deviled eggs with avocado

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: 

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.

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.

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

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.

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. 

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

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

grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

Red onion - an unassuming vegetable hiding a gentle sweetness and flavor behind its many layers. It took me a while to fully come around to this lovely vegetable. I used to catch glimpses of it at the market, modestly nestled next to the sweet and yellow variety but hardly ever did I think to cook with it. I guess it seemed a bit intimidating so I stuck with the familiar kind. 

But truth be told, red onion is now one of my favorite vegetables. Aside from its alluring color, red onion has a sweet, mild flavor that enhances many a dish. 

Las weekend my mother visited. And as is typically the case, she comes baring little gifts of one kind or another. While I insist that I need nothing and she doesn't have to, this time though she nailed it when she walked in with a massive pot of basil. There are few things that bring me as much joy as fresh herbs. But along with the basil she also brought an array of vegetables that were now strewn about my counter so my job was to figure out what to do with the mishmash. 

Days past and I still hadn't figured out what to do with all the vegetables on hand. Roasting of course was always an option but I wanted something else. Then I remembered the red onion sitting in the fridge from a previous recipe I'd made and it all came together. I would keep things very simple and grill the vegetables, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and finish them with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. 

Best vegetables for grilling

For me, red bell pepper, zucchini and red onion are a must. I love green beans so they were a natural fit for this dish, but you could always add summer squash or eggplant as well.

You can play around with this recipe as you see fit and swap out the vegetables to suit your liking but the red onion is a must! It changes the entire flavor profile of the vegetables. It brings out the best in them in an almost inexplicable way. You'll see...

Best way to grill vegetables

Well you have a few options. You could toss them directly on the grill, add them to the grill pan that came with your grill (if that was the case) or use a cast iron skillet directly on the grill. Either options is going to give you flavorful grilled vegetables. And if you don’t have a grill at all, you can always use a grill pan and make them on the stove top.

grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

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grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • grilling time: 20 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 red onion, sliced

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • handful of green beans, trimmed

  • 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl

  • tongs

  • grill

  • grill safe plate

  • cling wrap

Directions:

Preheat grill on medium low.

In large bowl combine all ingredients aside from vinegar and basil and mix well. 

Add all vegetables to grill safe cast iron plate (most grills come with one) and grill for 10 minutes on low (stirring occsaionally) until soft but still retaining a bite. 

Place grilled vegetables back in bowl, add balsamic vinegar and basil and stir until vegetables are coated. Cover with wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve right away. 


If you're looking for the prefect side for pretty much any dish, check out this simple 10 minute grilled vegetables recipe. Red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and green beans come together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. This recipe is vegan, paleo and whole 30. #calmeats, #grilling, #grilledvegetables, #vegetables, #sidedishes, #vegan, #vegansides, #whole30
If you're looking for the prefect side for pretty much any dish, check out this simple 10 minute grilled vegetables recipe. Red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and green beans come together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. This recipe is vegan, paleo and whole 30. #calmeats, #grilling, #grilledvegetables, #vegetables, #sidedishes, #vegan, #vegansides, #whole30

spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney

cabbage, peaches, green onion
peaches and green onion
peaches
spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney
spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney

I rolled over and looked at my phone, 5:32. I quickly tossed the covers aside and stumbled around the room in search for a long sleeve and some shorts. It was quiet. I peaked out the window and a pang in my chest told me to rush. A quick scan of my surroundings and I determined it was clear - they were still sleeping. I made a beeline for the door, grabbing the key along the way. 

The air was thick and salty, seagulls happily announcing the morning's arrival and searching for whatever food was left from the previous evening. It was a welcoming symphony. I made my way down the steps, sleep still tugging at me or perhaps that extra glass of wine I'd had the night before, but no matter. 

Crossing the near empty street, aside from the occasional deterministic runner, I was alone making my way from the promenade on to the beach. The shift from asphalt to cool freshly combed morning sand, felt exhilarating. As I made the trek across the beach, the sound of crashing waves intensified. It never ceases to amaze me just how beautiful the beach is early in the morning. 

I climbed up the lifeguard stand, skimming the beach. A few surfers, hungry for good waves held my attention for a moment. So did the elderly man with his oversized hat and peach colored shirt, serenely and rhythmically moving his metal detector from side to side as he searched the beach for treasure. Were they as happy as I was at that moment? Few things feel as complete as this place. I felt a jolt of sadness trying to make its way into my head. This won't last, this won't last. I tried to chase it away and just observe what was in front of me. 

I held on to the moment for as long as I could before making my way back to the condo where they would likely be buzzing with energy, ready to get outside and get the day started. 

A bike ride to a local farm on the agenda for the day complete with lunch outside. Beach Plum Farm is one of the most beautiful places I've seen and a favorite in Cape May. The food is made with only local ingredients and offers some unusual pairings. We sat in the shade of a big oak tree on a damp picnic bench. Lost in thought, I looked over the red cabbages, scallions and fresh herbs, remembering the recipe I'd made shortly before we left. 

Turkey burgers with peach chutney, red cabbage, scallions and spicy mayo was maybe something I would be able to find on the menu here. I thought about what it would be like to live simply and work on a farm by the beach, growing and making food, being close to the ocean. I was quickly jolted out of my daydream when our food arrived but what did remain is this spiced turkey burger recipe. 

It's a delicious sweet and spicy combination with flavors and textures aplenty. Since turkey burgers can often be plain and boring, I wanted to give them life and infuse them with plenty of spices and top them with a fresh peach chutney and sliced cabbage. 

I may not get the chance to live at the beach anytime soon but at least I can sink my teeth into these delicious burgers while day dreaming of the ocean. 

spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney
spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney
spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney
spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney

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spiced turkey burgers with peach chutney 

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 15 minutes

  • yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 semi-ripe peaches peeled and cut into cubes

  • 1 scallion sliced (separate white and green part)

  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage sliced

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for brushing the burgers

  • 1 lb ground turkey (I use 85/15)

  • 2 tbsp mayo

  • 2 tsp coconut flour

  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

    Optional though recommended toppings:

  • chipotle lime mayo (store bought or a speedy recipe)

  • sliced avocado

  • extra purple cabbage

Equipment

Directions:

Preheat grill or grill pan. In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey with mayo, coconut flour, ground coriander, ground cumin, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and form into 4 patties. Brush both sides with olive oil and set aside. 

Preheat frying pan to medium. Add olive oil, white part of scallion and a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes stirring regularly. Add purple cabbage and cook 3 minutes. Lower heat, add peaches a pinch of salt and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring regularly until peaches are soft.

Grill turkey burgers for 3-5 minutes per side until fully cooked (internal temperature of 165 °F).

To assemble, place turkey burgers on plate and layer with chipotle lime mayo, sliced avocado, peach chutney and sprinkle with additional cut up scallion. 


If you're looking to spruce up your turkey burgers, try this mouthwatering recipe. These paleo and whole 30 turkey burgers are juicy, moist and pair perfectly with a speedy peach chutney. Pair them with avocado and spicy mayo! Check out this 15 minute recipe! #paleoburgers, #turkeyburgers, #whole30, #turkey, #calmeats, #grilling, #peachchutney, #peach, #quickrecipes, #15minutedinner, #15minuterecipe

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



vegan tacos with chipotle lime mayo

vegan tacos
vegan tacos
vegan tacos
vegan tacos

At last, spring is here. I feel safe writing it now; even certain that we might be safely past the bi-polar days of early spring.

This season I fell in love with nature more than at perhaps any point in my life. I can’t get enough of it. I crave walking barefoot on dewey morning grass, watching petals glide through the air making their descent while listening to the symphony of birds.

Spring feels like a sensory orgasm of sorts; maddening beauty all around…colors, vibrancy, crisp air. There is a feeling of aliveness in my body every time I step outside and I simultaneous curse myself for not having noticed this breathtaking beauty in springs past. Or at least not on such a fervent level.

So in honor of all things alive and colorful, I wanted to make a simple recipe that’s fresh, full of vegetables and rich in flavor; a dish that would do to tastebuds what spring does to the senses. After all, when the weather warms up, I think most of us naturally gravitate towards lighter food and a good amount of vegetables .

And one of my favorite ways of eating loads of vegetables is in the form of tacos. While I do like raw vegetables just fine, frankly I prefer them roasted and/or sautéed. I find they’re far better on digestion too despite potentially losing some of their nutrients. And the best part? You get to wrap them in a delicious tortilla and pile on your favorite toppings which will hopefully include a plethora of chipotle lime mayo.

These vegan tacos are staples in my house and never disappoint. The combination of sweet potatoes, zucchini, bell pepper sweet corn and black beans tossed with spices, garlic, honey and lime hit just the right spot for me. I don’t eat beans and corn often but I make an exception for these tacos. If you’re strict whole 30 or paleo, no sweat - skip the corn and beans and they will still taste fantastic.

Now you can certainly skip the MYOT (make your own tortillas) but to me cassava tortillas truly round out this dish. Yes, it’s a little extra work but oh so worth it. You can find the recipe for these easy to make tacos here.

Whether you’re enthralled with spring or just enjoy vegan tacos, check out this simple weeknight or any night dinner.

vegan tacos
vegan tacos
vegan tacos

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  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 30 minutes

  • makes: 10 tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1” pieces

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 cup cooked black beans (skip for paleo and whole 30)

  • 1 cup defrosted organic corn (skip for paleo and whole 30)

  • 1 tsp ground paprika

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • zest of 1 lime

  • juice of 1/2 lime (if not juicy use 1 lime)

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro plus extra

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • cassava tortillas (recipe here) or buy this brand

  • spicy mayo (recipe here) or buy this brand (for vegan mayo try this)

  • optional: avocado slices

  • optional: sliced radish

  • optional: sliced red cabbage

  • optional: additional chopped cilantro

Equipment:

  • large cast iron pan

  • roasting tray

  • parchment paper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add sweet potatoes, zucchini and bell pepper, all spices, salt and pepper to parchment paper lined roasting tray. Roast for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft.

If making tortillas, make them now. Recipe here.

Meanwhile, shortly before vegetables have finished roasting, preheat cast iron pan on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds stirring continuously. Lower heat, add corn and black beans and warm through for 5 minutes stirring continuously. Turn off heat, add lime zest, lime juice and honey and add roasted vegetables and chopped cilantro. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop vegetable mixture on tortillas, top with spicy mayo, avocado, radishes and cabbage and additional cilantro if you wish.


If you’re looking for a delicious dinner you can whip up in 30 minutes, try these roasted vegetable vegan tacos. The great thing is they can be customized for whole 30 and paleo lifestyles, are completely vegan . #tacos #paleotacos #whole30tacos #vegantacos #vegan #vegetarian #roastedvegetables #calmeats #veganmexicanfood #dinner #healthyrecipes