out this quick 3 ingredient omelette you can whip up and have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. #omelette #eggs #avocado #breakfast #brunch #whole30food #whole30 #quickwhole30recipes #calmeats #paleo #paleofood #vegetarian #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree

zoodles with avocado pesto and egg

zoodles with avocado pesto and egg
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The good thing about eating a mostly paleo diet is that I feel pretty great these days. The trouble with eating a mostly paleo diet is the planning. I like to delude myself into believing I'm a relatively organized person. I try for the most part. But since there are so many moving parts in my day, from time to time I slip. (Okay often).

Onion. This among several other ingredients is what I had to get to make my vegan chili on this snowy Friday night. Daughter in tow, I picked up all that I needed and came home with a bunch of random items only to find myself standing in my kitchen yelling the word: "Oniooooon!" Yes, I had forgotten a vital ingredient. 

The snow was coming down hard and I was in no way going back to the store. Pizza sounded like a good idea for everyone but then I'd be starving. What to do? 

I've been here before. Standing in my kitchen, panic setting in as the clock draws nearer to dinner time, desperately searching the fridge for something I could assemble and call it dinner. And there they were! Eggs - so obvious. They always come through for me. I cannot imagine a day without them. I used to think avocado was the one food I couldn't live without but I'm thinking it may have just slipped into second place. 

For a moment I toyed around with perhaps making breakfast for dinner, which can be fun and all but it just didn't quite do it for me. And all of a sudden it all became clear, zucchini noodles with avocado sauce and an egg on top. Problem solved! 

Here's the thing about this dish. You can use regular pasta, though I find it works remarkably better when made with zoodles. It's better on your gut health, but since zoodles tend to be a bit on the wet side, which is not always a good thing, this sauce absorbs some of the moisture balancing them perfectly. Oh and did I mention it takes about 10 minutes to make this whole thing? Yeah, it's a win in my book. 

avocado sauce egg (6 of 14).jpg
avocado sauce egg (7 of 14).jpg

zoodles with avocado pesto and egg

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 5 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 2 tbsp chopped raw walnuts

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

  • 3 tbsp water

  • 2 large zucchini

  • 4 eggs

Equipment

  • food processor

  • 2 frying pans

Directions

For pesto, combine 2 tbsp olive oil and all ingredients aside from zucchini and eggs in food processor and puree until fully incorporated. Set aside. 

Use spiralizer to spiral zoodles. Preheat pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil along with zucchini noodles and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring continuously until softened a little. 

Meanwhile in a separate pan over medium heat, add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and fry eggs. I like my eggs slightly on the runny side but this is up to you. 

Once zoodles are cooked, add pesto to pan and combine well. 

To plate, add zoodles with pesto and top with fried egg. You can add extra olive oil if you wish. 


If you have 10 minutes, you can have dinner on the table! This paleo, whole 30 and vegetarian quick zoodles with avocado pesto and egg, is a great option for when you haven’t gotten a lot in the house and are still looking to eat a nutritious meal. #egg, #paleo, #whole30, #vegetarian, #zoodles, #zucchininoodles, #avocadopesto, #calmeats, #pesto, #quickmeals, #10minuterecipe

sausage, tarragon and kale frittata

sausage, tarragon and kale frittata

When I was in high school, my dream was to become an artist. I didn't know the logistics of it and didn't really care how. I just knew I wanted to. Art was the one thing that suspended the passing of time, if only for a little while. Thoughts would come and go, anxiety's hum practically non-existent and eyes and hands were focused only on the canvas. The world was always right in those moments. 

I've been thinking a lot about how childhood experiences frame who we become as adults. My association with art goes back to my father. I still recall the strong smell of oil paint lingering in the house on most nights. I was about 7, hovering over his shoulder, peaking at the life he was creating on canvas. A scene from a village in winter. A thin red brush stroke carefully working out the intricate details of a man's long winter coat as he made his way through the snow. I can still see and smell that painting when I close my eyes. 

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