Breakfast Hash

Everyone has a few foods that are objectively terrible but are seasoned with such nostalgia that they still hit the spot. For me, this includes Chef Boyardee ravioli (for a lazy couch-potato day), chocolate Zingers (on a road trip), and a late-morning breakfast with corned beef hash, the kind out of a can. If you’ve never had corned beef hash, it looks and smells rather like canned dog food — only it’s got about 5,000 times the sodium. I’ve had house-made versions at chic breakfast joints and nice diners, always with some disappointment. Some things just aren’t meant to go upscale.

Right now, I’m taking a temporary stab at eating a Paleo AIP diet, which eliminates a whole bunch of things including nightshades like potatoes and peppers, as well as eggs, dairy, nuts, and other common allergenic foods. The idea is to try to clear the slate, then slowly add things back one at a time to see how they make you feel. It has also been a good kick in the pants to get more creative with cooking and try some new things.

This morning I made a breakfast hash that I swear to God is one of the most satisfying, lush and delicious breakfasts I have ever had. Corned beef hash it ain’t, but I’ve finally found a superior substitute. I chopped the veggies in a fairly fine dice, tossed in chopped homemade meatballs (essentially, seasoned ground beef), and then stirred in chopped avocado at the end which gave a superbly creamy mouthfeel to the dish.

Veggie-Beef Breakfast Hash

  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil (or other oil for cooking)
  • 1 c. chopped broccoli (I used two roughly peeled stalks and leaves, but of course you could use the crowns like a normal person)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 premade meatballs, chopped (or 1 c. cooked seasoned ground beef)
  • 1 medium avocado

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add broccoli and carrot and cook, covered, for a few minutes. Add zucchini, toss together, then add garlic and turmeric. Cook a few minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add meat and continue cooking until veggies are tender and meat is heated through, then turn off heat. Remove pit and peel from avocado and roughly chop, and stir into the hash. Plate and serve — serves two (or one of they’re very hungry).

Pumpkin-Beef Meatballs

  • 1 1/4 lb. ground beef
  • 300g canned pumpkin (about 2/3 can)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried chives

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine all ingredients. Using a small scoop or tablespoon or your hands, shape into small meatballs and arrange on one or two baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown. Makes ~45 meatballs — eat some now, freeze some for later.

Easy recipes to make your house smell amazing on a lazy day

I like to make a batch of both of these every so often — cinnamony nuts for snacking, and crunchy nut gravel for topping yogurt or oatmeal or just putting straight into your face. They’re both easy-peasy, and you can pretty much use whatever mix of nuts you want and achieve lovely results.

Cinnamon Maple Nuts

  • 1 c. raw almonds
  • 1 c. raw pecans
  • 2 c. raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Measure the nuts into a biggish mixing bowl. Melt the ghee / coconut oil in a small dish, then stir in the maple syrup. Pour over nuts and mix to coat. Sprinkle cinnamon generously over the top and mix more, until nuts are evenly coated with maple-cinnamon goodness. Spread nuts on a baking pan and bake for 8-12 minutes. If it’s your first batch, check ’em early and then keep a close watch — you want them a nice toasty color, but nuts can quickly go from toasty to slightly burnt if you’re not paying attention. If you’re using a glass baking dish, they may take longer. Let cool before storing. They should keep at room temp at least several weeks, at least in theory, although they never make it that long in my house.

Kitchen Sink Nut Gravel

  • 1 c. raw cashews, chopped
  • 1 c. raw almonds, chopped
  • 1 c. raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. raw pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 c. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 c. raw pepitas
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao nibs
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • A tiny dash of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Measure the nuts, coconut, and seeds into a biggish mixing bowl. Melt the ghee / coconut oil in a small dish, then stir in the maple syrup and the spices. Pour over nut mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread nuts on a baking pan and bake for 8-12 minutes. (See above note on baking times.) Cool and store in a couple glass jars — makes a little over a quart.