Perfect Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

I have never spent the time to figure out how to take some of the hassle out of peeling a hard boiled egg.  Perhaps it is because we really didn’t use hard-boiled eggs as often as we do now.  Typically we only hard boiled eggs around the holidays when deviled eggs a part of traditional fare.  Even then my sister is the one who holds the star recipe.  In a given year I may have only had use for a dozen or two so it was not important to figure out why they peeled hard sometimes and other times the shells game off cleanly and easily.

In the last year the research I have been doing on healthy wholesome foods has helped us to understand the value of our small flock of chooks.  Ihave always loved our organic free range eggs but consumed them in much smaller quantities in the past.  Like most people I bought into the FDA,  MDA big Pharma side of egg consumption that says to many eggs are bad for you, they raise cholesterol and contribute significantly to heart disease and other serious health issues. Whatever.  Once I decided to actually research things on my own a totally different picture began to emerge.  Each individual needs to research and process that information on their own then develop their own conclusions.  For us, we egg our fresh eggs almost daily.  That means that we are now using a significantly higher number of hard boiled eggs as well, how they come out of the shell matters.

If you are looking for a way to get eggs that are cooked just right and easily slip from the shells this recipe will help.
First bring your water to a rolling boil.  I don’t worry about using purified water. Admittedly I am not a purist but I simply use our tap water.Poke a hole in the fat end of the egg.  You can use a sewing needle or pin but i find using a push pin works really well and is easier to handle.

Put your eggs into the boiling water.  I use my slotted spoon because I can put several in at one time.Boil your eggs for 6 minutes.  make sure your water is at a rolling boil not just a simmer.  (If I want a soft boiled egg I move them now to a cold water bath.)

Remove your pan from heat and let the eggs sit for an additional 6 minutes.  As I like my eggs with a slightly moist yolk this works for me.  For a slightly drier yolk add another 30 seconds or minute before you remove them.

Remove your eggs from the water and allow to cool to room temperature.
Peel your eggs, season and store in the refrigerator.  If you dont peel them BEFORE you put them in the fridge it will be much more difficult to get the shells off.  Usually after a day of being stored with the shell they become more difficult to be peeled.
Perhaps I am the only one who doesnt have easy to peel hard boiled eggs figured out.  Now at least I can check my blog without researching should I forget.  Many times I will forget how to do something but I wont forget that it is on the UFH blog.  Let us know how this worked out.
Also please shoot us you cool recipes for using hard boiled eggs.  We are in the process of putting together a cookbook and would love to use your recipe in it.

Dirty Dozen-cut your pesticide intake by 80%

“You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80 percent by buying the organic version of the Dirty Dozen.While I am not a big proponent of big media CNN posted this on their “Health” blog. The dirty dozen concept has been around for quite awhile. Also listed below are the clean 15.

The best case scenario is that you grow your own produce of course.  Next,  if you cant grow your own be cognizant of the dirty dozen and at least buy these from your local organic growers.

The Dirty Dozen

Celery

Peaches

Strawberries

Apples

Domestic blueberries

Nectarines

Sweet bell peppers

Spinach, kale and collard greens

Cherries

Potatoes

Imported grapes

Lettuce

Not all non-organic fruits and vegetables have a high pesticide level. Some produce has a strong outer layer that provides a defense against pesticide contamination. The group found a number of non-organic fruits and vegetables dubbed the “Clean 15” that contained little to no pesticides. CNN Health Channel

The Clean 15

Onions

Avocados

Sweet corn

Pineapples

Mango

Sweet peas

Asparagus

Kiwi fruit

Cabbage

Eggplant

Cantaloupe

Watermelon

Grapefruit

Sweet potatoes

Sweet onions

Carrot Potato soup

I recently ordered a big ole’ monstrous bag of organic carrots from Azure Standard which is one mail order location we do a bit of business with. It was 25 pounds of carrots…that is a bunch at one time. So as I juiced and baked I decided I better figure out a way to use a bunch of carrots and also try to figure out how to store them. So I made a big batch of carrot potato soup and froze half of it. I will still have to dry some more, juice some more as well pickle and can some. This is a nice hearty soup. It is naturally sweet if you use your home grown carrots or those from a high quality organic producer.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 3 large potatoes and quartered
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth (use your canned goodies)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups goats milk or almond milk.
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Saute onion in butter until tender. Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a blender or food processor in small batches; cover and process until smooth. Return all to the pan; stir in the milk, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through.

Garnish with fresh rosemary

Baked Tilapia

Here is a very quick baked Tilapia dish we rely on frequently. It tastes great and takes 30 minutes or less start to finish.

You will need:

3 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons braggs aminos (if you have to, substitute soy sauce but cut it in half)

3 tablspoon apple cider vinegar

I tablespoons minced garlic

Butter

6 tilapia

Fresh cracked blk or lemon pepper

two handfuls of baby spinach

handful of fresh cilantro or parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease a 9×12 pan with your choice, lard works great, raw butter etc. Fill with a bed of organic baby spinach,
  3. Mix the (equal parts butter, braggs, lemon juice) honey, braggs, and garlic together in a bowl. Place the tilapia fillets in the mixture; allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. If you are super mom or one of those crazy organized not-so-normal planning-types, stick this in the fridge when you get home from work. Overnight doesnt work so well as I think the tilapia gets “soggy”.
  4. Remove tilapia from marinade, and discard the marinade. (The left over marinade can be used as a nice topping for the mousers, dog or chickens. I dont use it for vermiculture or the compost because of the oil in it.) Place fillets onto the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle the lemon pepper over the fish.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Top with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve

Green Beans and Almonds Recipe

Green Beans with Almonds

This is a really fun recipe for green beans. I have had it around the recipe box for a bit so unfortunately I can’t give credit to its origin, other than it is not my original.

Ingredients:

Coarse salt, to taste
2 lb. slender freshly picked green beans (this can be an awesome winter recipe by using your home canned green beans. If you have some also vacum packed and frozen they will work even better than you canned.)
1/2 cup slivered almonds- you can substitute other nuts here
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions:
Steam your fresh beans for 3-4 minutes. You want them a nice deep green color but still crisp. Rinse your steamer basket with cold water to stop the cooking then pat beans dry with a hand towel. Set aside. (The beans can be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance, covered tightly and refrigerated until ready to use.)

In a large fry pan over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring continuously, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the beans. Sauté, stirring continuously, until heated through and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley and almonds. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

Tilapia Recipe from Dec 16

Noah and Elise both love Tilapia so we eat it at least once a week.  I intended to get this up last week when I made it for dinner but I was too crunched for time. I am looking forward to getting the Aquaponics system put in place so in Spring we can begin our first crop of homegrown tilapia.In the mean time we will continue to munch on the store purchased version. Here is one of our favorite Tilapia recipes. It tastes great and is pretty quick to throw together.

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • I/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cream (or you can use your goats milk yogurt with great success!)
  • small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 6 tilapia fillets
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked lemon pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (tastes best if  you use homemade sourdough and light rye crumbs-sacrifice at least one piece of bread from each weekly loaf)
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, dried tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, add a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium low and add cream. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Sauce will turn slightly pink and coat the back of the spoon. (Note: It is okay if the sauce boils slightly.)
  2. Rinse and pat dry the tilapia fillets. Season both sides with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  3. Combine Parmesan, and the bread crumbs.
  4. Dredge the seasoned tilapia fillets through the flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg. Press into Parmesan/bread crumb mixture.
  5. Place in a 9×12 piece of cookware lightly greased with butter, lay down a handful of spinach an lay fillets on top. Bake 15-20 min at 375F. The tilapia should flake easily with a fork
  6. When you remove the fish, chiffonnade the basil (Note: To do this, simply roll up a few basil leaves and gently chop). Stir the basil into the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Lay fish on a serving platter and spoon sauce over the top.  Add fresh chopped basil and Serve.

Note: this is yummy with the steamed green beans and almonds