Have you ever eaten duck eggs? Wow, they have quickly become my new food love. I stumbled across some at our farmer’s markets as well as a local health food store and it’s been a game changer for me. After some allergy testing and an elimination diet, I discovered that I react to chicken egg whites and despite being briefly bummed, I sought out alternatives and experimented with egg-free versions of my favorite recipes. After duck eggs were discovered, my foodie world expanded once again.
Here are a few highlights of the beloved duck egg and why you might want to get your hands (and forks) on some if possible:
2. Duck egg shells are harder to get a clean crack and are much tougher than chicken eggs, creating a longer shelf life.
4. Just take care not to overcook the whites of duck eggs, they contain more protein and therefore can become more rubbery if cooked too long.
5. The yolks have a richer, almost buttery flavor, most likely attributed to the higher fat content.
6. Duck eggs contain more albumen, which gives them more structure, thus creating a very light, fluffy, and rich baked good with a higher lift than those made with chicken eggs.
I’ve been searching for more breakfast options and was itching to try out my new duck eggs in a recipe…so when I spotted Amy’s recipe for Baked Eggs in Portobello Mushroom Caps, I was sold. This recipe was lightly adapted from Amy’s Savory Moments blog that I was assigned to this month for the Secret Recipe Club reveal! I swapped out the chicken eggs for ducks eggs, used green bell pepper instead of the grilled piquillo and served the dish with sliced avocado and fresh basil for a bit of freshness. I left out the cheese for allergy purposes but but I sure that would a lovely addition if you can eat it. In short, I loved this recipe! Not only does it provide a hearty serving of veggies to start the day, it’s flavorful, simple ingredient and adaptable!
Baked Eggs in Portobello Caps (adapted from Savory Moments recipe)
2 large portobello mushroom caps
2 duck eggs or 2 large chicken eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp small diced onion
large handful of mixed greens or baby spinach (roughly 1 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, small diced
about 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or favorite non-dairy cheese (optional, I omitted)
pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
paprika for garnishing
fresh avocado slices or guacamole for serving, optional
chopped fresh basil (or cilantro or parsley) for serving, optional
favorite fat or oil for cooking (coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil)
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and drizzle a bit of olive oil/fat in small baking dish. Wipe the dirt off your mushroom caps with a damp towel. Gently scrape the gills out from the underside of the mushrooms with a spoon. Place in the baking pan and drizzle a small amount of fat/oil on the mushrooms and a bit of black pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the begin to get soft and shrink up a little.
- While mushrooms are baking, heat some fat/oil in a small pan and saute the garlic, green pepper and onions for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook until it’s wilted. Add some salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Remove mushrooms from the oven and lower oven temp to 325F.
- Discard all juice inside mushroom caps and wipe out all juice out of the baking dish. Take a towel and gently press the inside of the mushrooms to get out any excess juice. Place the mushrooms (bottom/cup facing up) back into the baking dish. Put half of the spinach mixture into each mushroom, and sprinkle with cheese if using. Try to leave a “hole” in the center so there is room for the egg yolk.
- Carefully crack an egg on top of each mushroom. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, paprika, and some extra cheese. Carefully place the baking dish back into the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are cooked and the yolk is set. Garnish with paprika and serve with avocado slices and fresh basil or favorite herbs (optional).
No matter what style of eating I’d adhere to, some form of bread will be made. I have a soft spot in my heart for all sorts of bread – from a soft, fluffy loaf or a nice crusty dinner roll to a pliable flatbread or pizza crust. Now that my allergy testing revealed that 99% of grains are an issue, it was time to try a grain-free bread recipe that was yeast-free and easy. This grain-free “faux-caccia” hits the spot. It has a tender but chewy crumb with a bread-like middle, and I love how you can taste the infusion of coconut oil…so pick the fat/oil that you enjoy the taste of and go with that.
Instead of almond flour, coconut flour or another nut flour, I opted for this sunflower seed meal that I found online so it’s nut-free AND free of flax if that’s something you like to avoid. This sunflower seed meal isn’t overly fine yet I find that added a nice texture; I’m sure you could grind this meal even finer to a “flour” if that’s something you’d like to experiment with. If you don’t have sunflower meal, don’t fret – substitute your favorite nut flour and it’s should work perfectly.
This bread works with a savory flair but I think the addition of your favorite sweetener or dried fruits and sweet spices would complement the nutty flavor of the sunflower seed and chia as well. This bread is keto, paleo and candida-friendly, and it’s packed with healthy fats and fiber making it both satiating and flavorful. You can slice it in half, toast it and add your favorite sandwich fillings, slather it with your favorite spread, or use it to mop-up your favorite sauce in a main-dish. I’ve enjoyed this bread smothered with cashew cheese (recipe to come), fresh basil and smoky slow roasted tomatoes for a spin on a caprese appetizer, mmm. Enjoy! :)
Sunflower Seed and Chia Focaccia Bread (inspired by this recipe)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Keto and Paleo Friendly, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian, Candida-friendly, Sugar-free, Low-carb
3 cage-free, organic eggs*
1 tbsp unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (can use avocado oil or melted butter if you can tolerate dairy)
2 cups sunflower seed meal/flour (your favorite nut or seed meal can be substituted)
1/4 cup ground chia seed meal (can substitute flaxseed meal or more seed/nut flour)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional Add-ins/Topping Ideas
fresh or dried rosemary, chopped
sprinkle of coarse sea salt
chopped dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, etc)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat eggs well with vinegar. Add butter or coconut oil and whisk together until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine sunflower seed meal/ flour, chia seed meal, salt and baking soda. whisk until well combined.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until smooth (the batter will be really thick).
- Spread/press into a prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 9 squares.
*You could add another egg if you want a lighter, more springy result but I enjoyed this as a hearty square
Note: This bread might have a green hue after baking but don’t worry it has not gone bad! Sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that gives the seeds the ability of turning green under certain conditions. When chlorogenic acid mixes with alkaline baking ingredients such as baking soda, it turns green. Chlorogenic acid may also slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal. This baked focaccia had a slight green hue since I didn’t use cream of tartar to neutralise the effect of the baking soda. To avoid the green effect in recipes that use baking soda and sunflower seeds or butter, add and ingredient to counteract the alkalinity of the dough. For this recipe, add a teaspoon of cream of tartar if you want to avoid the green color.
Smothering a whole organic chicken with mayo at one point in my life would have totally freaked me out. Now, it makes drool…oh how times have changed. I used to think that eating dietary fat = automatically gaining body fat. Ten years ago, I would have cringed at eating anything that wasn’t labeled low-fat and I’d even meticulously cut fat off lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Interesting how we get ideas in our head of what is considered “healthy”.
The more I learn about nutrition, and the more I am open-minded and willing to try new things, the more I REALLY comprehend that how one person eats doesn’t always work for the next person. Mind you, I am not advocating eating blocks of cheese, fried chicken and deep-fried oreos… but fats from whole and unprocessed foods can do wonders for the body and our health. More on this later, let’s get to this recipe!
I found this incredibly easy and DELICIOUS recipe for Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken on Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. I was already familiar with Nic’s blog when I made her Lightened-up Broccoli Cheddar Soup awhile back so I was excited to have her site again! Her Payday Pie looks and sounds absolutely heavenly and her Homemade Paleo Bacon will be made as soon as I get my hands on fresh pork belly (I have to order it from my local health food store).
This chicken though, what a fantastic way to cook a whole bird! The result is a juicy and tender chicken and the mayo creates a lovely crust on top of the skin, which crisps up nicely and infuses a delightful punch of flavor! You can carve up the meat and serve it as the main dish or use the meat for another recipe, so it’s a win for versatility. I made a few changes: I used my own homemade avocado mayo, added a bit of fresh lemon thyme and stuffed the bird with quartered lemon wedges. I omitted the garlic and the bay leaves since I didn’t have those on-hand but they would have been a great addition as well. I can’t wait to experiment with different flavor combos and the mayo in the future – yum! Thanks for the inspiration Nicole!
Also, I have a confession: It’s been quite the couple of weeks and this recipe reflects just that. Do you see anything wrong with these photos?! Umm…I cooked this chicken upside down! Wow, where is my head at? I didn’t turn it over after seasoning it so that’s was an oops. I should have posted this for April Fool’s Day…but this was a nice reminder to laugh at myself
Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken (lightly adapted from I am a Honey Bee)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30 & Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly
Makes 1 whole chicken
5-6 pound whole organic chicken
1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
1/2 pound celery, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
2 large onions, sliced into 1/2″ wedges
4 sprigs of fresh lemon-thyme and/or 3-4 bay leaves
approximately 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade avocado oil, sugar-free mayo, recipe below)
one lemon, quartered
coarsely ground black pepper
Other seasoning options:
4 garlic cloves, minced
- Preaheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the giblets from the chicken. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
- Place the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and two sprigs of thyme (and/or bay leaves) in a roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the quartered lemon and two of the sprigs of thyme.
- With about 2 tbsp of mayo, rub undernearth the chicken skin. Take remaining mayonnaise and run all over the whole chicken. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken to prevent burning.
- Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes prior to slicing and serving. Lift the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.
Homemade Avocado Oil Mayo (lightly adapted from The Healthy Foodie)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30-compliant, Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly, Vegetarian
3 eggs yolks (or 1 extra large egg)*
1/2 tsp sea salt (I’ve used flavored salts like hickory smoked sea salt)
juice from half a lemon or 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of mustard (I use stone ground dijon mustard made with apple cider vinegar)
1 cup avocado oil (or extra light tasting olive oil)
- To a large mouth glass jar, add the egg yolks. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the yolks.
- Place immersion blender in the glass jar until it hits the bottom (this is the only way I’ve every made mayo so I am not sure what else you can substitute).
- Turn the immersion blender on and let run without moving for a full 20 seconds. You’ll see the oil will start to emulsify and it starts to look like mayo!
- After 20 seconds, move your stick blender around and up and down just to ensure that every all of the oil gets well incorporated into the mixture. There you have it!
- Store in the refrigerator an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*I used yolks only since I found out I am sensitive to egg whites so I am keeping my intake to a minimum
Handheld eats are always a win in my book…they are versatile, they are portable and they are so satisfying! Whether it’s a wrap or a sandwich or a taco, you can pack all the food groups into one lovely bite. This veggie-friendly quesadilla is no exception!
I was assigned Terri’s blog Our Good Life for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, and I enjoyed perusing through her posts of recipes to crafts and family . I wound up picking her Acorn, Black Bean and Spinach Quesadilla this month for two reasons: I had my mind set on Mexican food and I couldn’t wait to test out a quesadilla using Against the Grain’s new gluten-free pita bread (which doubles fabulously as a tortilla). Terri’s Radish Leaf Pesto will be perfect to whip up this spring, her Oat Congee with Fried Egg and Scallions definitely peaked my interest, and her Apple Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding has been bookmarked for the next stormy day when I’m craving comfort food!
Even though Spring is here (or almost here in Montana), I am still enjoying my fair share of sweet potatoes and winter squash. They are a staple in my kitchen and you can always find an uncooked kabocha squash or Japanese sweet potato on the counter ready to be incorporated enemy next recipe experiment! This recipe for a winter squash quesadilla was a huge hit and without a doubt satisfied my hankering for Mexican food!
Now this is an ideal flavor combo for me! The creamy texture of the winter squash and the velvety beans complimented the crisp edges on the tortilla and the salty, stringy melted cheese. The sautéed greens added a nice earthy dimension to the dish along with the brightness from the cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice. I changed up a few things on this recipe based on what I had on hand — I substituted kabocha squash for the acorn squash, I used a gluten-free, grain-free tortilla and I added a bit of cilantro for a bit of brightness. I decided to smash up some of the black beans to help adhere the ingredients together since I stuffed the tortilla with the layers of filling Mmmmmm!
Black Bean, Squash and Greens Quesadilla (recipe adapted from Our Good Life)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free Option, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Egg-free
- 1 c small dice cooked acorn squash, kabocha squash or butternut squash
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 can organic black beans, rinsed
- 1 small bunch spinach (or your favorite leafy greens), destemmed and chopped
- 4 gluten-free flour tortillas (I used grain-free Against the Grain pita bread)
- 6 oz monterey jack cheese or your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro OR 3 Tbsp chopped greens onions
- lime wedges
- your favorite salsa and/or guacamole