Key Lime Meringue Pie

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Cue the music: school is out for the summer!  That’s right everyone, it’s time to hit the pool, go on trips, watch baseball, and (one of our favorite things to do) BBQ! To me, Memorial Day is the opening ceremony of the BBQ olympics. It’s the big, delicious, overwhelming feast of food that foreshadows all the grilling we’ll be doing during the summer. Sides tend to be pretty standard: beans, slaw, potato salad of some sort, chips, etc. With dessert, I can let my creative juices run a bit more wild.

I haven’t baked much lately, as I tried to cut sweets altogether while on Whole30. Last week, as I stepped back in my kitchen arena donned in my apron and armed with my pink silicone spatula, I was ready to create.

Upon Neil’s request, I made this zesty, creamy key lime pie topped with a lightly sweetened airy meringue. I am so attracted to the the rustic look of this pie made by lifting the pillowy meringue upward with the back of a spoon right before it hits the oven. It felt great to bake again, and the pie was a hit at our family BBQ.

I’m sure it will win gold at your next BBQ, too. Happy summer and let the games begin!

Key Lime Meringue Pie
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 26 min. Chill Time: Overnight

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

15 honey graham cracker sheets
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Filling:

Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup key lime juice
2 egg yolks
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

For the Meringue Topping:

4 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, blend all ingredients of the crust until it becomes like fine wet sand. When pinched together, the crumbs should lightly stick together. Add more butter if not sticking together. Pat crumbs evenly into a 9″ pie round. Bake the crust for about 6 minutes until aromatic. Clean food processor while crust is baking.

Blend all filling ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Pour into pie crust and bake for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly while you prepare the meringue.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and continue to whisk for another minute. Top the pie with the meringue, spreading the meringue up around the whole edge of the crust. Use the back of a spoon to lift the meringue in several places, creating tall peaks.

Bake pie for 12-14 minutes until meringue is lightly browned.

Cool overnight in refrigerator and serve chilled.

No Grainola

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Neil is really looking forward to eating tacos on Wednesday (Day 31 of our Whole 30 adventure). I will be reintroducing certain excluded ingredients back into my meals slowly, but I really have enjoyed some of the creative dishes we’ve whipped up this month. I don’t think my breakfasts will look too different once Whole 30 is over. During the week, I usually hard boil two eggs and pop out the yolks, taking the whites with me to eat on the way to work. Or, I make these breakfast cups (which are getting great reviews on social media, thanks!).

But you know, even on Whole 30 I need variety. Eggs 30 days in a row can be a little… well… boring. Fruit and nuts are only supposed to be consumed sparingly, so I don’t have this too often, but this granola (pardon me, NO GRAINola) is GOOD. We like to sprinkle a little atop mixed berries. It makes for a good mini-vacation from the egg. It also makes for a great afternoon snack if I can’t hold out to the next meal!

The flavor combination of sweet orange paired with the aromatic cinnamon and coconut oil makes my mouth water every time I think of this granola. I actually prefer it to some grain containing recipes I’ve tried in the past. The only catch is that it takes a while to cut up all the fruit into tiny pieces, but I’ve found that when I use scissors to cut strips of the fruit, then cut those strips into little squares, it goes way faster. Either way, this dish is nice to occasionally incorporate in your breakfast routine, whether you’re looking for a lifestyle change or just need some variety.

Oh, and if you’re doing Whole 30, make sure your dried fruit has no added sugars or sweeteners. The ingredients on the package should simply list the fruit. And also be sure that you don’t eat a whole bowl of this stuff like you’re eating cereal. Just use it as a sprinkle of flavor and crunch!

No Grainola
Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

1 cup raw blanched almonds, chopped
2 cups raw cashews, chopped
1 cup dried apple rings, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup dried mangoes, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 large orange, juiced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place chopped nuts on a baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes until they start to turn golden brown. When you can smell them, they’re done or very close to being done. Place the nuts along with all other ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Grainola will appear oily, but as it cools and dries, that will go away. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Breakfast Cups (Whole30)

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We haven’t updated in a while because… well… we’re doing Whole30. No grain, no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, no alcohol for 30 days. There is a steep learning curve to Whole30, so we’ve been focusing on changing our usual cooking and eating habits to align with the program. I’ll update after we complete the 30 days with a Whole30 review, but I wanted to share a recipe that I love making for breakfast. I need something portable in the mornings that I can eat in the car or at work. Lately I’ve been taking hard boiled egg whites, but I ran across a version of these breakfast cups here, and thought it would make my morning meal way more exciting! Plus, I make them on Sunday and they last all week and heat up in less than a minute when I’m running out the door.

Why didn’t I think of this? It’s so simple. Just mix your eggs together with any ingredients you would normally put in an omelette.

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Then, spoon the ingredients in greased muffin tins. We cooked bacon to be added to our mix, so we used the bacon fat to grease the tins.

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Bake for 30 minutes and you have a delicious and flavorful breakfast on the go!

Breakfast Cups
Recipe Adapted From PaleOMG
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 30 min.

Ingredients:

10 eggs
1 cup spinach, chopped
8 oz. bacon, cooked and crispy
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook bacon according to package or until crispy. Reserve bacon fat. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and combine. Grease a muffin pan with the reserved bacon fat (or another fat… do NOT use paper cups). Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve warm.