Keto Breakfasts – Breakfast Casserole

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This one is dead simple and crazy tasty. I hesitate to call it a frittata (because those are technically cooked in a skillet) or a crustless quiche (since a quiche has a custard filling) but it’s somewhere between the two in terms of texture. It’s easy to put together and is a great vehicle for leftover veggies and meats. I like it best piping hot from the oven – I shamelessly pull off the puffy browned bits before cooling and refrigerating it for a perfect weekday breakfast.

KETO BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

Approximately 1 cup of cooked keto-friendly green vegetables

5-6 eggs

3 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 strips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard powder

1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan + Romano, for sprinkling

(Optional) Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Salt and pepper to taste

Pie pan

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. If your veggies are already cooked, lightly grease a pie pan with butter or oil and spread vegetables in a flat layer inside the pan. If you are starting with fresh or frozen veggies, heat in a dry skillet or oven until cooked through – the idea is to allow the vegetables to lose some of their moisture before baking. You can use any combination of vegetables you like, provided they fit in your macros. Here, I used approximately 2/3 cup of frozen broccoli, cooked in a dry skillet, plus a handful of leftover cooked kale. If you are using a vegetable that loses a lot of moisture during cooking (for example, mushrooms, peppers, etc) cook well until most of the moisture is cooked out before placing in the pan. You can chop your veggies or leave them in large pieces; here I used whole broccoli florets.
  3. Sprinkle in the bacon, sliced into strips and spread evenly throughout the pan.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream, spices, salt, pepper and eggs until thoroughly mixed. Try to incorporate as much air as possible; this helps produce a puffy and golden crust. I like to take a kitchen whisk and roll it between my palms until a light, frothy foam accumulates at the top. Pour over vegetables and bacon inside the pan. If your pan is particularly deep, or your vegetables are poking up through the mixture, an additional egg might be required.
  5. Sprinkle the top evenly with a layer of shredded Parmesan, and place cherry tomatoes across the top. If you do not like tomatoes or find them to be too high in carbs you can omit them, but they are present in such a small amount per serving I always include them.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until crust is browned and puffy, turning halfway through the cooking time. The casserole is cooked as soon as the center is set but an additional 10 minutes in the oven produces a gorgeous, almost pizza-like crust.

Keeps refrigerated or frozen. Freeze in individual portions. Casserole will lose moisture when reheated but the texture and taste is unaffected.

 

 

RECIPES: Ossobuco

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OSSO BUCOOssobuco (or osso buco, quite literally “bone with a hole,”) refers to the marrow bone that is the star of this classic Milanese dish. As a somewhat-squeamish-sometimes-vegetarian, meat-on-bones aren’t really on my strong point, but there is something so special about this dish that I’m willing to overlook this aversion for a special occasion. If you’re serving to an adventurous crowd, a set of marrow spoons (or seafood forks) so your guests can scoop out the succulent marrow, which is best slathered on a slice of crusty Italian bread.

The first time I cooked osso buco was the first time I had tasted this dish. Selected by my omnivorous, part-Italian husband as a housewarming dish, this meal is a sentimental food so I made it again for our most recent anniversary. Traditionally made with veal shanks, I subbed in beef shanks from US Wellness with no loss in quality. The marrow is a delicacy but for me the best part of this dish is the gremolata, a parsley-garlic-lemon dressing that cuts the richness of this slow simmered and decadent shank, which becomes morbido, or meltingly tender as the collagen from the meat breaks down into gelatin over the long, slow braise in a sublimely simple mix of mirepoix and white wine.

Traditionally served with another one of Milan’s celebrated dishes, the saffron-scented risotto Milanese, osso buco is relatively simple to prepare once you procure the ingredients, and impressive enough for even the most special of occasions. The recipe follows below; a full shopping list, menu and cook’s notes are available as a $.99 download.

Osso Buco

Adapted from A Cook’s Canon by Raymond Sokolov

Prep: 15 minutes or less
Active Cooking time: 45 minutes
Actual Cooking time: 2+ hours

Ingredients
Olive oil
Butter
Flour for dredging

1.5 lbs beef shank on bone
1 cup wine
1 quart stock, broth, or water
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste

FOR THE GREMOLATA
Handful of parsley (Italian flat-leaf)
Several garlic cloves
1 organic lemon

OSSOBUCO

  1. Finely chop carrots, celery and onion and set aside.
  2. Soak or rinse the meat shanks and pat dry. Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, melting an equal amount of butter into the hot oil. Dredge the shanks in flour and immediately transfer into the oil-and-butter mixture over high heat. Let the meat brown and sear without disturbing the shank; this will take at least 3-5 minutes so resist the temptation to peek. The high-heat, butter and flour will brown the meat beautifully when left on its own; the butter will begin to froth a bit and you will begin smell and hear the sear without needing to lift the shank to check it. Take care not to overcrowd the pan and brown in batches when necessary. Brown the shanks on all sides before removing them from the pan and placing into a stock pot, dutch oven or sauce pan (the pan should be large enough to accommodate the shanks in a single layer and deep enough that the shanks can be fully immersed in stock/water).
  3. Add the chopped mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) to the hot oil and butter used to brown the shanks. Set heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened and the carrots and celery have begun to brown.
  4. Add the cooked carrots, celery and onion to the pot containing the browned shanks; add wine and enough broth, stock or water to barely cover the shanks. Stir in tomato paste and over low heat, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cover.
  5. Every 20 minutes or so, gently baste and flip the shanks, adding enough stock or water to cover the shanks if necessary, recovering immediately and adjusting the heat to a simmer if necessary. In about 2 hours the meat will begin to pull away from the bone – the meat will become meltingly tender. Remove the shanks, reduce the sauce and serve the sauced shanks with gremolata.
  6. GREMOLATA: Finely chop parsley, mince garlic, and zest the lemon. Mix together with the juice of half the lemon, slicing the other half into thin slices to serve as an additional garnish.

 

Minestrone and Other Meals

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IMMUNE BOOSTING

Meal planning for a Month – Immunity Boosting Foods
Recipes include freezer-friendly foods and immune boosters like bone broth, minestrone, garlic ginger chicken soup, superfood salads, turmeric rice and comfort classics like shepherd’s pie, one-dish pastas and classic chicken soup. Recipe and label set includes 15 recipes, a shopping list, cook’s notes and printable labels.