I actually did raise some chickens once...in the basement of our suburban house...for my 8th grade science fair project. I can't even think about it without cringing, because I'm sure it was torture for those poor, caged creatures, but I was convinced I was furthering scientific knowledge and that someday I would win a Nobel Prize for Medicine. Well, yeah, that didn't exactly work out (and I didn't become a ballerina, either). My mother, however, WAS a doctor--a psychiatrist--and encouraged any scientific leanings in her children, no matter how far out (the year before, I experimented on white rats, also caged in the basement, also another cringe-worthy Dr. Frankenstein project).
It just so happened that my mother's office was in our house, next to that self-same basement where the chickens were ensconced. Although she never, ever shared any information about her patients with us (or any information about us with them...whenever a patient was due to arrive or leave, we were not allowed to play outside, because, God forbid, a patient should find out that the shrink had a life), she did tell us the following story:
She had one very anxious patient who seemed to grow more anxious with each office visit. Finally, after weeks of reluctance to speak about what might be causing this stress, she finally confessed to my mother: "Doctor, I think I am going crazy. Every time I come here, I hear chickens!"
And then, good doctor that she was, my mother outed herself, and took the patient into the next room to show her the source of the problem.
Eggs are my go-to food when I don't feel like cooking or eating anything complicated, which has been happening a lot since Election Day. Eggs are delicious, versatile, cheap, and acceptable on almost any diet, unless you are vegan. The following offerings make a quick lunch for one or two.
Turkey Egg Drop Soup
Serves one or two
Follow the recipe for Turkey Soup in my last post, Stone Soup, or use your favorite chicken soup recipe. Bring enough leftover soup for one or two portions to a boil, drop in a handful of fresh spinach (optional, but the color is nice in an otherwise brownish soup after you've eaten all the carrots out of it), and lower heat to a simmer. Lightly beat one egg (or two eggs for two portions) and slowly pour the egg into the soup, stirring the soup with a fork the whole time. Simmer for a minute ( you want the eggs to be wispy, so do not overcook, or you will end up with soupy scrambled eggs) and you have lunch.
For a variation, stir in the juice of half a lemon, as well, and you have Turkey Avgolemono Soup (minus the rice).
Egg on Savory Tapioca
Feeds two, with leftover tapioca
Anyway, no pastina or Parmesan on Paleo, but tapioca's o.k. once in awhile. And savory tapioca with an egg on top? Definitely a comforting texture and a high delicious quotient.
(Recipe adapted from Classic Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding on the back of the Bob's Red Mill package)
1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca (do not use instant tapioca)
3/4 cup organic low sodium chicken broth (I use Imagine brand)
2 1/4 cups full-fat organic coconut milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs, separated
1 TBS ghee
2 cage-free eggs
1 TBS ghee
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple of handfuls of baby spinach, sautéed in a little olive oil
1. Soak tapioca in chicken broth for 30 minutes in a medium saucepan. Do not drain tapioca after soaking.
2. Add milk, salt and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer, uncovered, over very low heat, 10-15 minutes. Stir often.
3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Fold about 3/4 cup of hot tapioca into egg whites, then gently fold mixture back into the saucepan. Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1 TBS ghee, and stir again.
5. Fry eggs in 2nd TBS of ghee; salt and pepper to taste.
6. When ready to serve, divide sautéed spinach into two servings and put on plates. Top spinach with 1/2 cup tapioca for each serving, flatten a little, and top tapioca with a fried egg.
Fried Eggs on Zucchini and Pesto
1/2 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1-2 TBS olive oil
Salt to taste
2 cage-free eggs
1 TBS ghee or olive oil for frying
Paleo-friendly hot sauce (like Tabasco or Frank's), optional
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange zucchini slices on roasting pan and drizzle with one to two TBS olive oil. Roast for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
2. Fry eggs in 1 TBS ghee or olive oil, basting continuously.
3. Arrange four zucchini slices on each plate, top with 1/4 cup pesto for each serving, and then top each with a fried egg. Add a little hot sauce if you like it spicy.