Easter Weekend

Well we had one amazing Easter weekend, and I hope y’all did too!

We kicked off our weekend by spending a little time with John’s uncle, Allen, at their farm. Although I didn’t get to see Woody {the Alpaca}, I did find a crazy looking dried flower bunch in the backyard that caught my eye.

stray flowers

By the time we got home, it was time to get ready for dinner. We were so excited to have our great friends, Lindsey and Chad, over one last time before they get hitched in a couple of weeks! Since it was Good Friday, we decided to go with an Easter-ish meal and cooked Ina Garten’s Greek Lamb with Yogurt Mint Sauce,

rack of lamb

Cous Cous with Pine Nuts {without dried currants},

cous cous with pine nuts

and a spinach and strawberry salad topped with shaved Parmesan and tossed with homemade basil vinaigrette.

salad

My dumb self forgot to serve the yogurt mint sauce with the lamb, but they told me it was great without it. Hopefully they weren’t just trying to make me feel good. They made me feel good anyway though, because whenever we spend time with them its genuine and fun. :)

The next morning , we made breakfast and I got to use that sauce I forgot to serve with dinner. I had eggs and smoked salmon, and the cool minty-yogurt was such a nice compliment to the hot eggs.

fried eggs with smoked salmon

For lunch, we ate leftovers {unpictured}. I spent the rest of the afternoon learning, visiting with my grandmother, exercising, and grocery shopping. When I finally made it home from the store, John and I got busy cooking dinner. We made a modified version of Cooking Light’s Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce and it was SO good. The sauce was my favorite part – a nice combo of spicy and sweet.

shrimp cooking

We added sugar snap peas and broccolini to boost our intake of greens and to compliment the shrimp with a nice crunch.

mixed

They suggest you serve it over rice or udon noodles, but John ate his over whole wheat linguine and I served  mine over spaghetti squash. I think you could serve it over just about any grain and it would taste good.

spicy shrimp stir fry

Sunday morning, John and I traveled to Charlotte to spend part of the day with his sister, Anne Brady, and her husband, Jeff, and our niece, Annie Mac. We went to their church, where they had an amazing service. After church, Jeff treated us to Easter lunch at the Charlotte City Club. It was my first time there, and boy was the food good. I can’t even remember what all I piled on my plate, but it was outstanding. They even had an Easter bunny!

easter lunch

And I do have to share a couple more pictures of the cutest niece in all the land…

annie mac 1

She makes me feel so special and she can’t even talk yet! I’m missing her already…

annie mac 2

When we got home from Charlotte, we got to eat AGAIN with my side of the family. My parents had us, my sister Heath and her boyfriend Matt, and my grandmother over for a really good dinner. I didn’t photograph that meal either, but we had ribs, chicken drumettes, kale salad with peanuts, and green beans. It was delicious, as always! Thanks Ma!

And then we ended our nice, calm Easter with a healthy dose of Game of Thrones.

Some exciting things to come in the week ahead: Monday is our 2nd Anniversary and Friday I’ll be taking a stab at cooking videos! I’m looking forward to letting y’all know how everything goes - have a great week!

Paleo Frittata

Frittata is such an intimidating word for such a simple egg dish, in my opinion. A cross between a crustless quiche and an omelet, frittatas are basically just baked eggs with your choice of filling and a fancy name. I love them because they are quick and easy, make for a healthy and satisfying meal anytime of day, and are just as good leftover. You can get super creative with frittatas and include your personal favorite veggies, meats, cheeses, herbs and spices.

Paleo Frittata

Another thing I love about frittatas is that you can make it all in one oven safe skillet. Nonstick or cast iron work best, but I used a stainless steel 10in sauté pan and it worked great — just be sure to use enough oil to avoid the stick.

frittata in pan

This dish is great to make when you have spend the night company, too. I made this particular frittata for Sunday breakfast when John’s sister, Anne Brady, and her husband, Jeff came to stay with us one Saturday night. They both seemed to enjoy it! I know I did…

The recipe is barely adapted from The Food Lovers Make it Paleo and is dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, and has a meat free option.

Paleo Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 4 asparagus spears, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided in half
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2-4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled {optional}

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is heating, chop your veggies and cook your bacon {if using} and set aside.
bacon
When your veggies are ready to go, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil over medium heat for about 1 minute.
Sauté all veggies except spinach for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft. Mix in spinach and cook until wilted. Season with roughly 1 tsp kosher salt and lots of cracked pepper.

sauteed veggies

Remove veggies from heat and set aside so the pan can cool off a bit. Whisk your eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Stir veggies into eggs.

frittata mixture
Notes: If you have a nonstick pan, you could probably just pour the eggs straight into the pan. I would still remove the pan from the heat though, so they don’t overcook too quickly. If you’re a multi-tasker, you can go ahead and whisk the eggs while the veggies are cooking.
Turn down the heat to medium-low and heat the rest of the coconut oil. Pour egg-veggie mixture into the pan, turn heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes.
fritta before oven
Transfer frittata to the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until it becomes spongy/firm to the touch.
cooked frittata
Slice and serve straight from the pan. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!

paleo frittata

Jeff doesn’t eat pork, so it was easy to leave the bacon out and top the pig-eater’s pieces with crumbled bacon after cooking. This method would work for any vegetarian/non-vegetarian households, too.

I try not to eat too too much dairy, but you could definitely top this with parmesan or cheddar cheese for added flavor. Other good mix-ins could include parmesan cheese, ground beef, breakfast sausage, fresh herbs like thyme, or a little half & half.

Enjoy your weekends!

Below is the printable recipe….

Paleo Frittata
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Frittata is such an intimidating word for such a simple egg dish, in my opinion. A cross between a crustless quiche and an omelet, frittatas are basically just baked eggs with your choice of filling and a fancy name. I love them because they are quick and easy, make for a healthy and satisfying meal anytime of day, and are just as good leftover. You can get super creative with frittatas and include your personal favorite veggies, meats, cheeses, herbs and spices.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast & Brunch
Cuisine: egg
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 asparagus spears, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided in half
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2-4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled {optional}
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is heating, chop your veggies and cook your bacon {if using}. When your veggies are ready to go, heat ½ tablespoon of the coconut oil over medium heat for about 1 minute.
  2. Sauté all veggies except spinach for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and mushrooms are soft. Mix in spinach and cook until wilted. Season with roughly 1 tsp kosher salt and lots of cracked pepper.
  3. Remove veggies from heat and set aside so the pan can cool off a bit. Whisk your eggs in a medium mixing bowl. If you’re a multi-tasker, you could go ahead and whisk the eggs while the veggies are cooking.
  4. Stir veggies into eggs. Note: If you have a nonstick pan, you could probably just pour the eggs straight into the pan. I would still remove the pan from the heat though, so they don’t overcook too quickly.
  5. Turn down the heat to medium-low and heat the rest of the coconut oil. Pour egg-veggie mixture into the pan, turn heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer frittata to the oven and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until it becomes spongy/firm to the touch.
  7. Slice and serve straight from the pan. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!

 

Herbs, Golf, and Food

That pretty much sums up our weekend, in that order. Friday afternoon John and I headed over to Piedmont Farm & Garden to pick up the necessities for our spring/summer herb garden. Even though we’ve both lived in Spartanburg forever, neither of us had ever visited this awesome place before. No offense to Lowe’s garden department, but this mini adventure was far more enjoyable.

piedmont farm and garden

They had all kinds of pretty flowers, trees, vegetables, herbs, garden supplies and more. We spent the majority of our time in the herb section. After we picked out our thymes, rosemaries, basils, mints, oreganos, and chives

herbs

I walked inside and got totally distracted by the baby chicks. I think I may have caught one mid-poop, what do you think? I think that one on the right is totally pooping…

baby chicks

I finally moved on to get even more distracted by the baby bunnies…

baby bunnies

 

chillin bunnies

I haven’t had the best of luck with pet bunnies {long story short}, and was completely OK with not bringing one home with us. :)  I also picked up a jar of raw local honey, which I’m always on the lookout for. It hasn’t been pasteurized, heated, or processed in any way and contains loads of health benefits. Since I try not to use refined sugar, I substitute with raw local honey and use it fairly often to sweeten baked goods, bars and granola, marinades, smoothies, salad dressings, etc.

When we finally made it home, I got to planting. This year, we decided to plant the herbs in containers on our back deck for 2 reasons: 1. we planted a dogwood tree in the old herb spot last year

dogwood

and 2. we are lazy and it’s much easier to step right outside the kitchen rather than walking to the backyard when cooking. Although they did grow very well down there…

old herb garden

This being my first attempt at herbs in containers, I didn’t get too crazy mixing different plants in the same pot. In the first three pots I planted varieties of mint: spearmint {front}, apple mint {back right}, and lemon mint {back left}. Mint is invasive, so I was afraid it would take over the pot if planted with another herb.

mints

Next, I got a little bold and mixed ‘Genovese Basil’ {back} and ‘Golden Variegated Sage’ {front}. Since they both have moist soil preference, I have high hopes that they will get along nicely.

basil and sage

For three of the thyme plants, John helped me turn an old ice bucket into a planter by drilling holes in the bottom.  The middle variety is ‘Lemon Thyme.’ I lost the tags to the other thyme plants, so I’m not positive which variety they are – either ‘Magic Carpet’ or ‘Thyme Garden.’

thymes

Into another big pot went three rosemary plants. They can get pretty big, so I’m hoping they won’t get too crowded. The front two are ‘Prostrate Rosemary’ and one in the back is ‘Tuscan Blue,’ which bears a pretty pale blue flower.  The cilantro, which we haven’t had much luck growing in the past, is in that back pot. And those are chives sitting on the ground without a home.

rosemary cilantro chives

I had an odd number of plants, and forgot to pick up dill, so I still have a little herb shuffling to do. In the front pot is lavender ‘English’ and in the left pot are two oregano ‘Greek’ plants, with the odd thyme in the back.

oregano and lavender

When I get them how I want them, I’ll do a separate post with more details. I plan on painting those pots and making cool markers, too. We’ll see if that happens…

When we woke up Saturday, we headed to Augusta, GA to watch the Masters. We got to go with one of our very best friends, Mary, and she showed us a really good time. Good friends, beautiful golf course, and peach ice cream between two Christie Cookies on a hot spring day = joy. I know there was some good golf going on, but I think my favorite part may have been the new peach ice cream sandwiches…

masters mug

John got invited to go with another friend on Sunday, so I had the day at home all to myself. It was awesome. I put up my computer and phone and spent my time just how I wanted: experimenting in the kitchen. Although I’m not on a strict Paleo diet or a vegan, I’ve recently been making a lot of recipes from Make it Paleo and The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Cookbooks jpg

On this particular Sunday, I leaned toward several recipes in The Oh She Glows Cookbook. First, I made ‘Glo Bars’ to snack on during the week.

DSC 0025

Next, I moved onto prepping lunches and made her ‘Lightened Up Protein Goddess Bowl’ without grains.

Goddess Bowl

I packed in individual containers to easily grab on the way to work.

goddess bowls packed

Next, I made her ‘Chickpea Salad’ with a few very minor modifications.

chickpea salad

chickpea salad 2

For the rest of my weekly lunches I made her ‘Protein Power Goddess Bowl,’ enough for two days.

salads

Our fridge was pretty packed by the end of the day, and for some reason I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and peace knowing that I didn’t have to worry about what to eat for lunch at all throughout the week.

fridge

It was a good day, and a good weekend. I’ll post recipes later this week.

Have a good one!