Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Paleo Italian pumpkin and sausage breakfast casserole

The Boy and I have been working on getting healthier. We're going away soon and while away, I'm certain we will be eating a lot of naughty foods so we're being good before the fact. :-)

In an effort to be healthier, we did a big Spring clean of our pantry (so many expired things lurking in the back corners!) and have decided to cut out wheat (going gluten free) and carbs.

We're going gluten free because I've been feeling rather unwell in the morning after a dinner which contains wheat, like pasta of some sort. Cutting out carbs is just a good idea all round.

In our hunt for healthier food recipes, we're dipping our toes into some Paleo recipes and many gluten free ones. In a happy coincidence, Paleo is also gluten free. :-)

Here's a recipe I made recently (which was highly requested). Please bear in mind, this takes about an hour to make.

  • 1/2 smallish pumpkin of any sort, grated
  • 4 tbsp butter, ghee or bacon fat, divided
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 organic tomato, diced
  • 3 oz Italian sausage, skin removed, chopped. Use any other sausage if you don't have Italian
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 6 large pastured eggs
  • a handful of Italian flat leaf (Continental) parsley, rough chopped

  • Preheat oven to 200° Place grated pumpkin into a small baking dish that is about 3cm deep sprayed with olive oil. Mix 2 tbsp of butter into pumpkin. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until tender.
  • When the pumpkin is almost done, in a pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onions, garlic, sea salt and pepper (to taste) to the pan.
  • Once the onions begin to caramelize, add the tomatoes and sausage. Saute an additional 10 minutes and then mix in the kalamata olives.
  • Once the pumpkin is finished roasting, remove from oven and add into the pan with the sausage mixture. Mix the pumpkin with the sausage mixture while on a medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes. Put mixture back into baking dish.
  • Use a large spoon to create 6 deep wells in the mixture. Crack an egg into each well.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake until the whites of the eggs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle fresh parsley over the top before serving.

This was super tasty. The Boy loved it, which I wasn't sure if he would.

Oh, you might want to check the taste of the pumpkin after it's cooked. There's a lot of pumpkin and you might need some additional salt and pepper for taste. It can be a bit bland otherwise. If you're not into salt or pepper, then there's no problem. :-)

The prep time didn't take long but the cooking time takes a while because of the roasting of the pumpkin and then baking the eggs. All up, you should probably allow yourself about 1 hour and 20 minutes between prep and cooking time.

I was thinking I might try to speed things up the next time by microwaving the pumpkin. I'm not sure how that will go. Perhaps the pumpkin may go mushy? I'm not sure. I won't know till I try it. If you do go the microwave route, let me know how it works out for you.

UPDATE: I did microwave the pumpkin and it worked great. I microwaved it the first time for 5 minutes on high, then took it out and tossed it a bit with a fork. After that, I microwaved it for another 7 minutes and it was done. Much quicker than baking it for 45 minutes.

If you do make this, be sure to post pictures for me to see either on Instagram - be sure to tag me with @langshipley or on my Daz In The Kitchen Facebook page.

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