how do you easter?
We never really celebrated Easter in the traditional way in our house. For one, we were never home – our volleyball team always played in a tournament in New Orleans during Easter weekend. Before volleyball, I have vague memories of my mom putting my sister and me into traditional Polish garb and displaying us on stage with some equally confused Polish-American children. Other than that, not many Easter memories.
Like my mother, I believe in any excuse to come together with loved ones around a meal, however, and Easter is no exception. But I had no idea what to cook.
The first thing that came to my mind was deviled eggs, which I’d seen at every potluck I’d ever been to in Arkansas, where I grew up. I was always a huge fan of the little things, provided they weren’t overly mayonnaise-y and they didn’t look as though they had been prepared a week in advance. I looked up a few recipes and set off on my Easter quest, hoping to create paleo-friendly deviled eggs.
All deviled eggs have the opportunity to be paleo — it’s just a matter of what kind of mayo you use. Canola oil-based mayos are a no-go, but homemade or store-bought* olive oil-based mayos are totally in!
eggs to dye for
To make this process slightly more complicated, I decided on Friday that I wanted to dye the whites of my deviled eggs with vegetable dyes. This recipe from babble made it super easy. I picked up some beets and a head of cabbage on my way home from work and was ready to go.
Pause: I’m proud to say that none of these dyes stained anything but the eggs. I can say this now that the dyes are safely down the drain and I have no risk of jinxing myself. Whew!
Now, to the Easter lessons learned: Although I pride myself in my time management at work, in the kitchen, I leave much to be desired. This drives a certain someone crazy, because somehow, he always has to save the day when everything is halfway through production, I’m covered in some sort of food goop, haven’t showered yet, and people are coming over in 10 minutes. I’m getting better, I promise.
My plan was solid: I made the dyes the night before and boiled the eggs. In the morning, I’d just have to dye, peel, and fill them. Easy enough, right?
My execution was poor: I, Maja the Food Blogger, failed to completely hard-boil my eggs. I started peeling them in the morning and they were undercooked. Of course, I also failed to plan for a piping bag. I ran out to get more eggs and a piping bag, delaying our brunch potluck by over an hour. My poor guy had to boil and peel and slice the eggs and create a homemade drying tray out of egg cartons and aluminum because of my lack of planning.
Luckily, we both survived this debacle, and showed up to brunch with three really lovely dishes: the deviled eggs, a Polish salad my grandma used to make, and watermelon, cut into Easter shapes. The deviled eggs were crazy delicious, especially with a touch of hot sauce. Our friends made roasted sweet potatoes, lentils, and garlic bread, and it all came together to create a wonderful, festive little meal. For an Easter table that was half Jewish, I don’t think we did too shabby.
I learned while doing some retrospective research that a Ziploc bag would’ve done just as well for piping. Now I know! Next Easter, I promise to plan ahead a little better.
In the meantime, I think I’ll pack some of these in my lunchbox! 🙂
- 8 eggs
- enough cold water to cover by 1-2 in.
- 1 tbsp. white vinegar (prevents messy cracking)
- 1 tsp. salt (helps with peeling)
- Put eggs in cold water in a large pot. Over medium-high heat, gently bring to a rolling boil.
- When water is boiling, remove pot from heat and cover. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to place eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool.
- Peel eggs.
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (see above)
- 3 tbsp. paleo-approved mayo like Tessamae’s
- 1.5 tbsp dijon mustard
- a couple dashes of Worchestershire
- a couple dashes of Frank’s
- salt and pepper
- paprika, for garnish
- Slice eggs in half, lengthwise. Pop or scoop out the yolk, careful to keep the whites intact.
- Combine the yolks with the remaining ingredients, except for the paprika. I use a fork for this, but you can also whisk or even place the mixture in a food processor. Just make sure you get rid of any lumps.
- Fill a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the filling. If you’re using the piping bag, pipe filling into the egg whites. If you’re using a Ziploc, move the filling to one corner of the bag, then cut a small part the corner off and pipe carefully.
- Sprinkle with paprika and serve! Enjoy.
* Be very wary of store-bought mayo. As always, check the ingredients label. Even if it says “olive oil mayonnaise” (I’m looking at you, Hellman’s), that doesn’t mean that other, non-paleo vegetable oils (like canola) are not included. As far as mayo goes, if it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, it isn’t paleo. My favorite store-bought mayo brand is Tessamae’s (Whole Foods or online), which is pricey, but good if you’re looking to save some time/energy.